Removing Launchpad’s “Mentoring” Feature.

Partial screen capture of a page showing mentoring

This is a last call for user experience data with Launchpad’s “Mentoring” feature for bugs and blueprints.

We’ve seen only limited usage of this feature, and haven’t gotten much positive feedback on it. Right now, it’s dropped from our 3.0 redesign; but before 3.0 is finalized, we’re interested in hearing people’s experiences with mentoring.

If you’ve used the Mentoring feature, either as a mentor or a mentee, please leave your feedback as a comment here. We’re particularly interested in answers to these questions:

  1. Would you say that Mentoring caused any difference in the rate of resolution between mentored and non-mentored bugs? (It could be a positive or a negative difference; both are interesting to us.)

  2. For people who offered mentoring: in your experience, did you have responses on your mentoring offers? Were you successful in integrating the mentee’s changes?

  3. Do you have any thoughts on how to improve the feature?

Please note: this is about Launchpad’s specific implementation of Mentoring, not about mentoring features in the abstract. We’re interested in your experiences with what’s actually been available in Launchpad. If a few people found the Mentoring feature useful, but most who tried it did not, then we will probably leave it out of Launchpad 3.0. On the other hand, if we hear something very unexpected from the feedback, that could affect our decision of course.

10 Responses to “Removing Launchpad’s “Mentoring” Feature.”

  1. Igor Gomes Says:

    IMHO, it should be more aggressive. Instead of to wait one, suggest potential mentors to the people pursuing development on a specific topic or during a bug solving process.

    For that, 2 main developments are needed:

    1) Skills Pool

    Let the people say in what topics are the people interested or masters on it. For example: C, C++, Ruby, audio backend, user interface, automation and so on.

    2) Improve the mentoring module

    Suggest people that can solve a particular bug or start a new project based on the skills pool.

    Not sure if its clear, I can further develop the idea if needed.


    Igor Gomes

  2. Jelmer Vernooij Says:

    I like the idea behind the mentoring feature. I’ve tried to use the mentoring feature both as a mentee and as a mentor. As a mentor, it just seems too much trouble to have to offer mentoring on every bug that I could potentially be able to mentor. Rather, I’d much prefer to be able to offer mentoring for a particular product.

    Similarly, as a mentee, I haven’t really seen a lot of bugs for which mentoring was offered. Usually I would just end up asking the last few contributors for a project for mentoring.

  3. Daniel Holbach Says:

    It seems like there’s more use of the “bitesize” tag now. Personally I always thought we need to advertise this more and make sure that people actively add the “small TODO list items” as mentoring bugs. lists mentoring bugs too.

  4. Jef Spaleta Says:

    Are there any published summary statistics which would put the “limited usage” comment into perspective?


  5. Fabien Says:

    I tried to use this feature but without any success apparently, so just remove it 🙂

  6. mterry Says:

    I tried to use it, but at the time, LP was pre-AJAX. So marking a bug as menotorably required many clicks. Ideally, in a list of bugs, I could just click an emblem on the side and it would become mentorable without any page loads. Even the effort of going into a bug first, clicking a button, then pressing back might be too much. 🙂

    But more importantly, it’s a lot of work to preemptively review and mark things as mentorable. Mightn’t it be better to be able to mark the whole *project* as having ready mentors, then someone can come in and say ‘I’m ready to help, please mentor me’. At that point, the maintainer can go and find bugs. Seems silly to always be marking bugs as mentorable then fixing them yourself a month later because no one bit. Also kind of gives an incentive not to fix small bugs to leave them as mentee-bait, which is a bit odd.

  7. Flimm Says:

    I offered mentorship on a few blueprints in my project and nobody took me up on the offer.
    I’ve often wanted to find a mentored task using Python as a programming language, but there’s no easy way to do that. There’s no easy way to find a project that uses a certain programming language, either.

  8. Laszlo Pandy Says:

    As the lead developer on my project I am willing to mentor *anyone* on *any* bug, feature or anything related to the development of my project. And I frequently answer many questions new people ask on IRC. I have seen this feature on Launchpad whenever I am looking at bugs, but to go to all the bugs and click “offer mentorship” seems like a waste of my time. I’d rather set myself as the mentoring contact for the entire project, and any request for mentoring on a bug or feature coming through launchpad could either be dealt with directly by me or passed onto someone else.

  9. DnaX Says:

    In my experience, ever used!

  10. Karl Fogel Says:

    Thank you everyone for the feedback!


    Sure. shows teams/users who have created mentoring offers, by month. Notice it’s declining; now we’re around ~20 users a month using the feature.

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