Discussion:
How and where to search for help at Mozilla
(too old to reply)
Rubén Martín
2013-04-04 17:39:56 UTC
Permalink
Hi,

I would like to open a discussion here about something that I've been
observing more and more at Mozilla, starting probably 2 years ago or so.

When some team or employee (it's not everyone but a big number) needs
help, first tries to hire or pay someone and then, if he can't or needs
extra help, pings the volunteers. This lead to a lot of situations where
the volunteers are not needed or they are like a extra or free resource,
last bullet good to have.

Historically this was completely the opposite, you have a project or an
idea, you work with all mozillians (current employees and volunteers)
and if you can't make it this way, you look for extra paid help.

Why and when this switch happened?

I would start the discussion saying that I think this a huge problem
right now, if new employees are instructed or used to paid help first,
we will kill the community. It's not nice to feel like free people only
needed if we can't get anything better paying...

Regards.
--
Rubén Martín [Nukeador]
Mozilla Reps Mentor
http://www.mozilla-hispano.org
http://twitter.com/mozilla_hispano
http://facebook.com/mozillahispano
Irvin Chen
2013-04-04 19:37:13 UTC
Permalink
We'd feel this problem a lot at marketing side at Taipei newly office.

The marketing team of TW office begin with a marketing Lead, marketing
manager and web designer at winter 2011,
beside make a website, they also opened a blog translate news from
http://blog.mozilla.org, which community had done for more than 5 years,
but they not letting community to help on office's blog for any bit.
In fact, they done it badly, the translated article are usually contain
mistake and not fluency compare to community-owned blog.

I just feel that they just don't believe anything non-employee had done,
we had maintain highly quality news blog (mostly the same resource as
company's),
a product website, a lot of subtitled videos, made a numbers of posters
before,
and they use really small thing we made on the "official event", and
nothing on "official site".

I can understand why this "official" insist came from,
for those newly hired employees formally worked at other company,
"volunteer" just mean un-trust for them,
even they'd hired a formal community liaison,
the manager still don't trust him on 'community can help' idea.

But this should not be at Mozilla, and it just don't work for as to
suggesting that "we can help", for many many times through out the whole
one and half year,
we just gave up, and make better quality things after they publish bad one.

For ex., there is an "Mozillia 2012" poster made by employee, and it done
badly not only on translating but also on layout.
We re-make one in 2 days, and here is the comparison:
MoCo-TW version:
Loading Image...
Community version:
Loading Image...
Loading Image...
The company's blog with the poster:
http://blog.mozilla.com.tw/posts/1706/mozilla-2012-%E5%85%A8%E9%AB%94%E5%8B%95%E5%93%A1%E4%BB%A4

It just one example, and we'd face many, like "release channel poster",
translate of "Mozilla 15 anny. fact"...

After we share with them, they still resistant to use better one on there
published blog[1], only because it's NOT OFFICIAL MADE BY EMPLOYEE.

In fact, as we observed, when they really need help, they'd rather to call
for help with employee of Beijing office than community volunteer who is
good at the things they need.

And to solve the badly translating issues, guess what, they finally hired a
employee specific to do that this month. I just wonder Why bother spend
salary on things community can help (and community had done for years),
because they had budget?

I think as we open more offices and hire more non-premozillian employees,
the problem will getting worse.
I don't see any chance for us to change this situation, if we had someone
in Mozilla Corporation who have faith and insist on "Official production",
and even seated as regional marketing lead, in such situation, volunteer's
'non-official' opinion means Nothing.

Always sadly and disappointment on the things happened at that office,
which usually against what we believed on Mozilla for years before it
opened.

Irvin
Taiwan community liaison


On Fri, Apr 5, 2013 at 1:39 AM, Rubén Martín
Post by Rubén Martín
Hi,
I would like to open a discussion here about something that I've been
observing more and more at Mozilla, starting probably 2 years ago or so.
When some team or employee (it's not everyone but a big number) needs
help, first tries to hire or pay someone and then, if he can't or needs
extra help, pings the volunteers. This lead to a lot of situations where
the volunteers are not needed or they are like a extra or free resource,
last bullet good to have.
Historically this was completely the opposite, you have a project or an
idea, you work with all mozillians (current employees and volunteers)
and if you can't make it this way, you look for extra paid help.
Why and when this switch happened?
I would start the discussion saying that I think this a huge problem
right now, if new employees are instructed or used to paid help first,
we will kill the community. It's not nice to feel like free people only
needed if we can't get anything better paying...
Regards.
--
Rubén Martín [Nukeador]
Mozilla Reps Mentor
http://www.mozilla-hispano.org
http://twitter.com/mozilla_hispano
http://facebook.com/mozillahispano
_______________________________________________
governance mailing list
https://lists.mozilla.org/listinfo/governance
--
@ irvinfly: community liaison
moztw.org Mozilla Taiwan community
Stormy Peters
2013-04-04 20:43:49 UTC
Permalink
Hi Irvin,

I hear your frustration.

I don't have an easy answer to the problem but I just wanted to let you
know that many of us Mozillians, paid staff and nonpaid staff alike, have a
lot of faith in our whole community. I know the work the community is doing
is great! On many teams that I am a part of at Mozilla, work is welcomed by
anyone who would like to contribute.

That said, I think communication and trust building are real challenges for
Mozilla as we grow and add new products. We'll need to all continue to work
together - and it won't always be easy! - to make sure our team building
and communication channels make us better. I know there are many efforts in
place to make sure that we can clearly communicated who's a trusted member
of our community (Mozillians, Mozilla Reps, etc) and ways we are working to
bring people together (more open work weeks, Mozilla Summit, etc).

So please continue the great work and we'll all figure this out together!

Stormy
Post by Irvin Chen
We'd feel this problem a lot at marketing side at Taipei newly office.
The marketing team of TW office begin with a marketing Lead, marketing
manager and web designer at winter 2011,
beside make a website, they also opened a blog translate news from
http://blog.mozilla.org, which community had done for more than 5 years,
but they not letting community to help on office's blog for any bit.
In fact, they done it badly, the translated article are usually contain
mistake and not fluency compare to community-owned blog.
I just feel that they just don't believe anything non-employee had done,
we had maintain highly quality news blog (mostly the same resource as
company's),
a product website, a lot of subtitled videos, made a numbers of posters
before,
and they use really small thing we made on the "official event", and
nothing on "official site".
I can understand why this "official" insist came from,
for those newly hired employees formally worked at other company,
"volunteer" just mean un-trust for them,
even they'd hired a formal community liaison,
the manager still don't trust him on 'community can help' idea.
But this should not be at Mozilla, and it just don't work for as to
suggesting that "we can help", for many many times through out the whole
one and half year,
we just gave up, and make better quality things after they publish bad one.
For ex., there is an "Mozillia 2012" poster made by employee, and it done
badly not only on translating but also on layout.
https://www.dropbox.com/s/vem1uxjipuipmbk/Mozilla-in-2012%20%E5%85%AC%E5%8F%B8%E7%89%88.jpg
https://www.dropbox.com/s/jww8g8h7rtaqxqe/Mozilla-in-2012.png
http://images.plurk.com/3TOFjy1QuOFweeWvsJ87ic.jpg
http://blog.mozilla.com.tw/posts/1706/mozilla-2012-%E5%85%A8%E9%AB%94%E5%8B%95%E5%93%A1%E4%BB%A4
It just one example, and we'd face many, like "release channel poster",
translate of "Mozilla 15 anny. fact"...
After we share with them, they still resistant to use better one on there
published blog[1], only because it's NOT OFFICIAL MADE BY EMPLOYEE.
In fact, as we observed, when they really need help, they'd rather to call
for help with employee of Beijing office than community volunteer who is
good at the things they need.
And to solve the badly translating issues, guess what, they finally hired a
employee specific to do that this month. I just wonder Why bother spend
salary on things community can help (and community had done for years),
because they had budget?
I think as we open more offices and hire more non-premozillian employees,
the problem will getting worse.
I don't see any chance for us to change this situation, if we had someone
in Mozilla Corporation who have faith and insist on "Official production",
and even seated as regional marketing lead, in such situation, volunteer's
'non-official' opinion means Nothing.
Always sadly and disappointment on the things happened at that office,
which usually against what we believed on Mozilla for years before it
opened.
Irvin
Taiwan community liaison
On Fri, Apr 5, 2013 at 1:39 AM, Rubén Martín
Post by Rubén Martín
Hi,
I would like to open a discussion here about something that I've been
observing more and more at Mozilla, starting probably 2 years ago or so.
When some team or employee (it's not everyone but a big number) needs
help, first tries to hire or pay someone and then, if he can't or needs
extra help, pings the volunteers. This lead to a lot of situations where
the volunteers are not needed or they are like a extra or free resource,
last bullet good to have.
Historically this was completely the opposite, you have a project or an
idea, you work with all mozillians (current employees and volunteers)
and if you can't make it this way, you look for extra paid help.
Why and when this switch happened?
I would start the discussion saying that I think this a huge problem
right now, if new employees are instructed or used to paid help first,
we will kill the community. It's not nice to feel like free people only
needed if we can't get anything better paying...
Regards.
--
Rubén Martín [Nukeador]
Mozilla Reps Mentor
http://www.mozilla-hispano.org
http://twitter.com/mozilla_hispano
http://facebook.com/mozillahispano
_______________________________________________
governance mailing list
https://lists.mozilla.org/listinfo/governance
--
@ irvinfly: community liaison
moztw.org Mozilla Taiwan community
_______________________________________________
governance mailing list
https://lists.mozilla.org/listinfo/governance
Li Gong
2013-04-05 06:39:52 UTC
Permalink
Hi Irvin,

