Frequently Asked Questions about being a Participant in the IETF Guides Program
- What is the IETF Guides Program?
The goal of the IETF Guides Program is to match experienced IETF participants with newcomers in order to aid their integration into the IETF community through advice, help, and collected wisdom. The assistance provided by the guides should speed up the time it takes for newcomers to become active, contributing members of the IETF.
- What is an IETF guide?
A guide plays the role of advisor, coach, and teacher. The combinations of roles allows a guide to provide the assistance needed to assist the participant in developing the skills needed to participate effectively within the IETF standards process.
While anyone can volunteer to be a guide, it is expected that the most guides will not hold IESG, IAB, or WG Chair positions (due to time/scheduling issues).
- Is the program restricted to certain kinds of people?
The program is focuses on guiding participants who are newcomers to the IETF, but is open to all.
- How are matches made between guides and participants?
A small group of IETF participants have volunteered to act as coordinators. The coordinators have areas of expertise and will work with the characteristics identified by the participants to match them with guides who have similar interests and areas of work.
- What happens after a guide and program participant are matched?
Once a match has been made, the guide should initiate contact with the program participant. After that, the interactions are up to them. Useful interactions will vary based on the needs of the participant and the skills of the guide. In the event that a guide or participant is unresponsive or the pair decide that the match is not constructive, the coordinators can be contacted to request a new pairing.
- How does the IETF Guides program work?
During IETF meeting registration, newcomers will be identified and given the opportunity to request a guide. After the request is made, the coordinators will assess the areas of interest of the newcomer and select a guide from a pool of volunteers. The guide will be selected based on areas of common interest between the guide and participant. After the match is made, an introductory e-mail will be sent to the guide and program participant in order to provide contact information. After that, it is up to the guide and participant to determine how the relationship will progress. After the face-to-face IETF meeting, the program organizers will send out a brief questionnaire to determine how well the program is functioning.
- As a program participant, what should I get out of the relationship?
Ideally, a participant will come away with a better understanding of the IETF, knowledge of the standards development process, and someone to turn to when questions arise. Each person's needs will be different and the IETF Guides program should be flexible enough to assist with those needs.
- What does it take to be a good program participant?
The biggest key is being willing to learn. The IETF community can be different, so a participant should be willing to listen to a different perspective (the guide's). A participant should also be proactive in asking questions so that the relationship is driven by the participant's needs and not the guide's view.