Presented at linux.conf.au 2012 - more details in speaker notes when downloading presentation
Dave Neary of the GNOME community recently penned a post  on mentoring programs for FOSS communities, and his findings were a bit disheartening. Of all those mentees taken in under various mentoring programs, from Google Summer of Code to the Great Documentation Project, only about 1 in 4 became regular contributors to their mentor's projects. Based on these figures, it appears that mentoring programs are actually quite a poor return on investment and mentors would be better off simply doing the work themselves.
Right? Well, sort of. Well, no, actually.
In this talk, Leslie Hawthorn argues that FOSS communities approach mentoring in a problematic manner. Our current approach focuses on the problem from the lens of software development, such as scaling our mentoring processes and measuring return on investment. Rather than focusing on these as measures of success, Leslie will discuss alternative ways to conceptualize the mentoring process and explore the broader social and cultural implications of mentoring folks in FOSS. She will also discuss alternative models for mentoring the next generation of contributors, including recommendations for implementing these models in your projects.
 - http://blogs.gnome.org/bolsh/2011/05/31/effective-mentoring-programs/