In general I fully echo Stormy's points here, and readily accept that how everyone work together is a continuing topic that needs to be addressed and improved upon, worldwide. But since you singled out Mozilla Taiwan office and painted a pretty bleak picture, I feel compelled to respond to your claims here on this list, even though we have had extensive back and forth discussion at MozCamp Asia last year and subsequently at the mailing list of MozTW. In order to keep this email short, I will briefly emphasize three major points here. I am willing to continue discussion here or elsewhere, as needed.

1. The stories you presented are quite one-sided. Some of your "demands" and "expectations" are unrealistic or impractical. (I use the word "you" and "your" to loosely denote MozTW, because you are the current coordinator, although I am fully aware that there are different voices among the group.) You wanted Mozilla Taiwan to open all marketing and engagement staff meetings to MozTW members, and to publicly share meeting minutes. (Instead we have agreed to share all significant things relevant to the community, to the MozTW group alias, as early as possible.) You wanted to be able to directly assign MozTW tasks to Mozilla Reps (or Campus Ambassadors), and we declined (although we encourage all reps to be aware of MozTW and its activities and we believe some of them are active participants). You wanted Mozilla Taiwan to mandate participation by paid staff at MozTW events, and we said we could encourage them to attend but cannot put that into job requirement. These are just a few examples I can easily recall at this moment. The point is that you cannot use the "open" moniker to try to force everyone to work the way you want, and label people as being "un-Mozillian" if they do not agree with you.

2. I fully accept that Mozilla Taiwan has a lot to learn and have a lot of room to improve in how it communicates and works with the local communities (MozTW being one of the most vocal ones, but clearly not the only Mozilla community in Taiwan). We made mistakes in our first year of the new office, for sure, and we will probably make some more unavoidably in the coming years. Ironically, we initially hired Bob Chao, the then (and long serving) MozTW coordinator into the paid staff as community manager, believing that was the best way to bridge the new office with the existing community. To our surprise and disappointment, that did not achieve the intended results. After the issues have surfaced late last year, we have made, and we continue to make, improvements and try to adjust the way things are done. We have repeatedly said that we are open to constructive suggestions and will adapt wherever it makes sense.

3. In order to improve working relationships between any two parties, having trust and confidence on both sides is essential. If your posture continues to be on the lookout for any missteps at MT and then stomp on it and run a victory lap, that does not help the situation. And I want to flag your reference to Beijing, where Mozilla has an office. It is plain common (not just at Mozilla) to work together among people at different offices, and in this instance our Beijing office has had 7 years of desktop experience so it is natural for them to lend a hand to the new Taipei office (just as our Taipei office is lending a strong hand to the Beijing office on our mobile work). But there is a strong sentiment among certain people in Taiwan at large (and certainly among some vocal MozTW members) that "Beijing is the enemy". I understand that this is related to bigger geopolitical context and the cross-strait relationship at the country level and we cannot completely avoid that in our work life. Nevertheless, I do not see any leadership person at MozTW taking any action to counter this geopolitical issue. It would be good if the MozTW leadership can articulate a clear position over this issue, just as we have made it clear to our paid staff to not bring this type of politics into work at the MT office.

To conclude, I would state again that we have every intention to work closely together. What could help us right now is a series of confidence building steps to improve how we work over time. I believe the Mozilla Taiwan office has already started taking steps in that direction, and we are open to further suggestions and ideas. Lastly, let me be super clear that I am not saying the issue (of paid staff vs volunteers), in general, should not be discussed. It should be, no doubt, but it is more fruitful to have that discussion in a mutually supportive and constructive manner.

Thanks,

Li
--
Li Gong (宫力)
CEO Mozilla Online Ltd and Mozilla Taiwan
Post by Stormy Peters
Hi Irvin,
I hear your frustration.
I don't have an easy answer to the problem but I just wanted to let you
know that many of us Mozillians, paid staff and nonpaid staff alike, have a
lot of faith in our whole community. I know the work the community is doing
is great! On many teams that I am a part of at Mozilla, work is welcomed by
anyone who would like to contribute.
That said, I think communication and trust building are real challenges for
Mozilla as we grow and add new products. We'll need to all continue to work
together - and it won't always be easy! - to make sure our team building
and communication channels make us better. I know there are many efforts in
place to make sure that we can clearly communicated who's a trusted member
of our community (Mozillians, Mozilla Reps, etc) and ways we are working to
bring people together (more open work weeks, Mozilla Summit, etc).
So please continue the great work and we'll all figure this out together!
Stormy
Post by Irvin Chen
We'd feel this problem a lot at marketing side at Taipei newly office.
The marketing team of TW office begin with a marketing Lead, marketing
manager and web designer at winter 2011,
beside make a website, they also opened a blog translate news from
http://blog.mozilla.org, which community had done for more than 5 years,
but they not letting community to help on office's blog for any bit.
In fact, they done it badly, the translated article are usually contain
mistake and not fluency compare to community-owned blog.
I just feel that they just don't believe anything non-employee had done,
we had maintain highly quality news blog (mostly the same resource as
company's),
a product website, a lot of subtitled videos, made a numbers of posters
before,
and they use really small thing we made on the "official event", and
nothing on "official site".
I can understand why this "official" insist came from,
for those newly hired employees formally worked at other company,
"volunteer" just mean un-trust for them,
even they'd hired a formal community liaison,
the manager still don't trust him on 'community can help' idea.
But this should not be at Mozilla, and it just don't work for as to
suggesting that "we can help", for many many times through out the whole
one and half year,
we just gave up, and make better quality things after they publish bad one.
For ex., there is an "Mozillia 2012" poster made by employee, and it done
badly not only on translating but also on layout.
https://www.dropbox.com/s/vem1uxjipuipmbk/Mozilla-in-2012%20%E5%85%AC%E5%8F%B8%E7%89%88.jpg
https://www.dropbox.com/s/jww8g8h7rtaqxqe/Mozilla-in-2012.png
http://images.plurk.com/3TOFjy1QuOFweeWvsJ87ic.jpg
http://blog.mozilla.com.tw/posts/1706/mozilla-2012-%E5%85%A8%E9%AB%94%E5%8B%95%E5%93%A1%E4%BB%A4
It just one example, and we'd face many, like "release channel poster",
translate of "Mozilla 15 anny. fact"...
After we share with them, they still resistant to use better one on there
published blog[1], only because it's NOT OFFICIAL MADE BY EMPLOYEE.
In fact, as we observed, when they really need help, they'd rather to call
for help with employee of Beijing office than community volunteer who is
good at the things they need.
And to solve the badly translating issues, guess what, they finally hired a
employee specific to do that this month. I just wonder Why bother spend
salary on things community can help (and community had done for years),
because they had budget?
I think as we open more offices and hire more non-premozillian employees,
the problem will getting worse.
I don't see any chance for us to change this situation, if we had someone
in Mozilla Corporation who have faith and insist on "Official production",
and even seated as regional marketing lead, in such situation, volunteer's
'non-official' opinion means Nothing.
Always sadly and disappointment on the things happened at that office,
which usually against what we believed on Mozilla for years before it
opened.
Irvin
Taiwan community liaison
On Fri, Apr 5, 2013 at 1:39 AM, Rubén Martín
Post by Rubén Martín
Hi,
I would like to open a discussion here about something that I've been
observing more and more at Mozilla, starting probably 2 years ago or so.
When some team or employee (it's not everyone but a big number) needs
help, first tries to hire or pay someone and then, if he can't or needs
extra help, pings the volunteers. This lead to a lot of situations where
the volunteers are not needed or they are like a extra or free resource,
last bullet good to have.
Historically this was completely the opposite, you have a project or an
idea, you work with all mozillians (current employees and volunteers)
and if you can't make it this way, you look for extra paid help.
Why and when this switch happened?
I would start the discussion saying that I think this a huge problem
right now, if new employees are instructed or used to paid help first,
we will kill the community. It's not nice to feel like free people only
needed if we can't get anything better paying...
Regards.
--
Rubén Martín [Nukeador]
Mozilla Reps Mentor
http://www.mozilla-hispano.org
http://twitter.com/mozilla_hispano
http://facebook.com/mozillahispano
_______________________________________________
governance mailing list
https://lists.mozilla.org/listinfo/governance
--
@ irvinfly: community liaison
moztw.org Mozilla Taiwan community
_______________________________________________
governance mailing list
https://lists.mozilla.org/listinfo/governance
_______________________________________________
governance mailing list
https://lists.mozilla.org/listinfo/governance
Irvin Chen
2013-04-05 10:13:20 UTC
Permalink
Hi Dr Li and all,

