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Re: Should the project hire one or two persons to help the DPL?

On Fri, 19 Mar 2021 23:20:58 +0100, Joerg Jaspert wrote:

> Leaving out the detail of Debian paying someone for work, this has one more
> thing that can backfire hard, as I just could witness in an (entirely
> unrelated) org: That those hired ones got more powerful than the actual
> leader. Simply by being there continuously, doing ground work, that the
> actual leader(s) over time didn't want to do. With time a big bunch of the
> work just got done, mostly leaving the radar of the leader then, and so they
> ended up controlling much, the leader being a figurehead in the end.

I'd like to echo what Ganneff is saying.

I also know from personal experience in (non-software) volunteer
organizations, and a friend of mine has written her diploma thesis on
this topic researching yet another NGO, that a setup with a volunteer
board/committee/chairperson/president and employed
executives/secretaries is difficult, as the latters are the one
spending more time, collecting more information, becoming the
information centre, … over time, and hereby either become the de
facto power centre or at least causing struggles or fights over who
actually controls the whole thing.

This is not to say that I would dismiss the idea of having paid
employees in a volunteer organization completely; like Sam wrote, I
think paying for work that doesn't get done otherwise and (my
addition) that is not a core activity of the organization -- e.g.
accounting -- can make sense. But I'd like to stress that the whole
construction needs careful thought in order to prevent unintended
side effects as far as possible.


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