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Re: Question to all candidates about the NM process

On Sat, Mar 04, 2006 at 01:06:37PM +0100, Marc 'HE' Brockschmidt wrote:
> Though there are often threads about problems with it on our mailing
> lists, the NM process hasn't changed much in the last three or four
> years. What do you think about the most common problems (takes too
> long, is asking for too broad knowledge)?

The NM process is often viewed as daunting, and percieved as something
taking ages. I think it may be too discouraging in that it'll make some
people not even try who would be good contributers otherwise.

I don't think it's really that problematic that it takes a bit of time
and commitment before one can call him/herself a DD, with all associated
trust. However, NM doesn't need to be (it isn't, but at some times, it
seems as if it tries to be) a fully-fledged education to becoming an
allround DD. Learning new things should be something happening
continuously, whether you're already a DD or not, depending on the
areas you're going to work on. Knowledge is most effectively picked up
when one needs to apply it soonishly afterwards, and it's also more
rewarding to learn it at that time.

> Do you think that we need to change the NM checks?

I think it's the most important to test for the right mindset: is
someone a precise worker, with attention to detail? Is someone going to
read a lot about area $foo if one is going to do stuff around $foo? Is
someone capable of finding the right information about $foo, and able to
properly apply it, and knowing where to ask for assistance? Does someone
cooperate well with peers? With users? With upstreams and the like?

These are skills that will always come in handy. They are even required
skills in my opinion. As an example where I think the current situation
is suboptimal, the current template's library questions are too
complicated if you're not going to work with C libraries, or especially
if you're not going to work with C programs at all, but they are
inadequate if you're actually going to maintain a C library. However,
how to exactly change the templates then, I'm not sure about.

These are just some thoughts, I've never really involved myself in NM
except that I spent most of 2004 being in it as an applicant. I'm
willing to brainstorm with the people involved, and discuss about the
issues they (you) see, but I do not intend to really push in a certain
direction, as I don't know what direction that exactly would be. I'd
like to have someone in my DPL team who's being able to constructively
work together with the NM team on improvements in the process (if anyone
feels compelled for that position, please send my a private mail).

Anyway, I trust that you, the NM team, can work constructively on
possible changes, with whoever is interested in it. I'll assist where
requested, but not going to personally initiate much in this area as DPL
or as individual.


Jeroen van Wolffelaar
Jeroen@wolffelaar.nl (also for Jabber & MSN; ICQ: 33944357)

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