I think you're mentioning the list issues in the memo we gathered from
community to be discussion with MoCo-TW on behalf of your suggestion[1],
but the end there is no discussion, only direct reply on some of the
issue[2], and I'd to specific emphasize out I did not REQUEST these things
you mention, there must be some misunderstanding or fault conclusion on the
info you got.

First of all, these issues in list we gather is for discussion (as you said
at Jan. 14 on community list[3]), not request, if you take it as request,
of course it seams in-practical at some part. Because
that's widely community people's thought and expectation on how Mozilla
should work, I agree that some should be done in different levels (like
"openness") or some cannot be done for now, but it should be discussion,
not replied as our request.

I'm going to emphasize again, these suggestions are raise for discussion,
not request. If we don't discussion, how do we know which is "unrealistic
or impractical" as you said?

[1] https://etherpad.mozilla.org/ep/pad/view/moztw-issue-on-mocotw/rev.4219 (in
zh)
[2] https://groups.google.com/d/msg/moztw-general/k04IZVEL7nM/rpQuNVQjBcgJ
[3] https://groups.google.com/d/msg/moztw-general/Ssju-0I1tLs/E8PGSnw90rEJ

I'll explain at each part you mention to everyone, and please correct me if
I made some mistake.
Post by Li Gong
1. The stories you presented are quite one-sided. Some of your "demands"
and "expectations" are unrealistic or impractical. (I use the word "you"
and "your" to loosely denote MozTW, because you are the current
coordinator, although I am fully aware that there are different voices
among the group.) You wanted Mozilla Taiwan to open all marketing and
engagement staff meetings to MozTW members, and to publicly share meeting
minutes. (Instead we have agreed to share all significant things relevant
to the community, to the MozTW group alias, as early as possible.)
I did not request Mozilla Taiwan to open ALL marketing and engagement staff
meetings to MozTW members and publicly share meeting minutes. In fact, the
meeting notes were open by Mozilla Taiwan initiative (on Nov. 14 [4]), it's
before we raise some issues on the notes below, not doing upon my request.
Although it's seems too simplify for people to understand, and only
published for 4 weeks then stop, so we raise this issue at list to be
discussion.

The related issues we raised were point 3-1 and 3-2 of the list[1].

3-1 said, "Mozilla should work in openness", it's not question of 'open or
not', it's the question on 'level of openness'. Beside the commercial and
confidential one, the campaign run by employee should not be close
operation.

3-2 said, "Do publicly of meeting notes seriously.", 'do not doing it
sometimes and not sometimes, and do not cut the content too shorten to be
understand.'

[4]
https://groups.google.com/d/msg/mozilla.community.taiwan/uNaercd5a0k/62Me9fDiMwQJ

The suggestion we rise on this topic in the following is that, 1. Marketing
team should working on a openness mailing list, think everyone as remotie
on non-confidential things 2. Do some recording and broadcasting while
meeting (like on airmozilla) 3. open chance of people involve in meetings.
4. Open the chance for community people to involve from the beginning of
planning marketing campaign event, 5. List out the things which request for
for community's help on meeting notes.
Post by Li Gong
You wanted to be able to directly assign MozTW tasks to Mozilla Reps (or
Campus Ambassadors), and we declined (although we encourage all reps to be
aware of MozTW and its activities and we believe some of them are active
participants).
It should be on our discussion list[1] as point 2, it said:

2-1. Community problem (Firefox campus ambassador)
Running campus ambassador program is to widely community, stronger the
community power, we should avoid to separating the community power in the
end, with the MoCo-TW running community program, and try to help newly
people involved in the current community, not set-up another community by
company. While we broading the community with some campaign, the current
community can and should help.

The background of the issue why we raise state in following,

2-2, 'Campus ambassador', the campaign of building a student community in
Taiwan, are not open for current volunteer to involved and help, the
communication channel of this "campus ambassador" are not open at all,
current community volunteer cannot help them at any way. The program of
campus ambassador also not encourage them to participate in current
community-running projects.

2-3 The suggestion we made on this issue is that, open the current
conversation channel (a secret group on Facebook) used by employees and
joined students, or set up a open mailing list and let someone who is
interesting to help and discussion with these student, to be able to get
involve.
Post by Li Gong
You wanted Mozilla Taiwan to mandate participation by paid staff at MozTW
events, and we said we could encourage them to attend but cannot put that
into job requirement. These are just a few examples I can easily recall at
this moment.
And this should be the point 5 on the list,

5. Community and MoCo-TW interactive:
Community and company are lake of communication, community and company are
lake of interaction and cannot familiar with each other.
The suggestion is that, try to participate in the event of community, in
the last one year we barely see the marketing employee participate. to
create the chance for community and employee to know each other.

The point is that you cannot use the "open" moniker to try to force
Post by Li Gong
everyone to work the way you want, and label people as being "un-Mozillian"
if they do not agree with you.
I'm not doing so, and I have to state out again, the list of issues is
gather for discussion between community people including me and employees,
you should not take it as my personal requestment.

