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From Michael Pavino <>
Subject Re: Proposed process for recognizing *Non-Technical* Contributions
Date Thu, 10 Jan 2019 11:33:59 GMT

On Thu, Jan 10, 2019, 4:53 PM Sally Khudairi < wrote:

> Hello ComDev-ers! I hope you are all well and that your 2019 is looking
> bright thus far.
> I wanted to share my proposal for recognizing non-technical contributions
> at the ASF. Whilst some of us have spoken about this issue for many years,
> this discussion formalized during ApacheCon Montreal (September 2018;
> select excerpts at the end of this message) and moved onto the ASF Members
> list for review and vetting.
> We have received both signoff from VP ComDev Sharan Foga, as well as
> careful consideration and positive feedback from more than a dozen Members.
> Let's proceed!
> Proposed Contribution Process for Non-Technical tasks:
> 1) Contributions must be associated with an existing ASF project or
> committee. For example:
>   - Creating supporting graphics for ASF Marketing & Publicity
>   - Providing marketing support for an Apache TLP
>   - Onboarding new contributors to an Apache podling community
>   - Developing a new Website for an existing project
>   - Participating in Apache Community Development activities --staffing
> the ASF booth, coordinating events, etc.
>   - Writing project/process documentation
>   - Helping with ASF Operations activities --legal/accounting support, etc.
> ...there are more ways folks can contribute. We just need to give them the
> ability to do so.
> 2) The TLP/podling/committee involved must have at least one community
> member (internal; e.g. PMC) to help provide guidance on the task/activity
> involved, and at least three PMC Members who may be able to nominate the
> individual for Committership, as per the ASF's established contributor >
> committer process .
> 3) All project/committee participants are encouraged to sign an ASF ICLA
> in order to have their contributions recognized.
> 4) Recognition must happen on-list.
> 5) All PMCs and podlings are encouraged to consider non-code contributions
> and establish their own sub-processes for determining how to accept,
> integrate, and recognize non-technical participation.
> 6) Recommend that a team of advisors for this process operate under
> ComDev, and for any serious issues to be escalated to the ASF President and
> the individuals identified in the ASF Code of Conduct who act as
> ombudspeople for conflict resolution.
> 7) Recommend that all non-ASF-Member-confidential tasks/Requests for
> Assistance be posted publicly on ...the
> form makes it easy to do so! The related details on the tasks themselves
> may be published on a project's JIRA, blog post, mailing list, Webpage,
> community forum, Slack channel, etc.
> 8) Projects/committees are encouraged to share their initiatives with ASF
> Marketing & Publicity <> for additional visibility across
> ASF communication channels.
> we build the program, I'm sure we'll be able to flesh out more
> details and areas of activity.
> And to kick it off, ASF Marketing & Publicity have some graphics/creative
> tasks that we will be leading as part of a "Central Services sub-group"
> under our committee. We will be posting details on and
> promoted to the greater community. Those who are creatively inclined and
> are able to help are welcome to join us.
> I hope the proposed process will help encourage broader participation. In
> my review with Sharan, she wrote:
> > ... this is just the sort of thing I think Comdev could be doing. It is
> also something that could focus us a bit better.
> >
> > So +1 from me.
> Thank you in advance for taking this under the ComDev umbrella and helping
> pave the way for a more inclusive, robust community. Once you're ready to
> proceed, I'll be happy to forward/socialize the process to the PMCs if
> needed.
> Feel free to let me know if you have any questions or how I can otherwise
> be of help.
> Thanks,
> Sally (ASF's first non-technical member!)
> - - -
> Vice President Marketing & Publicity
> Vice President Sponsor Relations
> The Apache Software Foundation
> Tel +1 617 921 8656 |
> = = =
> [BACKGROUND/CONTEXT; excepted from my emails to ASF Members]
> <snip>
> During ApacheCon, there were many discussions about two things:
> 1)  "diversity". A pattern was clearly emerging:
>    a) diversity of humanity --one's DNA/gender/ethnicity/background/life
> choices, etc.
