We did something awesome at DrupalCon Denver: on code sprint Friday, we filled a room with between 75 and 100 new Drupal core contributors and helped them work on core issues for the first time.
Participants learned everything from the mechanics of triaging issues to how to write automated tests. Six of us (myself, Andrea Soper, Tim Plunkett, Lin Clark, Cameron Eagans, andKelly Bell) introduced and led the sprint, and several other experienced contributors (including David Rothstein, Kieran Lal, and Cathy Theys) stepped up to help mentor during the course of the sprint. Angie Byron even demonstrated for participants how she reviews and commits core patches, and committed one participant's first core patch in real time on the big screen.
It was delightful to watch the participants' enthusiasm and collaboration. The morning was hectic, but as the day went on, the sprint leads answered fewer and fewer questions because the sprint participants helped each other.