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Re: [Fwd: [RFC] Making NM 'by recommendation']

On Tue, Jan 30, 2001 at 11:16:38AM +1100, Craig Small wrote:
> On Mon, Jan 29, 2001 at 02:10:01PM +0000, Julian Gilbey wrote:
> > I'm not sure what you mean by this.  If we put the new system up next
> > week, we can do one of two things:
> > (a) finish processing the current queue, then work on the new
> >     applicants, or
> > (b) politely ask all current applicants who have not been assigned an
> >     AM to reapply with the new form.

There is actually a third possibility:
(c) Work on new applicants (who will be much smaller in number), then
    work on current applicants.  If applicants are in a hurry, they
    can reapply with the new form.

> Hi there (for those who don't know me, I wrote the NM website)

Good on you! :-)

> Providing a way for an applicant to automatically change things
> is a lot more difficult as now I would to provide state
> access control etc for an applicant.  Then there are issues of
> password loss, recovery etc. Sure, its all doable, but it is a lot of
> work for an interim problem.

I don't understand what you are trying to do, though.  My suggestion
was to email all unassigned applicants, then to remove them from the
queue until they reapply using the form.  A bit harsh, but with
sufficient explanation, maybe reasonable.  A possibility: recall the
original application date and then reenter them in the database in
that order.  That's hassle though.  My guess is that the number who
are actually ready will be sufficiently small that any reordering will
still only increase someone's wait for an AM from maybe one week to
max three (and likely less).  Almost everyone, except those right at
the top of the queue, win out.

I'm beginning to like my idea (c) best, actually.  Then no-one feels
like they are being kicked out of the queue, there's just some

> Changing the application screen to have more mandatory fields is
> a lot easier. Having some text which reads "you must have this done 
> before applying or we will bounce you" is even easier.

The mandatory fields has advantages: (i) They can't say they didn't
see it!  (ii) We can justifiably put applicants on hold for three
months if they have said they are ready but aren't.  (iii) We can give
the AM information on what the applicant wants to do before the first
email conversation.  "I want to help" is not good enough; the question
should/could ask "What *specific* things do you intend to do for
Debian when you first join?".

> One thing I would like to do is to have a similar system as an email
> list where the site sends an email to the applicant and they reply
> with a verification.

Fantastic!  Absolutely necessary.

> > > The advantage of the "are you prepared?" system is that Debian would
> > > be perceived less as a close group, but I'm not sure this system is
> > > going to work as well as the "by recommandation" one.
> The by recommendation one, as it involves a person, will give cleaner
> results.  However it may bring accusations of cabalism.  There is
> also practical problems of transferring information between db and
> nm.d.o

Fair enough.  Shall we try the "are you prepared?" system and see how
it does?  There is a hybrid possibility: that there is an optional
question on the application form:

  If you are being recommended by a current developer, please enter
  their name or email address here.  (This is advantageous but not
  mandatory.) [textbox]

Then the AM can ask the DD for their recommendation before speaking to
the applicant; if the DD asserts that they have shown themselves to
have sufficient skills for the job they are undertaking, then that's
the tasks & skills section done.



         Julian Gilbey, Dept of Maths, Queen Mary, Univ. of London
       Debian GNU/Linux Developer,  see http://people.debian.org/~jdg
  Donate free food to the world's hungry: see http://www.thehungersite.com/

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