Proactively awarding developer status?
robie.basak at ubuntu.com
Fri Oct 30 13:47:04 UTC 2020
I'd like to propose/discuss adding an alternative path to getting
developer status that doesn't involve an explicit application through
third party nominations. I don't know if this is a good idea or not. I'd
appreciate feedback from anyone, not just DMB members.
Over the years I've been asked for advice by many people on whether they
should apply, whether they're ready, whether their application page is
sufficient, and so on. And I've also dealt with applications where the
applicant has missed writing up what we're looking for in an application
but when we do get the information we find that they do actually meet
Note that all of the above is "red tape". Ultimately we do need
information to form an opinion. Traditionally that information has been
gathered through our application process. But different people react
differently to this red tape. Some applicants are inevitably put off by
the process itself and do not apply when we would like them to, even
when we would consider them to be good candidates.
My proposal is this. Start by accepting *third party applications* for
contributing developer status. We'd expect the same information as in a
regular contribution developer application, but from a third party and
privately. We'd consider the application privately, and if we accept
it, then we'd reach out to the second party and offer contributing
developer status with it already having been approved. If the second
party wants it, then it'll be done.
1) It moves the consideration of applications out of public view. This
might foster bias, or the appearance of bias, especially from the
perspective of applicants finding themselves refused. In mitigation,
applicants will always have the choice of a regular public application.
One risk is that most awards become private; we could mitigate that by
actively resisting any such tendancy, for example by limiting third
party awards by number or ratio. Another mitigation might be to
publish third party applications if they are approved and accepted.
2) Some potential applicants might sit around disappointed forever
waiting to be nominated by someone else instead of applying themselves,
in the knowledge that a third party nomination route exists. Apart from
general encouragement I'm not sure anything could be done about this;
it's a case of the trade-off between this and losing applicants because
they delay applying already.
3) Accidental publication of a private third party application.
I would also specifically encourage DMB members to make nominations.
To limit concerns I suggest doing this initially only for contributing
developer applications. These are much easier to consider without a wide
range of endorsements; contributions are generally publicly visible for
anyone to point out, and possible concerns such as "does this person
work well with others?" are generally much less important. If successful
we could consider expanding it to applications to grant upload access,
but that would be a future discussion and doesn't need to be considered
What do you think?
 Privately because it wouldn't necessarily be done with the knowledge
of the second party, and we wouldn't want to draw attention to people if
it turns out they are unsuccessful.
 This would be "a good problem to have". If it did happen, we could
for example limit the rate that third party awards are made by ranking
them and choosing only the top ones. The regular application process
would be unaffected.
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