I am currently a senior at Colorado Mesa University studying computer science. My passion lies in leveraging technology to solve large-scale problems. I read and take interest in personal health, agriculture, politics and education.
I am hoping to have a stellar Spring Semester (2018) and am seeking out an internship for the summer. I will be spending time during spring break applying for internships, although I will also need to spend significant time working on my semester projects - a video game engine coded in C++, which can be seen here, as well as a web application which I will link to when we have something worth showing.
In my journey to find an internship opportunity through Google Summer of Code, I wanted to give input about the relationship between a mentor and an intern/apprentice. My time as a service manager in the automotive repair industry gave me insight into the design of these relationships.
My recommendation for mentoring programs within a software development team are to have a dual group and private messaging environment for teams of 3 mentors guiding 2 or 3 interns based on their comfort and experience in a group setting. My rationale for this is ass follows:
Every personality does not necessarily engage well with each other. While it's important to learn to work with people who you disagree with, I have found that when given the opportunity to float between mentors for different issues, apprentices will learn more from those who they get along with the best. If the end goal is for the pupil to learn the most during this experience, and hence increase also their productivity on a project then having the dual ability to use a group setting or PM to a specific mentor is ideal. This also gives the opportunity for a mentor to recommend asking a question to another mentor because their specialty in the topic area is better, which in turn can help assuage a conflict of personality simply from the shared introduction. (Just think about when someone you like or respect recommends you work with someone who you thought you didn't get along with - it's a more comfortable situation when you are introduced in this circumstance, when it's done in a transparent and positive light).
Our most successful ratio of mentors to apprentices was 3:2 for technicians who were short on shop experience, but in the scope of this project a 3:3 ratio could be appropriate. I would, however, avoid assigning a mentor as a lead for a student in this format. It makes the barrier for reaching out to the other two mentors too high (especially for those who are relatively new to a team dynamic). You may also change the ratio based on the experience of the students that you accept and their team experience. For example, if you have two students who have never worked in a team environment it may be prudent to move to a 3:2 ratio as to not overwhelm the mentors. It's nice to have that flexibility, so it may be good to avoid such a rigid structuring of teams.