A black and white image of the author Kolja Dummann

Meta Programming System Mentoring Experiment 2022.

This year the JetBrains Meta Programming System (MPS) community has continued to grow. Many new names joined the MPS Slack and asked lots of questions. After years of almost stagnation, it motivates me to see growth in the community and adoption of MPS.

One of the biggest challenges when getting started with MPS is the steep learning curve, or more figuratively speaking a wall, you have to overcome early on. In past years I and others have dedicated their time to making climbing that wall more accessible. There is Vaclavs JetBrains MPS for the impatient, the MPS User Guide with all of its tutorials and MPS Fast Track, Markus MPS Intro Course, or Sergejs MPS Office Hours. I did lots of streams about getting started with MPS where the recordings and source code is available at heavymeta.tv, and created mps.rocks to create commonplace for everything around MPS.

All these are valuable building blocks to overcome the learning wall. Through all the years of teaching MPS in various settings, I know that one of the most powerful tools to get along with MPS is having a mentor. I have been running mentoring programs internally at itemis for years with individuals and teams alike.

For 2022 I am starting an experiment: MPS mentoring.

Who is this for?

For everybody that has an interest in getting into MPS and has a basic understanding of MPS and language engineering. You have finished the fast track tutorial and/or my “heavy meta” tutorials. You have done your first experiments with MPS and might have built a toy language but you find yourself regularly getting stuck on the technology or language design. Or you might have started to experiment with MPS in the past but gave up because you got stuck. Sounds familiar to you? Then this is for you!

What can you expect from me as a mentor?

In my opinion personal interaction is key in a mentoring relationship. Providing meaningful support requires understanding context and not only the problem. That’s why I want to make one-on-one sessions an integral part of this mentoring. I can commit to a 60+ minute one on one video call session every or every other week, depending on your personal preferences. We will be using Zoom or Discord for this. In between the sessions you can always reach me via mail. I will answer your questions and help you with language design. Of course, you can share code with me via (private) GitHub repositories. I live in the CET timezone, which means the video sessions somehow need to fit into my sleep schedule. 🙂

When does it start?

I plan to start at the beginning of February 2022 for three months until the end of April.

Does it cost me anything?

No, this is free of charge. While highly appreciated, it is by no means expected you can decide to sponsor me on GitHub if you want to support my work.

How can I join?

Write me a mail to kolja@hey.com by 20th January 2022 with a couple of words about you and what you are up to with MPS. If you have prior experience with MPS feel free to include that. I will get back to you in time for the begining of February. Depending on the demand and my workload at my day job it might not be possible to accept everybody.

Still, having questions? Feel free to reach me via mail or Twitter, my DMs are open. Not needing mentoring yourself but you know somebody that would benefit from it? Feel free to forward them to me.