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Re: Why do you think you are a good candidate for DPL

On 2013-03-10 15:40, Martin Zobel-Helas wrote:
Why do you think you are a good candidate for the next DPL term?

Thanks for your question. I hope that my platform sheds some light on this:

I would see these as some of the key points:

- I have already been working as a leader within DebConf for a number of years in a way similar to how the DPL acts within overall Debian. Although it rarely makes a lot of noise on the main Debian lists, DebConf is a big subproject within Debian. It handles a large budget every year and in addition to ongoing team members it recruits large number of temporary volunteers from existing Debian contributors and from people interested in contributing to Debian. I have learnt a lot from working to coordinate the many required tasks among these volunteers, many of whom are new each year, to make sure that each conference is ready on time and within the available funds -- and from mediating when there have been conflicts.

- I have been a regular package maintainer for about 10 years, including being part of a small packaging team. While the amount of time I have spent on DebConf work hasn't left me time for major technical projects within Debian -- and while during my time as an academic researcher, I didn't always want to spend my spare time doing too much more pure technical work and programming -- I do think it's important that DPL candidates should be in touch with how the great majority of Debian members experience Debian through this working on this kind of task, not only good at managing. (Among other things I also work within the press and publicity teams, seeing another aspect of Debian, and previously worked as an Application Manager in the NM process.)

- As DPL I would work to make sure our teams are transparent, open and communicative. I would like to encourage more turnover of members between different teams so that teams share experience, and that sources. I also would work to improve our external and local communication abilities. Since most people who work on Debian are volunteers, it is important that we continue to make Debian fun to work in. I think that encouraging teams to think more about how they plan to work with other parts of Debian, and encouraging more turnover of members between different teams, would reduce the frequency of inter-team conflict and make working in Debian more enjoyable. With greater rotation between teams, people would be more likely to retire from roles while they are still having fun and doing a good job, not only when they run out of time for them and get worn out, and then able to transfer the benefit of their experience to other areas of the project.

In my platform I list a few of the topics that I am especially interested in pushing forward on as DPL. I would welcome people's suggestions on how to improve on the ideas I describe there. For example, I would like us to look for new ways to pull people into making their first contributions to Debian -- even among people who have been helping with DebConf, I have met many who are interested in making technical contributions to Debian but who can't find somewhere good to start. As another example, I think that we should look at how we can build closer relationships with companies and other organisations who can help us to improve Debian in ways that are useful to them, by making contributions themselves or by funding Debian.


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