Project:ComRel/Developer Handbook/Becoming a developer

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This section aims to explain how one can become a Gentoo developer.


There are many ways to become a Gentoo developer, which this section discusses. There are also various steps that new "recruits" have to go through before they become official developers.

Helping out

Firstly; to be asked to become a developer you should either apply to an opening, or just help out whether in the form of user support or filing bug reports - we notice frequent contributors making contributions to Gentoo and we attempt to reward them by giving them the chance to become a Gentoo developer. Gentoo has many paths, and the Gentoo Developer Relations Recruitment Team is always looking out not just for developers - documentation writers and infrastructure maintainers are just as important too for our distribution to run smoothly.

You should look out for openings for developers in the GMN, as well as the /topic of #gentoo-bugs (webchat) on - if you feel you could fill in one of those positions, try to find a mentor who is willing to sponsor you, or contact the Gentoo Recruiters who may be able to find a mentor for you. Please do not file "New Developer" bugs on yourself since this task is designated for the mentor and any such bugs will be closed.


All new developers must have a mentor, who is an existing Gentoo developer responsible for guiding a new developer as well as offering to help the developer later after the developer has passed through the recruitment process.

A mentor should assist you by helping you with any questions you might have, as well as outlining your Gentoo responsibilities, especially those in relation to what you would initially work on.

Once a developer agrees to mentor a new developer, the mentor should file a bug and assign it to the Gentoo Recruiters - the Gentoo Recruiters page explains in detail what information should be filed.

The Gentoo Recruiters reserve the right to assign a developer a new mentor if the initial mentor is idle to queries about the new developer or if the mentor files the bug but then does not assist the new developer through the rest of the process.


All new developers pass through a waiting period of up to a month, depending on how ready the mentor thinks the developer is as well as feedback from any other related developers. During this time, the new developer should complete the quiz which would be reviewed by the developer's mentor and the Gentoo Recruiters to ensure that the developer is "ready". In special cases, the waiting period is determined by the Recruiters and/or Gentoo Developer Relations leads.

A number of quizzes are offered. Please read the page carefully to understand which one you need to complete. If unsure, ask your mentor. In general, developers who will be working purely on infrastructure, GLSAs or other non-ebuild areas should take the developer quiz, any developers who require commit access to the Portage tree should take the ebuild and end of mentoring quizzes.

Once a new developer has completed the quiz, the developer should send it off to the mentor who is responsible for reviewing it in conjunction with the Gentoo Recruiters. If the quiz answers are deemed to be of a sufficient standard, then the recruitment process would continue. Otherwise, a new developer can redo the quiz again, providing that it is completed in the waiting period.

Additionally, new developers should be responsive to any members of the Recruiters Team who have any questions - any developers who do not reply promptly will have their "New Developer" bug closed, which would only be reopened at the discretion of the Gentoo Recruiters.

Jumping the gap

After your mentor and the Gentoo Recruiters have reviewed your quiz and deemed it to be of a suitable standard, you should send it along with a public SSH2 DSA key (e.g. to the Gentoo Recruiters. If the Recruiters consider your quiz to be of a satisfactory standard, they will set you up with the services that you require.

After this time, you enter a "probationary period" of 30 days during which your mentor is responsible for your actions, providing accountability - also, Gentoo Recruiters may reject new developers during this time if they feel it is appropriate.

This page is based on a document formerly found on our main website
The following people contributed to the original document: Seemant Kulleen, Shyam Mani, Karl Trygve Kalleberg, Mike Frysinger, Alastair Tse, Paul De Vrieze, Nicholas D. Wolfwood, Marius Mauch, Daniel Black, Wernfried Haas, Chrissy Fullam, Łukasz Damentko, Daniel Robbins, Markos Chandras, John P. Davis, Tim Yamin, Jorge Paulo, Zack Gilburd, Benny Chuang, Erwin, Jon Portnoy, Carl Anderson, Donny Davies, Peter Gavin, Dan Armak, Owen Stampflee, and Ciaran McCreesh on October 31, 2013
They are listed here because wiki history does not allow for any external attribution. If you edit the wiki article, please do not add yourself here; your contributions are recorded on each article's associated history page.