Open Source Mentoring

A few weeks ago I answered a call for stories about mentoring in open source. I wrote in and told the author all about my amazing experiences in the Koha community and about my Koha mentor Chris Cormack. I mentioned that if it wasn’t for him I wouldn’t have gotten involved in Koha in the first place and that it’s because of work like his and so many other patient Koha community members that I have been able to participate so much.

The article with my quote (and my others) in it has been published on ITWorld.

One delicious example of a spontaneous relationship that worked is the one between Koha’s Cormack and Nicole Engard (, Koha’s documentation manager and soon to start a new day job as director of open source education at ByWater Solutions. Engard joined the Koha community in 2008. “I was excited to be a part of something so awesome — and rare in the library world — but a bit nervous about jumping into something that was so well established,” she says. Cormack, one of Koha’s original developers, took Engard under his wing. “He taught me the ropes, he never, ever said I had a stupid question. He never ignored me. He has always been patient and willing to walk me through things.” Distance didn’t matter; Cormack is in New Zealand, and Engard is on the U.S. east coast. “There is a huge time difference for us; he is often helping at midnight his time,” she says with heartfelt appreciation.

Read the entire article on ITWorld.

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