Identifying Mentors at Sprints (example: creative t-shirts at DrupalCon Latin America)

Submitted by YesCT on Mon, 04/13/2015 - 17:56

DrupalCon Latin America Sprint was Big

DrupalCon Latin America took place in Bogotá, Columbia this past February. 270 people attended the conference. There was a training day, two days of sessions and the last day was the big sprint day. It is tradition at Drupal events (and many other Open Source events) for people to gather together and work to improve the software we use. We had lots of people from the conference attend the big sprint day, 101 people, 37% of conference attendees. It was the highest percentage wise ever at a DrupalCon.

As an event attendee: should you attend a sprint?

Yes. But.. Sometimes participating at Sprints can be intimidating especially if you have never been to one. Where do you start? How do you participate? Who can you ask for help? Sprint mentors! And your next question might be, "Great… where can I find one of those?"

As an event organizer: What can you do to help attendees have a good sprint experience?

Having a way for attendees to identify people there to assist them, improves the experience for everyone.

Identifying Sprint Mentors

One way to identify mentors is with sticker name tags. (Note for future sprints: Name tags that hang from lanyards often end up below the table edge, and then other people around the table cannot see the name tag.)

Another way is with bright colored mentor shirts. However, at DrupalCon Latin America, we unfortunately did not have pre-printed special color mentor shirts.

Making Mentor T-shirts that Standout

T-shirts

Jared Smith (jsmith) had some black t-shirts with subtle bluehost branding on them, and positive messages people could identify with like: GEEK, and Helping OpenSource Projects Make an Impact. Some people were already wearing dark grey or black t-shirts.

Helping OpenSource Projects Make an Impact

Andres Yajamin (andrefy) mentoring while wearing a Helping OpenSource Projects Make an Impact t-shirt. Photo credit: jsmith

Tape

Carlos Ospina (camoa) bought some green easy release painters tape.

Sleeves

We decided to use the green tape on t-shirts sleeves. This helped people identify mentors from the front and side.

Green tape stripes on shirt sleeves

Joaquin Bravo (jackbravo ) mentoring while wearing black t-shirt with green stripes on the sleeves. Photo credit: dasjo

Some sleeves had a lot of detail.

Emma had their name, username, green tape stripes, and a transparent and blue Drupal 8 sticker on top of the stripes on their sleeves.

Emma Karayiannis (emma.maria) had their name, username, green stripes and a transparent Drupal 8 sticker on their sleeves. Photo credit: jsmith

Back of the t-shirts

Mentors are often leaning over, sitting in a group at a table, ... or wandering around. So, we also put markings on the backs of our shirts.

Novella adding their name to a giant white board filled with sprinter names, wearing a black mentor t-shirt with a giant exclamation mark made out of green tape

Novella Chiechi (italiatina ) adding their name to the list of people sprinting, with a big visible exclamation mark on the back of their t-shirt. Photo credit: jthorson

Different Shapes

We helped each other, and put different shapes on the back of our shirts. Like balloons and a star trek insignia.

Mentors standing together. One has two balloons, another a star trek insignia made out of green tape.

Mentors standing together. One has two balloons, another a star trek insignia made out of green tape. Photo credit: jthorson

We had a lot of creative ideas for shapes, like a smiley face with fangs. And it was really fun!

Back of a mentor t-shirt with a big smiley face, with fangs, made out of green tape.

Back of a mentor t-shirt with a big smiley face, with fangs, made out of green tape. Photo credit: jsmith

In Action

The shirts were noticeable in a crowd.

James mentoring at a table. Another mentor in the background. Both stand out with their black shirts with green tape.

James Wilson (jwilson3) mentoring at a table. Photo credit: dasjo

Two mentors mixed in a crowded sprint room. Can see their black shirts with green tape.

Mentors standing out in a crowd. Photo credit: jthorson

Lots of shirts!

I like having brightly colored unique mentor shirts at DrupalCons... but this was fun to tape up our own!

Lots of mentors standing together with backs turned to the camera, displaying their green tape designs.

Back row: Novella Chiechi (italiatina ), Jared Smith (jsmith), Sebastian Ferrari ( sebas5384 ), Tess (socketwench), Cathy Theys (YesCT), Emma Karayiannis (emma.maria), Renato (revagomes), Darwin Betancourt (drw), Andres Yajamin (andrefy). Front row: Alina Mackenzie (alimac), Eric Aguayo (Ericmaster), Joaquín Bravo Contreras (jackbravo), James Wilson (jwilson3), Fernando Paredes García (develcuy). Photo credit: jsmith

More Photos

See even more mentor photos from DrupalCon Latin America. Please let me know of any I am missing.

Reusable mentor T-shirts

We have also been discussing having reusable mentor T-shirts.