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Re: Splitting P&P templates into two

Thaddeus H. Black wrote on 03/01/2005 17:20:

>> Jay Berkenbilt writes,
>> For my part, I think I spent about 120 hours total on
>> all the questions, including assigned practical
>> exercises.  I did them in small chunks over four months.

IMHO, 120 hours just for the application related things (including T&S)
is too much to ask for.

>> Were I asked, I would tend to say that 120 hours of answering

 > questions were not too much to expect of an applicant.  In fact
 > it might be too little.

Too little? You must be kidding. 120hours are the aequivalent of more
than 3 weeks of (paid) work. Or approx 1/14th of a typical man year
(which is usually calculated at 1600 hours).

 > In such a context, Helen's idea

>> makes sense to me.  Helen's idea would effectively
>> screen against meteors, against the brilliant but brief.

Well, yes, it would. But would rather spend 80hours working on my
packages and getting them sponsored (assuming 40hours of work on the
sponsor side) than to spend 120hours on other things (T&S questions,
policy knowledge etc.) and becoming a DD.

>> Thus the question: is Debian relatively as elite as it
>> seems to be?  If so, why is this?

In my opinion, it is. The main reason IMO:
The NM process is quite prohibitive because it takes too long. Most
people don't want to wait for up to a year (with even more not being
uncommon) just to become a DD.

And if you really think that spending 120hours (basically) on a
questionnaire isn't too much to ask for, this gives people even more
reason to think twice about becoming a DD.

This way Debian might not get elitist because it is technically hard to
become a valued member (DD), but because only nerds (who tend to know a
lot about computers and software) are willing to invest that much time
into volunteer (unpaid) work.

Note: I mean elitist in the positive way: Highly qualified people doing extremely good jobs. Not in the negative, snobbish way. Even though some DDs surely exhibit an elitist (in the negative sense) attitude.

I _do_ think it shouldn't be made too easy to become a DD. However the way this is achieved today seems to be wrong to me. I think it would be better to tell an applicant to select one of a range of possible pieces software (or other tasks which effectively help Debian right away) and have them package that software (or do the task the applicant selected). This would be a better way to test their skills than to ask them lots of T&S questions. There should still be some T&S questions, but those shouldn't be more work intensive than the actual work the applicant intends to do for debian.

I do think applicants should commit to invest at least 8-10 hours a month to debian related work (aside from following relevant mailing lists etc.). That might not be a continous commitment, but if bugs need to be fixed on their packages, they should be prepared to invest at least that amount of time whenever it is needed.


PS: I'm thinking a lot about wether to become a DD or just keep
uploading my packages through sponsors. I tend to become a DD, but I'm
certainly not willing to invest 120hours in the questions my AM would
ask me. 40hours would be about the limit for me.
PPS: I did spend >1000hours on volunteer work a few years ago, but that
was a whole different thing. It's easier to spent 1000 hours on
something completely unrelated to your every-day work than to spend it
on something very similar to your job (even if it is fun work for you to

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