I believe in Mozilla should operation in openness, but I'm not saying that
those people and department not operating this way are not Mozilla.
Post by Li Gong
2. I fully accept that Mozilla Taiwan has a lot to learn and have a lot of
room to improve in how it communicates and works with the local communities
(MozTW being one of the most vocal ones, but clearly not the only Mozilla
community in Taiwan). We made mistakes in our first year of the new office,
for sure, and we will probably make some more unavoidably in the coming
years. Ironically, we initially hired Bob Chao, the then (and long serving)
MozTW coordinator into the paid staff as community manager, believing that
was the best way to bridge the new office with the existing community. To
our surprise and disappointment, that did not achieve the intended
results. After the issues have surfaced late last year, we have made, and
we continue to make, improvements and try to adjust the way things are
done. We have repeatedly said that we are open to constructive suggestions
and will adapt wherever it makes sense.
The problem is that, if we hired a community people, but he was hardly to
working with community volunteers in above non-so-open operating way, how
could he be the bridge of new office and existing community?
Post by Li Gong
3. In order to improve working relationships between any two parties,
having trust and confidence on both sides is essential. If your posture
continues to be on the lookout for any missteps at MT and then stomp on it
and run a victory lap, that does not help the situation. And I want to flag
your reference to Beijing, where Mozilla has an office. It is plain common
(not just at Mozilla) to work together among people at different offices,
and in this instance our Beijing office has had 7 years of desktop
experience so it is natural for them to lend a hand to the new Taipei
office (just as our Taipei office is lending a strong hand to the Beijing
office on our mobile work). But there is a strong sentiment among certain
people in Taiwan at large (and certainly among some vocal MozTW members)
that "Beijing is the enemy". I understand that this is related to bigger
geopolitical context and the cross-strait relationship at the country level
and we cannot completely avoid that in our work life. Nevertheless, I do
not see any leadership person at MozTW taking any action to counter this
geopolitical issue. It would be good if the MozTW leadership can articulate
a clear position over this issue, just as we have made it clear to our paid
staff to not bring this type of politics into work at the MT office.
I don't know whom your feel to have "Beijing is the enemy" thought, and I
personally not feeling this. In fact, I always want to visit the office if
possible some time.

I'm mention of that only because of the topic of the discussion, "Some of
the employee won't seeking for the help from local volunteer", but rather
to rely on the lengthly far office on some things which volunteer could
help.
Post by Li Gong
To conclude, I would state again that we have every intention to work
closely together. What could help us right now is a series of confidence
building steps to improve how we work over time. I believe the Mozilla
Taiwan office has already started taking steps in that direction, and we
are open to further suggestions and ideas. Lastly, let me be super clear
that I am not saying the issue (of paid staff vs volunteers), in general,
should not be discussed. It should be, no doubt, but it is more fruitful to
have that discussion in a mutually supportive and constructive manner.
I always feel that the about question and suggestions raised from community
are supportive and constructive, but we're also looking for the practical
discussion and responses from the company, than it will be more help on
improving the confidence to office across the community and volunteer.

And I always hoping that to share my observations and doing more of these
kinds of discussions can preventing the problem happening in Taiwan to be
re-happening in other regions in future.


Dr Li, I'm always thanksful for your kindly reply, and for all other
friends for reading,

Irvin
Post by Li Gong
Hi Irvin,
I hear your frustration.
I don't have an easy answer to the problem but I just wanted to let you
know that many of us Mozillians, paid staff and nonpaid staff alike, have a
lot of faith in our whole community. I know the work the community is doing
is great! On many teams that I am a part of at Mozilla, work is welcomed by
anyone who would like to contribute.
That said, I think communication and trust building are real challenges for
Mozilla as we grow and add new products. We'll need to all continue to work
together - and it won't always be easy! - to make sure our team building
and communication channels make us better. I know there are many efforts in
place to make sure that we can clearly communicated who's a trusted member
of our community (Mozillians, Mozilla Reps, etc) and ways we are working to
bring people together (more open work weeks, Mozilla Summit, etc).
So please continue the great work and we'll all figure this out together!
Stormy
_______________________________________________
governance mailing list
https://lists.mozilla.org/listinfo/governance
--
@ irvinfly: community liaison
moztw.org Mozilla Taiwan community
Irvin Chen
2013-04-05 10:00:48 UTC
Permalink
Hi Dr Li and all,

I think you're mentioning the list issues in the memo we gathered from
community to be discussion with MoCo-TW on behalf of your suggestion[1],
but the end there is no discussion, only direct reply on some of the
issue[2], and I'd to specific emphasize out I did not REQUEST these things
you mention, there must be some misunderstanding or fault conclusion on the
info you got.

First of all, these issues in list we gather is for discussion (as you said
at Jan. 14 on community list[3]), not request, if you take it as request,
of course it seams in-practical at some part. Because
that's widely community people's thought and expectation on how Mozilla
should work, I agree that some should be done in different levels (like
"openness") or some cannot be done for now, but it should be discussion,
not replied as our request.

I'm going to emphasize again, these suggestions are raise for discussion,
not request. If we don't discussion, how do we know which is "unrealistic
or impractical" as you said?

[1] https://etherpad.mozilla.org/ep/pad/view/moztw-issue-on-mocotw/rev.4219(in
zh)
[2] https://groups.google.com/d/msg/moztw-general/k04IZVEL7nM/rpQuNVQjBcgJ
[3] https://groups.google.com/d/msg/moztw-general/Ssju-0I1tLs/E8PGSnw90rEJ

I'll explain at each part you mention to everyone, and please correct me if
I made some mistake.
Post by Li Gong
1. The stories you presented are quite one-sided. Some of your "demands"
and "expectations" are unrealistic or impractical. (I use the word "you"
and "your" to loosely denote MozTW, because you are the current
coordinator, although I am fully aware that there are different voices
among the group.) You wanted Mozilla Taiwan to open all marketing and
engagement staff meetings to MozTW members, and to publicly share meeting
minutes. (Instead we have agreed to share all significant things relevant
to the community, to the MozTW group alias, as early as possible.)
I did not request Mozilla Taiwan to open ALL marketing and engagement staff
meetings to MozTW members and publicly share meeting minutes. In fact, the
meeting notes were open by Mozilla Taiwan initiative (on Nov. 14 [4]), it's
before we raise some issues on the notes below, not doing upon my request.
Although it's seems too simplify for people to understand, and only
published for 4 weeks then stop, so we raise this issue at list to be
discussion.

The related issues we raised were point 3-1 and 3-2 of the list[1].

3-1 said, "Mozilla should work in openness", it's not question of 'open or
not', it's the question on 'level of openness'. Beside the commercial and
confidential one, the campaign run by employee should not be close
operation.

3-2 said, "Do publicly of meeting notes seriously.", 'do not doing it
sometimes and not sometimes, and do not cut the content too shorten to be
understand.'

[4]
https://groups.google.com/d/msg/mozilla.community.taiwan/uNaercd5a0k/62Me9fDiMwQJ

The suggestion we rise on this topic in the following is that, 1. Marketing
team should working on a openness mailing list, think everyone as remotie
on non-confidential things 2. Do some recording and broadcasting while
meeting (like on airmozilla) 3. open chance of people involve in meetings.
4. Open the chance for community people to involve from the beginning of
planning marketing campaign event, 5. List out the things which request for
for community's help on meeting notes.
Post by Li Gong
You wanted to be able to directly assign MozTW tasks to Mozilla Reps (or
Campus Ambassadors), and we declined (although we encourage all reps to be
aware of MozTW and its activities and we believe some of them are active
participants).
It should be on our discussion list[1] as point 2, it said:

2-1. Community problem (Firefox campus ambassador)
Running campus ambassador program is to widely community, stronger the
community power, we should avoid to separating the community power in the
end, with the MoCo-TW running community program, and try to help newly
people involved in the current community, not set-up another community by
company. While we broading the community with some campaign, the current
community can and should help.

The background of the issue why we raise state in following,

2-2, 'Campus ambassador', the campaign of building a student community in
Taiwan, are not open for current volunteer to involved and help, the
communication channel of this "campus ambassador" are not open at all,
current community volunteer cannot help them at any way. The program of
campus ambassador also not encourage them to participate in current
community-running projects.

2-3 The suggestion we made on this issue is that, open the current
conversation channel (a secret group on Facebook) used by employees and
joined students, or set up a open mailing list and let someone who is
interesting to help and discussion with these student, to be able to get
involve.
Post by Li Gong
You wanted Mozilla Taiwan to mandate participation by paid staff at MozTW
events, and we said we could encourage them to attend but cannot put that
into job requirement. These are just a few examples I can easily recall at
this moment.
And this should be the point 5 on the list,

5. Community and MoCo-TW interactive:
Community and company are lake of communication, community and company are
lake of interaction and cannot familiar with each other.
The suggestion is that, try to participate in the event of community, in
the last one year we barely see the marketing employee participate. to
create the chance for community and employee to know each other.

