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Re: Question for Stefano

On Thu, Mar 17, 2011 at 02:36:38PM +0100, Wouter Verhelst wrote:
> Since I didn't make that a very explicit question, let me do so now:
> We've had several DPL's in the past who've done more than one term, but
> (IMHO) we've never had DPL's who've not started getting less active or
> less publically visible towards the end of their second term
> How do you propose to prevent that from happening to you?

I'm glad to see that the mono-candidate election hasn't stopped the
tradition of "bad stuff could happen, how would you prevent it from
happening to you?" questions :-)

To be honest, I've no idea.

I've been in volunteering since well before my Debian involvement. A
pattern I've observed, not only on me but also in my co-"workers", is
that people stay involved as long as they feel rewarded for what they
are doing.

In my experience as DPL, the best reward has been the sensation of
helping other people in the project having fun pursuing Debian goals. A
DPL is in a lucky position to do that, in many ways, by untying knots of
various kinds, by finding and offering means to meet, by pouring new
blood in understaffed teams, etc. I *think* I've done some of such
things thus far, the opportunity to keep on doing that keeps me excited
about the job.

Let's look also at the other side of the coin though. Everyone in this
project shares the responsibility of motivating everyone else. Every
time you fail to acknowledge that someone has done something "good" for
the project, you're contributing to demotivating that someone. The job
of DPL is no exception and is also a job where it's generally easier to
get blame than any other kind of feedback (ask past DPLs, you'll
probably find consensus on this).  So, who knows, maybe the "end of 2nd
DPL term syndrome" is something that should be worked on as a collective
effort and we have failed to do that in the past.


Stefano Zacchiroli -o- PhD in Computer Science \ PostDoc @ Univ. Paris 7
zack@{upsilon.cc,pps.jussieu.fr,debian.org} -<>- http://upsilon.cc/zack/
Quando anche i santi ti voltano le spalle, |  .  |. I've fans everywhere
ti resta John Fante -- V. Capossela .......| ..: |.......... -- C. Adams

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