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From Marvin Humphrey <>
Subject Re: Shepherding November 2013
Date Tue, 12 Nov 2013 03:00:42 GMT
On Mon, Nov 11, 2013 at 4:17 PM, John D. Ament <> wrote:
> Hi Marvin,
> Can anyone volunteer? Or only IPMC?

Anyone can volunteer.

Honestly, I would be thrilled if our shepherd roster was composed entirely of
fresh recruits rather than grizzled IPMC veterans.

Shepherding is a great way to gain knowledge about Apache.  The first task of
a shepherd is to scan the mailing list archives for the last three-month
cycle looking for Mentor participation.  What the IPMC needs most is a "dead
man's switch"[1] which warns us when activity is dangerously low.  So long as
you can tell us "Podling is active, N mentors participating", our basic needs
have been met.

The benefit for novice shepherds is that that you're looking through Mentor
emails -- and what Mentors have to say to other podlings is often very
interesting.  You get to see what kinds of problems those podlings are working
through and what guidance their Mentors are giving -- possibly providing a new
perspective on challenges faced by projects you participate in.

A secondary function of shepherding is to provide an outsider's perspective
for the benefit of the podling being reviewed.  That's a task that only
someone fairly experienced should take on, because it's politically sensitive.
However, while detailed commentary can be quite helpful, in my view there is
such great value to the Incubator and the ASF at large in increasing
cross-pollination that we should prioritize giving new volunteers a chance.

> I'd like to volunteer to help you guys out next month.

Excellent.  I see that you've added yourself to shepherds.json while I was
writing this -- thanks for signing up!

Marvin Humphrey

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