Ascend Project

Mentorship and barrier-removing accelerator program designed to explicitly invite, include, and support adult learners in making a first technical contribution to Open Source software.

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General Policies

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General Policies

    Extra Curricular

    08 Sep 2014 »
    • Family night meet n greet
    • Hack n Splode (for women only?)
    • Have a meetup at the Portland office with locals (OSB mailing list, others)
    • Interview practice
    • Hack night
    • Movie night
    • ADX Portland day - go build a thing – learn to solder? (get badges & kits)

    Special Visitors

    • Mike Hoye, CBT - on diamond bugs and getting on important bugs
    • Dave Humphrey
    • QA/MozMill expert(s)
    • Community Leader
    • Debbie Cohen (lead Strengths Finder in week 1)

    Daily Schedule

    08 Sep 2014 »

    9am - 9:30am: Breakfast

    9:30am - 10am: Checkin

    10am - 12:15pm: Course Material: Core Skills

    12:15 - 12:45pm: Lunch

    12:45pm - 4:30pm: Open project time, self-directed, team/group activities

    4:30pm - 5pm: Checkout, goal of the day, what’s tomorrow?

    Four areas of skill building:

    • Technical (coding, automation, testing, version control, patches, bug tracking, staging/dev env)
    • Community (open, communication, documentation, blogging, IRC, being mentored & mentoring others)
    • Web Literacy (exploring, building, connecting)
    • Business Skills (interviews, resumes, portfolio, social media, clients, gathering specs)

    There will be badges:

    Two kinds of badges:

    • Created by Ascend leader-mentors to mark a specific skill
    • Created by participants to mark breakthroughs, creating a path for others to follow you

    Class Agreements

    08 Sep 2014 »

    General Agreements:

    • Take care of yourself
    • Respect gender-preferred pronouns
    • Avoid cross-talk
    • Timeliness
    • Respect the space
    • Focus on enablist language - language matters
    • Say what you’re thinking
    • Offer constructive feedback
    • Treat others how they want to be treated; start with your needs
    • Sensitivity to strong smells
    • Assume positive intent
    • It’s okay to make mistakes and learn from them in all aspects
    • An occasional swear at inanimate objects is “okay”
    • Be curious, stay open to learning
    • Be open to creative ways of communication - listening, sharing
    • Ask for help
    • No feigning surprise
    • No taking over keyboards - “supportive presence”
    • Always push yourself!
    • We all learn differently
    • Avoid “it’s easy”, “it’s hard”
    • Share the air
    • Whoop! it up
    • Let people know if you’d rather not be touched, e.g handshake, high five
    • Willing to share expertise, knowledge, experience
    • Be willing to say “I don’t know”
    • Failing is ALWAYS ok and is for learning
    • You are all good enough to be here
    • Mindfulness of space and sound/movement during learning
    • Ask for what you need to learn best
    • People use different words, look beyond jargon to what they are trying to communicate
    • Pay attention when people are speaking
    • Pause after introducing new processes
    • Helpers check your learner(s) are keeping up/following
    • Acknowledge requests for help, whether you can help or not (and it’s OK to not be able to help)
    • Blue sticky at the top of your laptop for “open to helping”
    • When you need help, don’t give up
    • Remember the “Power of Yet”
    • Positive self-talk
    • Take the judgement-free approach when teaching, meet people at their current level
    • Helping is moving something forward or understanding where someone is at, if you can’t help you do not need to step in
    • If you need sound, keep it contained

    IRC/Digital Spaces Agreements:

    • Ask before private messaging: “Can I PM you?”
    • Be respectful of link posting - keep it on topic, respectful, remember trigger warnings
    • Provide context for links before the link - what is it, is it safe for work or not?
    • Bring your best self to this space - it’s a public space, like your living room
    • Female/feminine appearing nicks often receive more harassment. Something to be aware of. Source (PDF link)
    • To get someone’s attention: type “ping [their_nick]”. Wait for their response “pong [your_nick]”, then talk.
    • We’ll use “shiny” as the highlight word for the whole group (make sure you set it in your client)
    • Do not overuse the magic word (shiny)

    Paths of Escalation:

    Sometimes an agreement might be compromised, missed, ignored, or broken. When that happens we have made a group agreement to how we will deal with escalation:

    • When possible, approach the person and ask permission to chat with them privately
    • IF they agree to chat you can share your lens of the situation with them - no blaming or shaming - and let them decide how to approach that agreement in the future with your feedback now known

    If someone declines a private chat request, check yourself to see what you need to feel resolved. When you still need to escalate the issue you can bring it to the cohort mentors and they will:

    • Listen to your experience of the issue
    • Work with you to decide what is needed for resolution
    • Find a way to approach the person(s) involved without shame

    Last resort for escalation is to bring the issue back to the larger group and check if the agreement needs to be rephrased or have a better definition/group understanding.

    All of this is predicated on the fact that we created and agreed to these statements as a group and so we generally assume all in the room do their best to keep them in their intentions and behaviour.

    Attendence Policy

    08 Sep 2014 »

    Excellent attendance is an expectation of all Ascend Project participants and is required in order to be gifted the laptop that participants use during the the program at it’s completion.

    Daily attendance over the 6 weeks of the program is the key to building a community presence and connecting with mentors in order to complete technical contributions that build participants’ portfolios, providing them with tangible outcomes that can assist in creating future opportunities.

    There is an honorarium for each full day of attendance, which is defined as:

    A full day of attendance requires being at the Mozilla Portland office
    9am - 5pm each day, to be in the classroom area, and to participate
    fully in the daily material as well as being a respectful and supportive
    member in your cohort in order to build a solid team.

    Attendance will be recorded between 9am-9:30am every morning as computers are signed out to each person for the day and then again at 5pm when the computers are returned. If someone is absent, misses sign in/out, is disruptive in class to the point of being asked to leave, or doesn’t participate in the day’s work there will be no honorarium paid for that day.

    To complete the course with full participation, resulting in the laptop being given to the participant, there must be no unscheduled absences, no more than 10 days of absence overall, and any emergency absences/lateness must follow the established process.

    A scheduled absence must:

    • be pre-arranged with the course leader
    • before 5pm end of class the day before the absence occurs
    • have confirmation from course leader in email to the participant with the adjustment to the honorarium based on the following: ** no penalty for 1/4 day or less absence when needed for appointments with care providers or other wellness needs (includes commute time) ** 1/2 day absence = 1/2 daily honorarium ** more than 1/2 day absence = no honorarium

    In case of emergency or ‘out of your control’ absence/lateness: * Call/text the course leader to let them know the situation and whether to expect you that day

    PHONE NUMBER #1 __________

    PHONE NUMBER #2 __________

    • The honorarium will be adjusted according to the above schedule
    • Emergency/unexpected absence for more than 1/2 the day will result in no honorarium that day

    As much as possible, these should be minimal and pre-arranged before the course begins. Any absences during the course that are unscheduled and/or result in missing class time will result in no honorarium for that day.

    Any extra-curricular activities that take place outside of the 9am-5pm window are not part of this attendance policy, they are optional, and do not impact participant honorariums.

    Acknowledgment of for the Attendance Policy

    I have read and been informed about the content, requirements, and expectations of the attendance policy for Ascend Project participants. I have received a copy of the policy and agree to abide by the policy guidelines as a condition of my participation and my ability to receive daily honorariums for said attendance as well as the laptop gifted at the end of the program on __________.

    I understand that if I have questions, at any time, regarding the attendance policy, I will consult with the project leaders.

    Please read the policy carefully to ensure that you understand the policy before signing this document.

    Signature: _______________

    Printed Name: ____________

    Date: _________