The point is that you cannot use the "open" moniker to try to force
Post by Li Gong
everyone to work the way you want, and label people as being "un-Mozillian"
if they do not agree with you.
I'm not doing so, and I have to state out again, the list of issues is
gather for discussion between community people including me and employees,
you should not take it as my personal requestment.

I believe in Mozilla should operation in openness, but I'm not saying that
those people and department not operating this way are not Mozilla.
Post by Li Gong
2. I fully accept that Mozilla Taiwan has a lot to learn and have a lot of
room to improve in how it communicates and works with the local communities
(MozTW being one of the most vocal ones, but clearly not the only Mozilla
community in Taiwan). We made mistakes in our first year of the new office,
for sure, and we will probably make some more unavoidably in the coming
years. Ironically, we initially hired Bob Chao, the then (and long serving)
MozTW coordinator into the paid staff as community manager, believing that
was the best way to bridge the new office with the existing community. To
our surprise and disappointment, that did not achieve the intended
results. After the issues have surfaced late last year, we have made, and
we continue to make, improvements and try to adjust the way things are
done. We have repeatedly said that we are open to constructive suggestions
and will adapt wherever it makes sense.
The problem is that, if we hired a community people, but he was hardly to
working with community volunteers in above non-so-open operating way, how
could he be the bridge of new office and existing community?
Post by Li Gong
3. In order to improve working relationships between any two parties,
having trust and confidence on both sides is essential. If your posture
continues to be on the lookout for any missteps at MT and then stomp on it
and run a victory lap, that does not help the situation. And I want to flag
your reference to Beijing, where Mozilla has an office. It is plain common
(not just at Mozilla) to work together among people at different offices,
and in this instance our Beijing office has had 7 years of desktop
experience so it is natural for them to lend a hand to the new Taipei
office (just as our Taipei office is lending a strong hand to the Beijing
office on our mobile work). But there is a strong sentiment among certain
people in Taiwan at large (and certainly among some vocal MozTW members)
that "Beijing is the enemy". I understand that this is related to bigger
geopolitical context and the cross-strait relationship at the country level
and we cannot completely avoid that in our work life. Nevertheless, I do
not see any leadership person at MozTW taking any action to counter this
geopolitical issue. It would be good if the MozTW leadership can articulate
a clear position over this issue, just as we have made it clear to our paid
staff to not bring this type of politics into work at the MT office.
I don't know whom your feel to have "Beijing is the enemy" thought, and I
personally not feeling this. In fact, I always want to visit the office if
possible some time.

I'm mention of that only because of the topic of the discussion, "Some of
the employee won't seeking for the help from local volunteer", but rather
to rely on the lengthly far office on some things which volunteer could
help.
Post by Li Gong
To conclude, I would state again that we have every intention to work
closely together. What could help us right now is a series of confidence
building steps to improve how we work over time. I believe the Mozilla
Taiwan office has already started taking steps in that direction, and we
are open to further suggestions and ideas. Lastly, let me be super clear
that I am not saying the issue (of paid staff vs volunteers), in general,
should not be discussed. It should be, no doubt, but it is more fruitful to
have that discussion in a mutually supportive and constructive manner.
I always feel that the about question and suggestions raised from community
are supportive and constructive, but we're also looking for the practical
discussion and responses from the company, than it will be more help on
improving the confidence to office across the community and volunteer.

And I always hoping that to share my observations and doing more of these
kinds of discussions can preventing the problem happening in Taiwan to be
re-happening in other regions in future.


Dr Li, I'm always thanksful for your kindly reply, and for all other
friends for reading,

Irvin

Thanks,
Post by Li Gong
Li
--
Li Gong (宫力)
CEO Mozilla Online Ltd and Mozilla Taiwan
Hi Irvin,
I hear your frustration.
I don't have an easy answer to the problem but I just wanted to let you
know that many of us Mozillians, paid staff and nonpaid staff alike, have a
lot of faith in our whole community. I know the work the community is doing
is great! On many teams that I am a part of at Mozilla, work is welcomed by
anyone who would like to contribute.
That said, I think communication and trust building are real challenges for
Mozilla as we grow and add new products. We'll need to all continue to work
together - and it won't always be easy! - to make sure our team building
and communication channels make us better. I know there are many efforts in
place to make sure that we can clearly communicated who's a trusted member
of our community (Mozillians, Mozilla Reps, etc) and ways we are working to
bring people together (more open work weeks, Mozilla Summit, etc).
So please continue the great work and we'll all figure this out together!
Stormy
We'd feel this problem a lot at marketing side at Taipei newly office.
The marketing team of TW office begin with a marketing Lead, marketing
manager and web designer at winter 2011,
beside make a website, they also opened a blog translate news from
http://blog.mozilla.org, which community had done for more than 5 years,
but they not letting community to help on office's blog for any bit.
In fact, they done it badly, the translated article are usually contain
mistake and not fluency compare to community-owned blog.
I just feel that they just don't believe anything non-employee had done,
we had maintain highly quality news blog (mostly the same resource as
company's),
a product website, a lot of subtitled videos, made a numbers of posters
before,
and they use really small thing we made on the "official event", and
nothing on "official site".
I can understand why this "official" insist came from,
for those newly hired employees formally worked at other company,
"volunteer" just mean un-trust for them,
even they'd hired a formal community liaison,
the manager still don't trust him on 'community can help' idea.
But this should not be at Mozilla, and it just don't work for as to
suggesting that "we can help", for many many times through out the whole
one and half year,
we just gave up, and make better quality things after they publish bad one.
For ex., there is an "Mozillia 2012" poster made by employee, and it done
badly not only on translating but also on layout.
https://www.dropbox.com/s/vem1uxjipuipmbk/Mozilla-in-2012%20%E5%85%AC%E5%8F%B8%E7%89%88.jpg
https://www.dropbox.com/s/jww8g8h7rtaqxqe/Mozilla-in-2012.png
http://images.plurk.com/3TOFjy1QuOFweeWvsJ87ic.jpg
http://blog.mozilla.com.tw/posts/1706/mozilla-2012-%E5%85%A8%E9%AB%94%E5%8B%95%E5%93%A1%E4%BB%A4
It just one example, and we'd face many, like "release channel poster",
translate of "Mozilla 15 anny. fact"...
After we share with them, they still resistant to use better one on there
published blog[1], only because it's NOT OFFICIAL MADE BY EMPLOYEE.
In fact, as we observed, when they really need help, they'd rather to call
for help with employee of Beijing office than community volunteer who is
good at the things they need.
And to solve the badly translating issues, guess what, they finally hired a
employee specific to do that this month. I just wonder Why bother spend
salary on things community can help (and community had done for years),
because they had budget?
I think as we open more offices and hire more non-premozillian employees,
the problem will getting worse.
I don't see any chance for us to change this situation, if we had someone
in Mozilla Corporation who have faith and insist on "Official production",
and even seated as regional marketing lead, in such situation, volunteer's
'non-official' opinion means Nothing.
Always sadly and disappointment on the things happened at that office,
which usually against what we believed on Mozilla for years before it
opened.
Irvin
Taiwan community liaison
On Fri, Apr 5, 2013 at 1:39 AM, Rubén Martín
Hi,
I would like to open a discussion here about something that I've been
observing more and more at Mozilla, starting probably 2 years ago or so.
When some team or employee (it's not everyone but a big number) needs
help, first tries to hire or pay someone and then, if he can't or needs
extra help, pings the volunteers. This lead to a lot of situations where
the volunteers are not needed or they are like a extra or free resource,
last bullet good to have.
Historically this was completely the opposite, you have a project or an
idea, you work with all mozillians (current employees and volunteers)
and if you can't make it this way, you look for extra paid help.
Why and when this switch happened?
I would start the discussion saying that I think this a huge problem
right now, if new employees are instructed or used to paid help first,
we will kill the community. It's not nice to feel like free people only
needed if we can't get anything better paying...
Regards.
--
Rubén Martín [Nukeador]
Mozilla Reps Mentor
http://www.mozilla-hispano.org
http://twitter.com/mozilla_hispano
http://facebook.com/mozillahispano
_______________________________________________
governance mailing list
https://lists.mozilla.org/listinfo/governance
--
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moztw.org Mozilla Taiwan community
_______________________________________________
governance mailing list
https://lists.mozilla.org/listinfo/governance
_______________________________________________
governance mailing list
https://lists.mozilla.org/listinfo/governance
--
@ irvinfly: community liaison
moztw.org Mozilla Taiwan community
Rubén Martín
2013-04-04 20:45:50 UTC
Permalink
Post by Irvin Chen
I just feel that they just don't believe anything non-employee had done,
we had maintain highly quality news blog (mostly the same resource as
company's),
a product website, a lot of subtitled videos, made a numbers of
posters before,
and they use really small thing we made on the "official event", and
nothing on "official site".
I can understand why this "official" insist came from,
for those newly hired employees formally worked at other company,
"volunteer" just mean un-trust for them,
even they'd hired a formal community liaison,
the manager still don't trust him on 'community can help' idea.
I completely understand you.

