During last OpenStack board meeting, we started a dialog that will be continued over the rest of the year. It concerns how/if we should apply our criteria to measure the contributions of companies that are applying to become Gold members.
I believe that we should see many contribution “footprints” for companies in Foundation leadership positions. These footprints do not have to be code in github: there are many visible ways to contribute to OpenStack including internal installs, delivered product, community meetups, open source support around code, service to the community through speaking and sponsoring and, of course, code too.
At this point in the OpenStack evolution, there is so much going on that it is easy to leave footprints because there are so many ways to engage. Footprints are tangible evidence of community leadership and the currency of collaboration. OpenStack thrives because we are committed to working together, being transparent in our actions and providing service to the project beyond our own needs.
I believe OpenStack Foundation’s new gold members will are great additions to our growing community; however, we need to be increasingly deliberate in accepting new Gold members to make sure that they have a history of demonstrating a culture of open source leadership and contribution.
These applications deserve careful consideration for several reasons:
- there are a limited number of gold level positions (16 of the 24 are now occupied)
- there is no practical way to remove a gold member (but only 8 are elected to the board)
- there is a perception (by the applicants) that they gain additional credibility through gold membership
- gold and platinum members are the leaders of our community so everyone will models their behavior
It is important to remember that there is no limit or barrier (beyond $) to joining at the corporate sponsors level. So, being a gold member means that companies are seeking a broader leadership role in the project.
Over the next months, Simon Anderson (committee chair, Dreamhost) will be leading me and several other board members in an effort to refine of our Gold member review criteria. I’ll post own list shortly and I’m interested in hearing from you about what type of “footprints” we should be considered in this process.