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Mentorship - For Mentees

Application process

Applications are submitted via respective program websites, such as Google Summer of Code and LFX Mentorship.


Jaeger mentorship projects are getting a lot of applications (up to 150 per project), therefore we require applicants to submit a proposal for the project, which allows us to find most suitable candidates. Even if a specific program’s guidelines do not require submitting a proposal, please include it in the other application documents, such as a cover letter (PDF documents are preferred over hyperlinks).

We are looking for the following topics to be covered by the proposal:

  • About you
    • Why are you interested in this specific project?
    • What kind of relevant experience or skills do you have that will help you be successful?
    • (optional) What kind of open source experience you have? Please link to some notable pull requests.
    • What are your time commitments during the mentorship term?
  • About the project
    • How do you understand what needs to be done in this project?
    • What kind of technical challenges do you foresee and how do you suggest to address them?
    • How do you plan to approach the project (roadmap, milestones, schedule)?

It does not mean that the longer the proposal the better. It’s about the quality and demonstrating which candidate better understands the problem and has a handle on how to solve it. You do not need to explain what Jaeger does and how. Instead, focus on the specific problem of the project, and think about the challenges and the solutions.


In order to understand the project better and come up with reasonable solutions, it’s always helpful to become familiar with Jaeger and its code base. We strongly recommend:

  • Going through some Jaeger tutorials, such as this one.
  • Trying to solve some of the simple open issues that you can find across Jaeger repositories.

Evaluation criteria

We do not have an exact checklist that we use for evaluation, but the following criteria have a high impact:

  • Candidates have several PRs merged into Jaeger, which demonstrate:
    • their understanding of the code base,
    • their understanding of our development workflow,
    • their coding and problem solving skills.
  • High quality proposal that demonstrates:
    • good understanding of the problem,
    • technical due dilligence conducted,
    • viable approach to solving the problem.
  • Evidence of previous high quality development tasks completed, e.g., in other open source projects.


Congratulations on being selected as a Jaeger Mentee! It can be daunting when starting off on your project, so here are some guidelines to help you get started.

Onboarding Checklist

  • Please review the CNCF Code of Conduct. It offers a guideline that both mentors and mentees should follow to ensure a safe environment for communication.
  • Create an account on the CNCF Slack and personalize it with a photo/image to help you stand out.
  • Send your mentors your slack account handle, so we can add you to private channels. We will create one with just you and your mentor, and second permanent private channel with all past and new mentees and mentors together.
  • Join the #jaeger public channel. This is where you can get help from the Jaeger community.
  • Say “hello” to your mentors, fellow mentees, and jaeger community; and if you’re comfortable with it, introduce yourself with a few sentences.
  • Read our contributing guides (#1, #2), containing instructions on the development workflow.
  • Familiarize yourself with the Jaeger documentation, which provides an architecture overview of Jaeger, a comprehensive list of all CLI flags, among others.
  • Carefully read through the Github issue to get a firm understanding of the requirements. Post any clarifying questions on that issue, ensuring a persistent record for later reference by yourself, mentors and the community.
  • Create a Google doc (copy this template) and share it with your mentors. Use it as a log to write down weekly goals and progess made.


  • Ask questions! A good rule of thumb is if you spend more than an hour not able to find an answer in the documentation or the code, then don’t hesitate to ask your mentor for pointers. You can also ask in #jaeger and #jaeger-mentorships Slack channels.
  • Before embarking on a relatively substantial change, write up a plan on what you plan to do, why and potential challenges or unknowns. Consider documentiing this as a new issue in Jaeger.
  • Work on small deliverables at a time, making small enhancements as you go along. Breaking down a large task into smaller pieces can help make a seemingly daunting task appear manageable. It also helps reduce cognitive load on reviewers! 😀
  • It can be quite challenging to break down a problem, while dealing with the uncertainty of whether your approach will work in the end. A basic proof of concept provides assurance of the final outcome, can help highlight the sub-problems to tackle individually, while also giving you a chance to explore the various alternative solutions and identify the best option.
  • You are welcome to join the monthly Jaeger video calls.
  • Write unit tests and, if applicable, run live integration tests locally. Tests give assurance to yourself that what you’ve written works, documents the expected behavior to readers of the code, and prevents regressions from future contributions.
  • You’re encouraged to review others’ PRs (e.g. from your fellow mentees) with kind and constructive feedback. It’s a great way to learn about good coding practices, while also helping familiarize yourself with the codebase.
  • Feel free to suggest improvements! For example, if you’re experiencing a lot of friction in the development workflow, is there anything we can do to improve the developer experience through better documentation or automation?