* External contractors have done very low quality localizations having
in mind the professional quality most communities have been doing
for years. "We have budget" is not an excuse for externalising the
community.
* Being an employee does not give you trust, you have to earn it.
* I value more the opinions and work made by a long time mozillian
(volunteer or employee) than and recently hired person. We are a
meritocracy and the Corp. structure is completely different to the
rest of the organisation.
* New employees should ear this trust even if they are in a
decision-making position. If you don't value the rest of the
community, the community won't trust or value your work and decisions.

And I think there are a lot of people that thinks this, but sometimes is
difficult to spend some time discussing when we all have a lot of work
to make.

Regards.
--
Rubén Martín [Nukeador]
Mozilla Reps Mentor
http://www.mozilla-hispano.org
http://twitter.com/mozilla_hispano
http://facebook.com/mozillahispano
Till Schneidereit
2013-04-04 21:03:06 UTC
Permalink
On a positive note, I talked about this exact problem with a person in hr
at the Mozcamp in Warsaw last September.

I was a volunteer back then, so they were interested in getting my
perspective on this very problem. Apparently, it is (or was, back then, at
least) a high priority in hr to revert the trend of reaching for paid help
whenever a problem isn't immediately solvable.

I don't know anything about specific results, but I found that to be very
encouraging.

Also, fwiw, I was hired out of the community.


On Thu, Apr 4, 2013 at 10:45 PM, Rubén Martín
Post by Rubén Martín
Post by Irvin Chen
I just feel that they just don't believe anything non-employee had done,
we had maintain highly quality news blog (mostly the same resource as
company's),
a product website, a lot of subtitled videos, made a numbers of
posters before,
and they use really small thing we made on the "official event", and
nothing on "official site".
I can understand why this "official" insist came from,
for those newly hired employees formally worked at other company,
"volunteer" just mean un-trust for them,
even they'd hired a formal community liaison,
the manager still don't trust him on 'community can help' idea.
I completely understand you.
* External contractors have done very low quality localizations having
in mind the professional quality most communities have been doing
for years. "We have budget" is not an excuse for externalising the
community.
* Being an employee does not give you trust, you have to earn it.
* I value more the opinions and work made by a long time mozillian
(volunteer or employee) than and recently hired person. We are a
meritocracy and the Corp. structure is completely different to the
rest of the organisation.
* New employees should ear this trust even if they are in a
decision-making position. If you don't value the rest of the
community, the community won't trust or value your work and decisions.
And I think there are a lot of people that thinks this, but sometimes is
difficult to spend some time discussing when we all have a lot of work
to make.
Regards.
--
Rubén Martín [Nukeador]
Mozilla Reps Mentor
http://www.mozilla-hispano.org
http://twitter.com/mozilla_hispano
http://facebook.com/mozillahispano
_______________________________________________
governance mailing list
https://lists.mozilla.org/listinfo/governance
Nicholas Nethercote
2013-04-05 01:26:24 UTC
Permalink
On Thu, Apr 4, 2013 at 2:03 PM, Till Schneidereit
Post by Till Schneidereit
Also, fwiw, I was hired out of the community.
Oh, we're very good at doing that :)

Nick
Irvin Chen
2013-04-04 21:12:53 UTC
Permalink
I'd see there're some part of the Mozilla are really all open and
transparent to community to participate - bugs fixing, product l10n,
documents, QA...,
some are not that opening, ex. some piece of marketing, product decision,
commercial negotiation, meetings on variant subject...,
and there are some part which is not open at all, like the marketing effort
at from MoCo at our region.

I think the problem is that, whether a project open or not, largely depends
on thet owners manner and decision,
if the one who is long-time Mozillian, pre-community staff or community
people, they'll consider the possibility of volunteer involving at first,
and vice versa.

If we keep depends on people but not system, the issue will getting worse
with more new employees and new department no doubt.

I think maybe we should able to carry out a sort of policy, statement, or
some guides to community for the new staff (and current staff) to prevent
this, or we could find a way, build a channel for volunteer to contact
with, if one find any issue on a part of Mozilla, which he think it should
operate like this way (to be Mozilla) but not that way (to opposite
Mozilla).





On Fri, Apr 5, 2013 at 4:45 AM, Rubén Martín
Post by Irvin Chen
I just feel that they just don't believe anything non-employee had done,
we had maintain highly quality news blog (mostly the same resource as
company's),
a product website, a lot of subtitled videos, made a numbers of posters
before,
and they use really small thing we made on the "official event", and
nothing on "official site".
I can understand why this "official" insist came from,
for those newly hired employees formally worked at other company,
"volunteer" just mean un-trust for them,
even they'd hired a formal community liaison,
the manager still don't trust him on 'community can help' idea.
I completely understand you.
- External contractors have done very low quality localizations having
in mind the professional quality most communities have been doing for
years. "We have budget" is not an excuse for externalising the community.
- Being an employee does not give you trust, you have to earn it.
- I value more the opinions and work made by a long time mozillian
(volunteer or employee) than and recently hired person. We are a
meritocracy and the Corp. structure is completely different to the rest of
the organisation.
- New employees should ear this trust even if they are in a
decision-making position. If you don't value the rest of the community, the
community won't trust or value your work and decisions.
And I think there are a lot of people that thinks this, but sometimes is
difficult to spend some time discussing when we all have a lot of work to
make.
Regards.
--
Rubén Martín [Nukeador]
Mozilla Reps Mentorhttp://www.mozilla-hispano.orghttp://twitter.com/mozilla_hispanohttp://facebook.com/mozillahispano
--
@ irvinfly: community liaison
moztw.org Mozilla Taiwan community
Rubén Martín
2013-04-04 21:16:36 UTC
Permalink
Post by Irvin Chen
I think maybe we should able to carry out a sort of policy, statement,
or some guides to community for the new staff (and current staff) to
prevent this, or we could find a way, build a channel for volunteer to
contact with, if one find any issue on a part of Mozilla, which he
think it should operate like this way (to be Mozilla) but not that way
(to opposite Mozilla).
I think we need an update from HR on this. As mentioned, they were
working on how to solve it back in Mozcamp EU, but the problem is
getting bigger and bigger each month.

Regards.
--
Rubén Martín [Nukeador]
Mozilla Reps Mentor
http://www.mozilla-hispano.org
http://twitter.com/mozilla_hispano
http://facebook.com/mozillahispano
Rubén Martín
2013-04-04 21:20:30 UTC
Permalink
Post by Rubén Martín
I think we need an update from HR on this. As mentioned, they were
working on how to solve it back in Mozcamp EU, but the problem is
getting bigger and bigger each month.
My point here is that the "let's work on this" doesn't work anymore
because at the end this enthusiasm gets blurred over time. Let's form a
working work focused on solving these problems and inform the rest of
the organisation on regular basis about updates, and work with key
mozillians that are already working on them.

Regards.
--
Rubén Martín [Nukeador]
Mozilla Reps Mentor
http://www.mozilla-hispano.org
http://twitter.com/mozilla_hispano
http://facebook.com/mozillahispano
Alina Mierlus
2013-04-04 22:25:48 UTC
Permalink
Hi all,

Well I have a different perspective on all this. I'm always ready to help
and contribute in my free time on what can I add value to the movement and
what motivates me: I enjoy doing small talks about web apps, facilitating,
or host a webmaker event for kids (because that helps me learn and grow as
a practitioner).

