[maemo-community] maemo.org paid contributors (was Re: Monthly Sprint Proposal)

From: Ryan Abel rabelg5 at gmail.com
Date: Wed Apr 8 19:35:18 EEST 2009
On Apr 8, 2009, at 6:08 AM, Jeremiah Foster wrote:

> This is clear in no uncertain terms, and is as it should be. But this
> also describes a two way street - if the council takes on the
> responsibility of hiring a person, they have the obligation to fulfill
> their end of the bargain and not change terms and conditions with a
> new council. This is exactly what is happening now. When Alan writes
> "I'm still unclear about the council's role in "policing" the paid
> maemo.org team. To what extent are we the team's "bosses"?" he is
> pointing to the lack of a clearly defined relationship between the
> employer and employee. That relationship must be formalized before
> there is hue and cry about "performance concerns, etc..."
> "staying on task".
> This ought to be obvious to all concerned - before you can hold
> someone accountable, you need to define their responsibilities.

. . . and I think we did when we hired you, no? You outlined it pretty  
well in another email:

> 	1. Creating packages for maemo
> 	2. Maintaing tools for packaging and policy for packaging
> 	3. Helping, along with the webmaster, to create healthy ecosystem of
> repositories.

although I think that assisting developers with packaging needs to be  
near the top of that list.

> The current council is ignoring this and looking for ways to "police"
> and "boss" before the roles are defined.

Well, now I know what it's like to work for Maemo SW, anyway. . . .

What _I'm_ seeing here is a strong reaction to the language usage in a  
__question__. Questions aren't statements of intent, nor should they  
receive strong reactions as if they were. If every question had such a  
big reaction, people would stop asking questions outright and then  
where would we be? :)

> This is an abrogation of the
> agreement with the previous council, even if that agreement was
> implicit and poorly defined. It is also an implicit criticism of the
> paid staff and of the previous council, for some reason Alan feels
> that the staff need to "stay on task" and need "policing". This is
> more than poor language choice, it points to the desire for hierarchy
> in what is traditionally a flat organizational structure.
>>> Turning to the council for a judgement of people's performance  
>>> leaves
>>> lots of room for personal opinions and unprofessional appraisals,
>>> this
>>> will almost certainly be an area of contention that will require
>>> delicate handling.
>> Only if you think the council is opinionated and unprofessional.
> In some instances the council has been unprofessional, so yes, I do
> think that.

If you have a specific issue, I'd like to hear it. This is the same  
sort of thing that spawned this discussion.

>> I don't think the community (including Nokia) forgets that the
>> maemo.org
>> team is made of  people (on the contrary, you are getting much more
>> personal trust, understanding and appraisal an average employee would
>> get in an average corporate job).
> To say I get "much more" of those things from the community and Nokia
> is not factually correct, especially after statements like this;
> "<qole> I agree that the paid people should work for the community. So
> that means that the Council is the "boss" of the paid team, as elected
> representatives of the community. I'm just looking for a word that
> conveys the "buck stops here" role, when there are performance
> concerns, etc..."

Notice he said the _average_ employee. Presenting a specific case to  
contradict an average is not factually accurate.

> Surely you agree that is a direct questioning of the performance of
> the paid staff?

I don't. What I see is qole trying to figure out what his role really  
is, requesting that people involved in maemo.org make an effort to be  
clear and open in their reporting, and some proposals for how to make  
that easier for everybody.

Ryan Abel
Maemo Community Council member

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