Call for votes: Developer Membership Board restaffing

Bhavani Shankar R bhavi at
Fri Feb 1 05:57:07 UTC 2013

On Fri, Feb 1, 2013 at 5:42 AM, Steve Langasek
<steve.langasek at> wrote:
> Hi Scott, Bhavani,


> On Thu, Jan 31, 2013 at 11:36:38AM +0530, Bhavani Shankar R wrote:
>> What I believe is a perspective developer gets ready for applying at a
>> particular level when a minimum of one developer of ranks of core dev
>> believes that the applicant is ready for a particular level of upload
>> rights and having more than one of them vouching for the applicants'
>> skills does no harm.
>> I have been working with the ubuntu developer advisory team a fair
>> bit, reaching out to contributors, helping them by providing pointers
>> in their interested area of ubuntu development, helping contributors
>> in preparing their wiki page for the DMB meeting once they seem to be
>> ready and also reaching out to contributors who have gone inactive
>> over a period of time (maybe due to lack of time or lack of motivation
>> due to rejection of application by DMB for instances) and collecting
>> their feedback and motivating them.
>> Ofcourse, as you mentioned, the developers who are on the board would
>> have their own thoughts about the applicant and what I would not do is
>> to point out any shortcomings on a public list (which I am presuming
>> that it would be viewable to the entire world), simply because it
>> would give raise to the concern of motivation level drop for an
>> applicant (if feedback given is not taken in the right sense and right
>> manner).
> FWIW this concern that feedback on specific applicants not be made public
> does not resonate with me.  I think the greater drain on motivation is from
> putting oneself forward at all (at the prompting of one's peers) only to
> have the DMB tell them they aren't ready.  I think it's far more important
> to make sure Ubuntu developers understand the DMB's thinking, so that we
> collectively are able to give applicants the guidance they need to be
> successful.

I totally agree that DMB feedback is important to the Ubuntu Community
and I would like to go with what Scott said, Maybe we can try
criticising them in private most times because when we criticize in
public for instance many other perspective developers when they look
at the feedback given, they could tend to get a "what if I am
rejected"  fear and might not apply which gives rise to a totally
opposite scenario of application rejection from the DMB. (v/s not
applying at all).

So, I also agree with Scott's second point that feedback might not
necessarily be on a per application basis per se, but what we can have
is a detailed meeting minutes summarizing as to what was each
aggregate application outcomes and a short and concise view of why the
DMB thought the application was not upto the mark.

/me puts his dev advisory team hat on for a moment now.

I like Daniel's idea of having an informal exchange (maybe over a ping
or a pm on irc) of how the DMB thinks so that we can really get an
info of how the DMB thinks on various cases so that we can provide a
broad overview of what the DMB thinks while one is ready for an
application and provide them feedback before they apply and sometimes
after one gets rejected too, so that it can help in simplifying the
situation by providing inputs to the contributors as to what they are
expected to do and reduce the number of incomplete or a application
coming to the DMB in the incorrect area of upload rights intended.

>> What I would do is if I deem to see an application incomplete or
>> perhaps a bit early to apply to the particular set of upload rights, I
>> would simply abstain with a short explanation and then catch up with
>> the applicant privately on a detailed view of what I thought of his
>> application, his positives and why I exactly thought his application
>> was incomplete, So that it enables him to focus on the shortcomings
>> and hone his strengths even better.
>> In short, I would rather prefer to a soft redirect, considering the
>> applicants' work with the passion and motivation factor that comes
>> into picture when contributing to an open source environment.
> Do you agree with my argument that if such soft redirects are happening in
> large numbers, this is a problem?

Large number of rejections are definitely a problem because it can
create a psychological impact on the existing contributors who have
not yet applied for upload rights and much more potential contributors
in the pipeline. Which boils down to three points in my view:

1. The DMB procedures are well documented but can have difficulties in
quantifying the same as on any given day each person on the DMB is
free to interpret situations in his own manner.

2. Lack of prerequisite information/awareness of the processes on the
applicant side eventually ending up applying for a wrong area of
upload rights in ubuntu (IMHO, thinking levels and interpretation of
things will differ from person to person), which might lead to change
of application areas as we have seen in the past where DMB and
applicants' thinking have differed.

3. Fear of rejection (that you might not be suitable for a particular
area of uploads) so that it might give rise to a situation where
potential applicants might not end up applying for upload rights

Thanks for starting the thread as it makes up for an interesting
discussion and election.

Bhavani Shankar
Ubuntu Developer       |

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