I don't think that the problem is volunteer-employee. But as MoCo enters
in a more business environment (which it is both natural and good for free
software) and the global community diversifies and grows, it is normal to
have contractors/paid people doing specific tasks.

The question here is not whether volunteer community is marginalised,
but how to empower a living and sustainable ecosystem. That means, how from
a volunteer basis you can actually evolve and start doing more
within/related to Mozilla (potentially as your daily work).

Unfortunately, often when you say you're doing a thing on a volunteer
basis, some people still see you as an amateur (and yes, I spent lot of
time trying to figure this out). On the other side, doing a work well,
taking leadership or responsibility means time, means good skills and this
usually needs to be paid.

It could be a long conversation, but indeed, what's important is that,
in these times of important change, Mozilla leadership should be aware that
going against your own ecosystem is not a good thing (especially now, when
Firefox OS needs all this local support to be successful).

Cheers,
Alina
Post by Rubén Martín
Post by Rubén Martín
I think we need an update from HR on this. As mentioned, they were
working on how to solve it back in Mozcamp EU, but the problem is
getting bigger and bigger each month.
My point here is that the "let's work on this" doesn't work anymore
because at the end this enthusiasm gets blurred over time. Let's form a
working work focused on solving these problems and inform the rest of
the organisation on regular basis about updates, and work with key
mozillians that are already working on them.
Regards.
--
Rubén Martín [Nukeador]
Mozilla Reps Mentor
http://www.mozilla-hispano.org
http://twitter.com/mozilla_hispano
http://facebook.com/mozillahispano
_______________________________________________
governance mailing list
https://lists.mozilla.org/listinfo/governance
--
Alina Mierlus
@alina_mierlus
Patrick Finch
2013-04-05 07:16:26 UTC
Permalink
Post by Rubén Martín
Post by Rubén Martín
I think we need an update from HR on this. As mentioned, they were
working on how to solve it back in Mozcamp EU, but the problem is
getting bigger and bigger each month.
My point here is that the "let's work on this" doesn't work anymore
because at the end this enthusiasm gets blurred over time. Let's form a
working work focused on solving these problems and inform the rest of
the organisation on regular basis about updates, and work with key
mozillians that are already working on them.
I think we should be exposing the reasons why employees are contracting
out work: which we consider good or valid reasons and which are
opportunities to improve the situation.


Patrick
--
Patrick Finch
Director of Product Marketing Strategy, Mozilla
Mobile: +46 768 444 833
IM: patrick.finch-***@public.gmane.org
Li Gong
2013-04-05 07:52:06 UTC
Permalink
Exactly. For each situation (or particular task or types of tasks), there would be many reasons that drive a decision of where that work is done. And instead of blankly say how it should be done *always*, it is more useful to figure out if there is a better way to achieve the same goals, for that particular situation. For a simple example, if there is a time limit on some task, then generally speaking whoever could fulfill that time limit requirement would be the natural choice, whether the person is paid staff, a volunteer, or a contractor. Obviously I am simplifying the analysis. The overall point is -- for anything anyone wants to change (the way how it is done), it is more constructive to suggest the alternative, so that everyone is confident that it is a good alternative and then agree to go that route. Of course there will be cases where opinions differ on which is the better route, and that is where it tests our collaborative spirit.

Thanks,

Li
--
Li Gong (宫力)
CEO Mozilla Online Ltd and Mozilla Taiwan
Post by Rubén Martín
Post by Rubén Martín
I think we need an update from HR on this. As mentioned, they were
working on how to solve it back in Mozcamp EU, but the problem is
getting bigger and bigger each month.
My point here is that the "let's work on this" doesn't work anymore
because at the end this enthusiasm gets blurred over time. Let's form a
working work focused on solving these problems and inform the rest of
the organisation on regular basis about updates, and work with key
mozillians that are already working on them.
I think we should be exposing the reasons why employees are contracting out work: which we consider good or valid reasons and which are opportunities to improve the situation.
Patrick
--
Patrick Finch
Director of Product Marketing Strategy, Mozilla
Mobile: +46 768 444 833
_______________________________________________
governance mailing list
https://lists.mozilla.org/listinfo/governance
Patrick Finch
2013-04-05 07:09:54 UTC
Permalink
Post by Rubén Martín
I would start the discussion saying that I think this a huge problem
right now, if new employees are instructed or used to paid help first,
we will kill the community. It's not nice to feel like free people only
needed if we can't get anything better paying...
I don't wish to reset the conversation, but I don't think that anyone
addressed this point directly, so I will.

It is absolutely not the case that MoCo employees are instructed to
contract out work rather than looking for community support. I'd say
that if there's any kind of instruction to MoCo employees, it's the
opposite.

Patrick
--
Patrick Finch
Director of Product Marketing Strategy, Mozilla
Mobile: +46 768 444 833
IM: patrick.finch-***@public.gmane.org
Rubén Martín
2013-04-05 13:47:07 UTC
Permalink
Post by Patrick Finch
It is absolutely not the case that MoCo employees are instructed to
contract out work rather than looking for community support. I'd say
that if there's any kind of instruction to MoCo employees, it's the
opposite.
That was my supposition in some cases, not as a general rule in MoCo.
But we've seen the "hire first ask latter" too many times in the past
years. Probably is a problem with not fully knowing how mozilla
community works, at that's what we have to address from the beginning.

And of course, I'm not saying we have to do everything without hiring,
but we have to ask, discuss and decide in a transparent way.

Regards.
--
Rubén Martín [Nukeador]
Mozilla Reps Mentor
http://www.mozilla-hispano.org
http://twitter.com/mozilla_hispano
http://facebook.com/mozillahispano
flod
2013-04-05 07:59:18 UTC
Permalink
When some team or employee (it's not everyone but a big number) needs
Post by Rubén Martín
help, first tries to hire or pay someone and then, if he can't or needs
extra help, pings the volunteers. This lead to a lot of situations where
the volunteers are not needed or they are like a extra or free resource,
last bullet good to have.
Hi Rubén,
I'm feeling a bit out of the loop here. Could you give me a practical
example?

Francesco
Rubén Martín
2013-04-05 18:28:47 UTC
Permalink
This particular point is a tricky one: "we don't have the resources
for this project" is often confused with "we don't think we should
focus the resources that we have on this project". But indeed there is
an important distinction between those two reasons. Helping guide
where resources are used, and discouraging contributors (paid staff or
otherwise) from pursuing low-value projects can be an important role
for Mozilla leaders. "The community" or "volunteers" are not an
infinite resource, and even if they were, there can be very real
coordination/communication costs to losing focus as a group.
The problem is that a project is low-value depending on who look at it.
Probably a project on user education is not important for some but it's
really important for a great number of volunteers... it's tricky, and
for that reason there should be a discussion on reason why something is
high or low value and not just say "we don't have resources".

With a bit of discussion probably more people would understand why we
should focus in other ones ;)

Regards.
--
Rubén Martín [Nukeador]
Mozilla Reps Mentor
http://www.mozilla-hispano.org
http://twitter.com/mozilla_hispano
http://facebook.com/mozillahispano
Majken Connor
2013-04-05 19:20:09 UTC
Permalink
First off, I love that this conversation is happening and is really
constructive with people commenting from everywhere!

I have a few things to add (hope I didn't miss someone already make them!)

Alina used the word "normal," I think that is part of the problem. We are
Mozilla, we're different!! There are some areas where I would love to see
us work more to our values than to what's "normal" or "proven." My pet
example is marketing in public. I know some things are easier to do
privately, but I'm an idealist and I'd love to see us show how this can be
done publicly and successfully!

