Fedora Board Meetings, 10 Sept 2010 & 13 Sept 2010

It’s another two-meeting Fedora Board meeting update. We have been holding some extra meetings in order to kick behind and take numbers the Board ticket backlog. Here we go:

Fedora Board Meeting 10 September 2010

This board meeting was an IRC meeting that took place last Friday in #fedora-board-meeting on IRC.

Topics Covered

Here is an outline of the topics covered – it was a fully Q&A style meeting:

Question 1: KDE 4.5 in Fedora 14

Camberwell asked:

Sorry if this isn’t the place to ak, but will f13 see the new kde 4.5?

The overall conclusion to this is that it is a question more appropriate for the Fedora Engineering Steering Committee (FESCo) and the Fedora KDE SIG.
Jared also brought up that the last Board issued a stable release updates vision statement that FESCo is currently working towards.

Question 2: Board appointments Policy

inode0 asked:

A few weeks back spot proposed something regarding appointments/board approval – anything more come of that?

Jared responded, “First of all, I want to make sure that the Board is working well, and that I have a good working relationship with each member of the Board. After that, I want to make sure that I have a chance to meet with the steering committees (FESCo, FAMSCo, etc.). Once that’s done, I think it’s proper to discuss the governance structure… I would hope that the Board is working well and I’ve met with the steering committees this year, obviously. As for the other changes, I can’t venture a guess. It’ll depend on the proposed changes.”
Jared also noted the discussion should take place before the end of the year.

Question 3: Fedora Project Leader and Blogging

brunowolff asked:

jsmith, do you plan on using your blog more going forward? Paul used to post a lot of Fedora stuff and it seems you are using it sparingly? It seems that this is a good soap box for the FPL to be using for advocacy.”

Jared responded, ” Yes, I do. As I explained in one of my (infrequent?) blog posts, I’m still in “listen to lots of people” mode. I’ll certainly blog more once I have to say. The way I like to describe is like the CEO of a company… you wouldn’t want a new CEO to walk in the first day and start telling everyone what to do, or what they’re doing wrong. But in general, you’re right — my blog should be a good spot for Fedora advocacy, and I can certainly be more vocal there. Please feel free to prod me often if I’m not blogging :-)”

Question 4: Contributor Burnout

skvidal asked:

What can we do to help burnout issues from contributors? I know we’ve seen a fair number of people just stop being able to keep up with the rate and non-stop fight. jwb as a case in point.

Jared answered, “It’s been my own experience that the primary cause for people to leave a project is that they don’t feel like anyone values their input or effort. So my primary reaction is that we need to be better at saying “thank you,” (and that means even if we don’t agree with the person’s viewpoints.) As a follow-on point, there’s obviously a level of negativity and shrill voices in many of our mailing lists. Some people seem to thrive on the conflict in the lists — I know I certainly don’t.”
Matt Domsch said, “We did talk about mentorship and how to on-board more participants in our meeting – briefly… one problem with burn-out is that some people wind up doing quite a lot, and could progress to mentor others, but it is often faster and easier to simply do the work themselves rather than mentor someone new; finding tasks that a new contributor can do, and helping them do it, is time consuming. I have been doing that a lot at work this year, and it is difficult, and can be hard to demonstrate progress. So come performance review time, I am dorked because I did not get a lot done myself, and I have only a few I can point to as having helped them grow.”
Some ideas and points that were brought up during the course of the discussion:

