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Shane’s Director Position Statement 2019

The ASF is holding its annual Member’s Meeting next week to elect a new board and new Members to the ASF. I’m honored to have been nominated to stand for the board election, and I’m continuing my tradition of publicly posting my vision for Apache each year.

I’ll keep this short(er); if you want to know more, please read my past thoughts on how Apache works and where we’re going (see end of this post).

After 20 years of growth, the ASF is a successful open-source community providing software to the world and a community framework to dedicated volunteers. At this time in our community development, we need to focus on efficiently scaling our organization to keep up with growth in project communities who need services and mentoring. We also need to make it easier for Members (whose numbers are rapidly increasing!) to participate in ways that provide consistent and positive guidance to our projects and podlings.

As a director, I will (continue) work on making it easier for our volunteers to make meaningful and personally fulfilling contributions to the ASF, both in their coding work and through participation in operations and project/podling governance. My priorities for the coming year include:

1) Revitalizing our internal mentoring programs, especially for newer
ASF Members and for the IPMC and Incubator mentors.

A framework for personal mentoring and consistent guidelines will encourage potential mentors to get involved. These mentors will in turn be able to support other volunteers (and committers!) by fostering a welcoming and friendly environment for those looking to step up to do more of our work.

2) Updating our policies, best practices, and processes.

We’ve made great strides with ensuring our processes are documented in the past few years, but often in piecemeal and scattered pages. Mailing list discussions often address individuals’ immediate questions about a particular process, but don’t always provide the full background. A link to the supporting documentation for the answer (at a stable URL) will help the whole community learn for the future.

In our documentation, we also need to provide the rationale for our processes and policies. We need to clearly specify why a process is important, as well as what process to follow. Documentation that is clear, direct, and comprehensive will facilitate understanding and alignment across the ASF.

3) Maximizing volunteer enthusiasm and retention by facilitating the work they enjoy.

As the ASF grows, we need to encourage volunteers to work on as many organized improvements as we can, while allocating budget for work that volunteers can’t or won’t do. By building the frameworks needed with thoughtfully funded tools or frameworks, we can help our volunteers succeed and keep them engaged for the long term.

The ASF is lucky: our finances are doing great, and we have money in the bank with a positive budget forecast. We also have officers and operations volunteers coming up with smart ways we can use our budget to provide better services to our communities. I want the board to ensure that well-documented funding requests benefiting our mission get a thoughtful and fact-based evaluation – something only the board (which approves budgets) can do.

Other useful things I’ve written about Apache governance and the board:

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Briefly, Shane is: a father and husband, a friend, a geek, a Member and director of the ASF, a baker, an ex-Loti, a BMW driver, a punny guy, a gamer, and lifelong resident within the 495 belt. Oh, and we have cats.

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