I get a big kick out of mentoring students, you learn a lot about yourself and in my case, have the opportunity to selfishly spread the Eclipse love. My first experience in remote student mentoring was with Remy Suen two years ago and I have improved my technique a bit (sorry for you being the guinea pig Remy ;p). One of my students (Rafael) this summer in the GSOC program has been working on the Declarative Services tooling in the PDE incubator.
How did we get started? The first thing I did was stub some code out for Rafael. I create three skeleton plug-ins representing core, ui and tests pieces. I introduced him to project sets which make it a bit easier to checkout the code into your workspace. After that, I started to create a basic plan for him to follow using bugzilla defects. He also started to follow the PDE Incubators inbox to triage bugs when they came in (that’s a very good committer skill to have ;p). I then introduced Rafael to Mylyn and EclEmma to help his workflow a bit:
With those tools installed, you get a better idea of what needs to be done (via Mylyn) and also the current code coverage (via EclEmma). We have been able to move faster with these tools installed towards our goal of having a nice and shiny Declarative Services editor in Eclipse. This wouldn’t be possible without the extensive set of tools available in the Eclipse ecosystem.
So feel free to spread the Eclipse love and show any students (or colleagues) some of the cool tools you’re using in Eclipse to improve your workflow.