>    b) diversity of contribution --promotion, community building,
> onboarding, outreach, etc.
> 2) "(more efficient) ways to get non-code stuff done":
>    a) semi-one-off instances --graphics/logos, marketing/media assistance,
> etc.
>    b) longer-term items --technical writing, documentation, case studies,
> etc.
>    c) ongoing support --community building, onboarding/guidance, events
> coordination, etc.
> As a firm believer in our process/principles of meritocracy, our often
> don't knowing who you are is a good thing: if you make decent
> contributions, there’s a chance that you will be able to establish yourself
> in the Apache community. Your work should speak for itself. However, it can
> be difficult for some folks to participate if there’s no clear entry path
> for them to do so.
> Much of the history behind what's being discussed goes as far back as my
> initial participation in the ASF (1999), but the issue became pronounced in
> 2004. Here's what happened:
> A certain Web Services-oriented company was heavily involved with a few
> Apache projects. Not only had they submitted a project to the Incubator,
> they had a handful of very active committers on their payroll. Their
> products were Apache-dependent and they worked very hard to bring
> visibility to their team, their contributions, and, of course, their
> products (driving sales, and all). Their marketing director wanted to get
> involved with promoting the project itself, but the PMC said "no, go away".
> Although their hands were tied, they kept trying different approaches, but
> were continually rebuffed. Eventually that person left and the company
> tried again, this time using their community manager. There was a little
> progress (remnants of "after all, can't trust a marketing person"-itis),
> but there was still considerable frustration.
> Through the years, I've regularly received requests to help projects with
> their marketing and promotions beyond the "Foundation"-level support
> already provided.The request often comes from a corporate that's heavily
> invested in the project. And, of course, my answer is "sorry, no", aside
> from the experiment where I joined a podling that had considerable
> marketing resources prior to coming to the Incubator, and they had assigned
> an individual specifically to oversee that project's marketing. I joined
> the pPMC's new (private) press and (public) marketing lists, and was
> engaged somewhat passively, and was definitely not driving the effort. A
> year later, the dedicated marketer jumped ship to their competitor and the
> project has been struggling to manage this
> on their own. I eventually unsubscribed from their lists after some years.
> The reality is that this is not a unique situation. Many projects have
> active users with their own marketing and PR teams who get assigned to help
> out in any way possible, and more often than not, the end result gives off
> the impression that CompanyX "owns" or appears to be inappropriately
> influencing the project, which, in turn, causes Brand Management, Marketing
> & Publicity, and at times even the ASF Board to intervene. Those who have
> been on the receiving end know that you don't want me to come after you <g>.
> PMCs often want to focus on code and community-builing, and rightfully so,
> considering that they are the two areas that we actively target/hone our
> resources. Yet our projects often also need additional support in the form
> of documentation, graphics/Website development, community events
> management, marketing/PR/AR, and more. This may not be a full-time role
> within the project, yet is valuable and necessary to be coordinating with
> several ASF groups (Brand Management, M&P, ComDev,
> etc.). Plus, very few technologists/developers/software engineer-types are
> interested/skilled in these areas.
> <...>
> *Recognizing Contributors and Contributions.***
> Let's get more people to help with the heavy lifting. Reduce resentment
> due to lack of recognition. Reduce volunteer fatigue and burnout.
> We need to establish participation guidelines/requirements. Allow others
> to offer assistance --even if it’s only for a single project to start. To
> ensure parity and promote collaboration, any contributor interested in
> supporting any Apache project will need to participate on the respective
> Central Services’ list(s).
> Contributors will be encouraged to help each other out and work through
> issues together. A "no silo-ing" policy will be enforced.
> Get on the list, prove yourself, get your wings.
> <...>
> I wish others could help drive some of these activities because,
> #LoveApache.
> </snip>
> # # #
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