Drupal Association Journey: Pedro Cambra

DrupalCares

The past couple of months have been very eventful in the Drupal Association, I can say I've been on boarded and I'm ready to participate in several committees and the general board meetings. The next being this upcoming Tuesday the 23rd at around lunchtime.

I'd like to start with a couple of updates I want to mention:

How's been like in the past 2 months

First board meeting

On December 15th 2020 I attended the first board meeting, and although minutes for this one or the October 2020 one are not available yet, I'll try to sum up a little bit. Both myself and Tiffany were presented (again) to the board. We got a quite extensive introduction by Heather, the DA Executive Director, regarding staff updates and current teams and what they do. There was a surprising amount of sales focus on this update, including a special mention to the #DrupalCares fundraising campaign which has been fundamental to the continuity of the organization during the pandemic. The new merge requests and issue forks feature on Drupal.org also was part of the update. This is supported by GitLab and it is one giant step forward for contributions. We also discussed a little bit about the Drupal steward program, a mashup between the Drupal Security Team and the Drupal Association that provides a WAF service and has the aim to explore this area where the DA can facilitate these kinds of services and be less economically dependent of DrupalCon. The program is still very new for definitive conclusions but the update was a positive one. There were other topics on the table such as the Drupal 9 update roadmap for Drupal.org, core initiatives and financials.

Additionally there was a DrupalCon Europe update, which had around 800 participants and some suggestions were mentioned for this year's but it is quite early to know what DrupalCon Europe 2021 is going to look.

I was assigned to two committees, the Community and Governance one, which I am very happy to participate in and then the Finance committee, which I was very reluctant as I don't know if I can add much value there but after two meetings of the committee I am very happy to have been included in those discussions.

Finally, I was able to include a discussion for next board meeting (23rd of February) about the voting eligibility issue. I've prepared a couple of proposals and I hope to give an update next week about next steps.

Community and Governance committee

You can check who's on what committee in this page. Leslie chairs this one and we're discussing quite a bit on how to communicate effectively to the broader community. There's going to be a survey to get suggestions and I will promote it as soon as it is ready.

Since my last update, this committee has met twice (some committees meet monthly), and I think the second one went way better than the first one, I am really looking forward to work more on these initiatives.

One of the main focus of this committee I think is to identify opportunities of early communication regarding the DA programs so information is clearer and more adequate for the larger community.

This committee has discussed regarding the voting eligibility issue and I have been given the opportunity to present some of my ideas and proposals previous to the board meeting.

Interestingly enough, Rachel Lawson brought the topic of community cultivation grants and whether we have the chance to restart the program, which I think if the budget allows, it's an excellent initiative.

Finance committee

This committee meets also monthly and Angie gives a thorough update through the finances, how the year is progressing and things such as audits and reality vs projections. Baddý chairs this committee. As mentioned, I was reluctant about being part of this one, but I think I can give some valuable input despite not being my specialty at all.

Really good news came out of this committee last month. The upcoming DrupalCon was originally set in Boston and it is going to be celebrated online due to the pandemic, the DA was still accountable for cancellation fees with the venue but the staff has been able to get a waiver for that!

Community Working Group

I also had the opportunity to meet with the Community Working Group a few weeks ago, they are really nice folk who have a huge impact in our community and the nature of the chair I have in the DA board puts me in a position where I overlook the group and if there's an escalation issue, me and Leslie would be responsible of dealing with that. This is something that has never happened so the less I see this very fine group of people, the better :). We will meet annually for a quick check in.

There was something very interesting to mention, ever since we don't have in person events, they are less busy. I think this is something for us, as in the whole community to reflect on.

Upcoming board meeting

For this upcoming meeting, there's a big agenda, but the voting eligibility issue will be in it. I will make my case and hope we can get to a resolution that can bring some closure and sense of reparation to the community.

Anything you want to ask me or if you want to share concerns and comments, please do get in touch with me.

Note: This blog has the comments disabled, please feel free to send me a message through my contact page if you need to discuss anything related to the community and the Drupal Association. You can also tweet at me or find me in Drupal Slack or the distributed matrix network as pcambra.

#Drupal

I want to make my Drupal Association tenure as open as possible and even if my appointment doesn't start until November 1st, some processes have already being started.

How does the onboarding work

A few days after the voting was closed, I received series of emails from the DA representatives. I was notified on October 2th that I'd won the elections and I was requested to accept the nomination, which I gladly did.

On October 6th all the candidates were notified and on October 13th, it was made public. Here's the announcement and my acceptance speech.

A little bit after that I got a few emails from a couple of the current board members and Audra Martin Merrick and I spent some time in a video call as an introduction. This was very nice of her and it was a very similar process to what I'd experienced on 2012.

Yesterday (October 23rd), I had the onboarding call with Heather Rocker, who is the Executive Director of the DA. This call included some other board members such as Audra, Baddý and Leslie Glynn who was elected as community director in 2019.

Alright, but how does the onboarding work

We spent 90 minutes in a video call reviewing the Drupal Association mission and values, how many staff works in the current programs, who they are and where they're located. Fortunately, the DA has moved forward a lot in the past years and not everyone is in Portland, with a couple of members in Europe and India.

There was a lot of content regarding to how the DA wants to support the community (drupal.org, DrupalCon, support to the security team, and a lot of other stuff, some of it can be found in detail in the DA “what we do” page.

Then we moved to an overview of how the finances work, most of it is public due to the 501c3 status of the DA and can be found in the accountability page.

I did ask some questions at this point regarding the new Drupal Steward program and how the revenue work. I need to gather more information but this is something I'd like to get more light on.

There were some slides and quite some discussion about the goals and objectives of the Drupal Association, I did find this part lacking of more goals towards the community at large but there was a latter part where Leslie, who is taking over the leadership on the Community committee went over the initiatives in progress. I am obviously really interested in getting started to collaborate on this committee and offer more information about it.

The board itself was presented, including new members that will be announced on November 1st and some obligations and recommendations were presented.

As a director, you need to serve in at least one committee for your term and the committees organize as working groups and meet often, while the whole board meets more or less bimonthly for what I understood. There are between 11 and 15 members at one given time, 2 of them being selected by the community (or Drupal Association members in this last election).

We discussed very briefly about the next three year plan for the DA, and we talked quite a lot about the #DrupalCares program and future of DrupalCon.

I found very refreshing being informed to what Directors are expected to do and the myriad of opportunities to add value that Heather described, I was really lost on 2012 on this area and this was really good to hear.

Things such as going thoroughly about the meeting materials before meetings or being an ambassador of Drupal were always clear to me, but I am looking forward to these additional opportunities to help.

Finally, Audra presented the board member agreement, which is available in the DA information pages and it was very similar to what I signed back in 2012.

Please mind that some of the contents of the onboarding are confidential and I am not able to share those yet.

What now?

This is what I want to know too. The board will meet before November 1st to ratify the new seats, including the community one (me), and from then I will be on my seat for 2 years.

I want to start gathering information as soon as I'm able so I can present some answers to the community regarding the election process and why the right to vote was removed from the community at large, this is my main goal and I am optimistic in getting responses.

Anything you want to ask me, please get in touch with me.

Note: This blog has the comments disabled, please feel free to send me a message through my contact page if you need to discuss anything related to the community and the Drupal Association. You can also tweet at me or find me in Drupal Slack or the distributed matrix network as pcambra.

#Drupal