Team Reps for Core Team

I was going to wait until after 3.5 came out to post this, but since you all have the weekend free now, might as well take advantage of it, right? Time to vote for team reps again!

Right now there are 8 team reps for core team. Count ‘em, 8! (Counting them: Boren, Jaquith, Nacin, Koop, Aaron Campbell, Scribu, DH-Shredder, and Helen). We need to whittle that down to 2 so that there’s more balance with the other contributor groups. Much simpler voting this time around: just write down the names of the two people you’d like to see as team rep. From now on we’ll be doing these votes every 6 months so we can share the responsibilities and continue to grow new leaders.

Consider before you vote:

  • People you vote for should WANT to be the team rep, since there are responsibilities involved. People willing to do the job can help voters by leaving a comment on this post saying they are interested in being a team rep this term.
  • Team reps should not already be responsible for another group (and realistically, probably shouldn’t be the release lead, but that’s hard to guess at since the 6 months between team rep votes isn’t the same as the time frame for release cycles).

Easy-peasy, yeah? Voting will end on December 15, so vote before then, please.

Here’s a big, easy-to-spot link to the voting survey!

Longer explanation of team reps, why we’re voting now, etc after the jump if you don’t know the background or weren’t around when we did team reps before.

Earlier this year, we took a stab at creating a structure for contributor group communication, based on identifying working groups and letting each group elect team reps. All the teams were represented at the community summit at the end of October, which was a huge step forward in recognizing contributors in areas other than core. That said, once all the reps were together, one of the things we talked about was the idea of team reps, responsibilities, and expectations. As a result, it’s time for a bit of an update there.

Moving forward, each contributor group will have two team reps. We’ll have voting to choose team reps every six months. The idea is that one person will take the lead for the first half of the term with the other person acting as a backup rep, then about halfway through, they’ll swap roles. This way, there’s always someone ramping up with more responsibility, and someone who’s been there still around to lend a guiding hand, without anyone having to make too significant of a time commitment. If one new person takes on team rep responsibilities with each election, then it will be a constant cycle of mentoring people into more responsible roles, which is better for the project long-term than keeping all the responsibility in the hands of a few indefinitely.

It’s important to understand that “team rep” is a role that handles communication (namely contributor wrangling and posting weekly updates on the team’s activity and plans); it is not called “team lead” for a reason. While the people elected as team reps will generally come from the pool of folks that people think of as the experienced leaders, remember that the team rep role is designed to change hands regularly. For example, if in 6 months Ipstenu was ready to step back from being the support team rep, that would not reduce her leadership role on the support team, it would just mean she wasn’t responsible for team rep duties anymore. Being a team rep is not synonymous with being a lead developer, and while they should be familiar with the project and how things work around here, there’s no specific seniority requirement to be a team rep.

Unlike other teams, core team wound up with too many reps, the aforementioned 8. While it seemed like a good idea at the time, our intention of ensuring that all levels of contributors were represented had the unintended effect of far overwhelming other contributor groups and turning any team rep meeting into an extension of core team in some ways. So we need to balance that out. Whoever the core team reps are, they will simply need to take care to represent the needs and concerns of all contributors, not just the people at their own seniority level. I have complete faith that anyone elected is more than capable of this mindfulness.

All teams are participating in this round of elections, but you don’t necessarily have to choose new people as team reps. You’re welcome to vote for one or two of your current reps to continue in the role. One thing to be sure of is that anyone you vote for is actually interested in having the team rep responsibilities until the next round of voting in June; this role has a time commitment attached to it, and if a team rep fails to meet that commitment (not posting the weekly updates, for example) they will be removed from the role. To that end, it would probably help for anyone who wants to be in the running to declare their interest in the comments.

Ready? Go vote for core team reps! Voting closes December 15.