  • There may also be value in sending $swag to contributors without making them fly to $fudcon to collect them. (caillon) (Jared mentioned there will be an announcement soon regarding this idea so stay tuned!)
  • How about if some people are dedicated ‘teachers?’ (mbroyles)
  • The most effective mentoring is casual, not formal, and introducing a mentoring program doesn’t mesh with that. (ctyler)
  • One of the things that helps the mentoring process is documentation of standard operating procedures. Having written SOPs helps on-board new contributors more quickly, and obviously helps avoid the “eaten by raptors” problem. (jsmith)
  • Show more appreciation for the people who are doing fantastic work, but get little praise. (jsmith)
  • Help make sure that we effectively mentor new contributors to help shoulder the burden (jsmith)
  • I’m not so sure doing more work (1, 2) is the best way to prevent burnout 🙂 (mmcgrath)
  • Remind people that “You are doing it wrong” is not the same as saying “Could you try this instead next time.” (smooge)
  • Saying “Good job” helps a little, but I am going to stop doing the temporary stuff at some point and go back to working on the parts of Fedora I find more fun/interesting to do. That will either happen after the F14 or F15 release, I haven’t decided yet. So what do we do about a situation like that? Someone needs to be recruiting a replacement (actually more like two people)? (brunowolff)
  • We don’t have a “Fedora Job Postings” board, but have you tried to publicize the need? Perhaps via planet and/or the lists? (ctyler)
  • We either have to recruit more volunteers and help them get up to speed, or decide that “That’s a great idea, but we don’t have the resources to do it now” (jsmith)
  • If you’re a Fedora contributor and you’re feeling burned out — please speak up before you hit the tipping point, we want to help!
  • I think one of the issues with burnout is that we have a culture of trying to do as much as we can and usually hit a rock before knowing we have taken too much, we then end up saying “No” (in various forms getting worse and worse), and not “I don’t know how.” or “I don’t have time. (smooge)
  • Its a shame that there people in the project who are wanting/needing help and then theres people like me who are just joining and anxious to help. Has anyone thought about a position vacant board? (Camberwell)
  • We have lots of open positions that we don’t even know exist. They are created by people like you. (inode0)
  • there’s an issue of trust – some of the heaviest hit, least flexible, highest-impact positions are ones that require that people who do them be highly trusted. Being available to work on new things means something, that’s true. but we cannot let anyone push pkgs or maintain various services. (skvidal)
  • The two best ways to get some mentorship are to ask for it on the mailing list, and then hang out in the IRC channels and show people that you’re willing to help. If you have questions, don’t be afraid to ask. (jsmith)

Fedora Board Meeting 13 September 2010

This board meeting was a phone meeting that took place last Friday at 2 PM, the usual Board meeting time.

Topics Covered

Here is an outline of the topics covered:

General Updates

  • Fedora 14
  • Systemd go/no-go
    • FESCo is making the decision this afternoon or tomorrow afternoon. (sep 13)

Ticket Review

  • Ticket 11: Respond to Russian Fedora Initiative – We are waiting on requestor(s) to provide trademark agreement. Jared will find out from Red Hat Legal if that was taken care of.
  • Ticket 12: Reflect BT stats on download page – Not really a board issue, should be an infrastructure issue. Closing ticket.
  • Ticket 25: Correspond with ASL on fedora.org.br changes – Will need to contact Red Hat legal to find out if a TLA was sent out and receieved.
  • Ticket 30: Produce actual cases of TM infringement + defense – Goal to give concrete instances of when trademark infringement / defense has happened to gain more support for trademark license agreement process. Jared will contact RH Legal on this one.
  • Ticket 49: Improved Metrics / legal concerns – Would be nice to have redesigned smolt screen, keep ticket open for that, F15.
  • Ticket 59: Establish organizational structure page – We talked about the problems with this diagram of our organization structure; mizmo will try her hand at fixing it up.
  • Ticket 70: Should fedoracommunity.org subdomains point to fp.o? – We voted, unanimously voted that fedoracommunity.org subdomains should not point to fedoraproject.org, and the ticket was closed with that resolution.
  • Ticket 80: Ways to improve Board Q&A – Will set up a wiki page to track questions in the meanwhile the suggested software app to handle Q & A is written.

Other Board Business

  • Jon requested copy of full thesis from Diana Martin’s anthropology report and sent to board private list – Diana would like to limit exposure of document while it remains unpublished for various reasons.
    • Jon’s first takeaways: Diana had a hard time getting integrated into community. Mentorship issues. Diana also mentioned she’d be happy to help us fix it.
    • Everyone should keep reading through it (there’s an open ticket for reviewing it, ticket #79) and we’ll followup later.

Upcoming Fedora Board Meeting Schedule

Here’s the schedule of Fedora Board meetings for the immediate future:

  • Monday, September 27th:Phone meeting
  • Monday, October 4th: Public IRC meeting in #fedora-board-meeting

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