Gerv mentioned training on the culture, I'm glad to see this mentioned
again as this is every important (I'm also very sad to hear that somehow
talking about it would jeopardize a lauch? I guess this goes to the point
above). Many of the people I think aren't being as open as they could be
are new(er) and they are being more open than they would be at another job,
so they don't even know. It makes them sad to hear they're not being open
enough and I don't blame them for that! I once asked what the volunteer
community contribution was to a project and the answer I got back was l10n.
This answer bothered me a lot, because unless it's an l10n project, then
using the l10n community isn't the same as using your team's community, but
I don't blame that person or think any malice was intended and I'm sure
many people don't realize to think further than l10n because that's what
they're used to.

I agree, too, I've seen some cases of teams handing off the left over tasks
to the volunteers. I think, especially with volunteers, you have to let
them do what they're passionate about, what they have the skills to do then
fill in the blanks. I like the metaphor that Mozilla should be like a
teaching hospital, I think Mitchell said something similar, that we should
be trying to make ourselves redundant. Gavin says that we should be guiding
people away from low-value projects, but I think we also need to see how we
can maximize the value of projects people are passionate about. Thinking
about the old release style, sometimes a feature that wasn't in the
original plan suddenly came up and was the killer feature for the release.
We should make sure people have realistic ideas of the impact of the
project, what it would take to make the project high impact, what it would
take to get more buy in, but I don't think we should do much discouraging
unless the idea is actually flawed and possibly damaging.

Regarding employees and trust, I have to disagree. I think we can't get
around the idea that when someone is hired Mozilla is implicitly giving
them tasks and rewards that they don't have to continually earn, with a
long term commitment to those tasks and rewards. Especially in the case
with employees instead of contractors. Not many people get fired. I think
the solution is to embrace this, hold hiring to this standard, but also
make sure part of employee's job description (and trust) is to support
volunteers. Again in my idealistic perfect world, all employees are
management level and are assisting and enabling the volunteer contributions
(yes, I know this isn't really possible in reality, but maybe we can get
close).

At the engagement work week, I really loved (and I think everyone did) the
approaches we took, in terms of having a "yes, and" period in the initial
pitches where we didn't criticize but brainstormed and made suggestions.
Even more, I think it was really great how the groups were made up across
functional teams, focusing on the product, rather than handing a product
from team to team as it progressed. I think even in the employee side of
the community people can feel just as left out as volunteers do when the
team mostly works with itself rather than collaborating across teams. I
think changing some processes to work more collaboratively like this will
also make it easier to include volunteers.

So I guess those last points bring me around to what I think the real
solution is, which isn't so much remembering to ask volunteers for help,
but making sure the projects are being conceived and planned in the open as
much as possible, so volunteers and employees from other teams can be
involved from the beginning, and so the team is looking for ideas from
volunteers, not just employees to work on.


On Fri, Apr 5, 2013 at 2:28 PM, Rubén Martín
Post by Rubén Martín
This particular point is a tricky one: "we don't have the resources
for this project" is often confused with "we don't think we should
focus the resources that we have on this project". But indeed there is
an important distinction between those two reasons. Helping guide
where resources are used, and discouraging contributors (paid staff or
otherwise) from pursuing low-value projects can be an important role
for Mozilla leaders. "The community" or "volunteers" are not an
infinite resource, and even if they were, there can be very real
coordination/communication costs to losing focus as a group.
The problem is that a project is low-value depending on who look at it.
Probably a project on user education is not important for some but it's
really important for a great number of volunteers... it's tricky, and
for that reason there should be a discussion on reason why something is
high or low value and not just say "we don't have resources".
With a bit of discussion probably more people would understand why we
should focus in other ones ;)
Regards.
--
Rubén Martín [Nukeador]
Mozilla Reps Mentor
http://www.mozilla-hispano.org
http://twitter.com/mozilla_hispano
http://facebook.com/mozillahispano
_______________________________________________
governance mailing list
https://lists.mozilla.org/listinfo/governance
Stormy Peters
2013-04-07 22:33:34 UTC
Permalink
Post by Majken Connor
you have to let
them do what they're passionate about, what they have the skills to do then
fill in the blanks.
Totally agree that we should all be working on things we are passionate
about! (Sometimes you can get paid employees to last a little longer
without passion, but it's not good for the organization. Hopefully we are
all passionate.)

I think there's another challenge we are facing here that is not related to
volunteer or paid staff but is getting mixed up in the issue.

In a small project, everyone works on whatever they feel passionate about
and they believe adds value. I work with several smaller organizations and
anything any of us wants to do that fits our mission, great!

However, when a project gets bigger, the things you do start to affect
others more. And you have to coordinate more and get buy-in because it's
likely that your work will end up causing someone else work on another
team. Figuring this out right now is hard whether you are paid or volunteer.

For example, if I decide that I want to launch a website to show off how
awesome Mozilla's web technology can be for schools ... I can do that. But
if it's successful, we'll want to localize it. That will affect the
localization team. They might have to deprioritize other things they are
working on if this turns out to be really successful. If I want to collect
email addresses or information about the schools, I will be collecting user
data and that will affect that security and privacy groups. If it catches
the eye of the press (which would be awesome), they will start emailing our
press team, and it will take some of their time. So before I launch that
site, I have to understand how it will affect other Mozillians and make
sure that they are either bought into that or that they are ok with their
team not being involved. This is true whether I am a volunteer or I am
paid. I believe this process is what we are struggling with. How do I let
other teams know what ideas I have and how do we as an organization
prioritize them? How do we let people work on what they are passionate and
still align around a few key objectives like making sure the mobile web is
open?

I believe this problem is slightly easier for paid staff, because there is
a hierarchical organization and I can ask up my management chain or check
in with the managers of other teams. Some how we need to continue to
improve this process and make sure it's inclusive of everyone. Not just for
people who want to start something but for people who would like to help
out on things other people are starting.

Stormy
Rubén Martín
2013-04-05 13:55:26 UTC
Permalink
Post by flod
I'm feeling a bit out of the loop here. Could you give me a practical
example?
* Hire an agency to do localization with terrible results and then ask
the local community to do QA.
* Hire a company to act as a bridge between employees and community in
communications.
* Hire a company to do local marketing campaigns without speaking with
locals.
* Don't continue or don't start a development because "we don't have
resources" and no volunteer was asked for help.
* Hire a lot of people to go faster in a project and don't facilitate
volunteer contributions that would have helped to be faster with
less budget.
* ...etc

Regards.
--
Rubén Martín [Nukeador]
Mozilla Reps Mentor
http://www.mozilla-hispano.org
http://twitter.com/mozilla_hispano
http://facebook.com/mozillahispano
flod
2013-04-05 17:30:33 UTC
Permalink
Ok, it's clear now.

To be honest it's been a while since I saw that happening (bad outsourced
localization or ridiculous QA on localized builds), we probably work on
different projects ;-)

And about the "hiring from community", that's not true for all areas, and
I'm not even sure if that's good or bad (see the point above about
weakening the community).

Francesco
Gavin Sharp
2013-04-05 17:14:34 UTC
Permalink
On Fri, Apr 5, 2013 at 6:55 AM, Rubén Martín
Post by Rubén Martín
* Don't continue or don't start a development because "we don't have
resources" and no volunteer was asked for help.
This particular point is a tricky one: "we don't have the resources
for this project" is often confused with "we don't think we should
focus the resources that we have on this project". But indeed there is
an important distinction between those two reasons. Helping guide
where resources are used, and discouraging contributors (paid staff or
otherwise) from pursuing low-value projects can be an important role
for Mozilla leaders. "The community" or "volunteers" are not an
infinite resource, and even if they were, there can be very real
coordination/communication costs to losing focus as a group.

Gavin
Lawrence Mandel
2013-04-12 15:32:16 UTC
Permalink
Post by Gavin Sharp
On Fri, Apr 5, 2013 at 6:55 AM, Rubén Martín
Post by Rubén Martín
* Don't continue or don't start a development because "we don't have
resources" and no volunteer was asked for help.
This particular point is a tricky one: "we don't have the resources
for this project" is often confused with "we don't think we should
focus the resources that we have on this project". But indeed there is
an important distinction between those two reasons. Helping guide
where resources are used, and discouraging contributors (paid staff or
otherwise) from pursuing low-value projects can be an important role
for Mozilla leaders. "The community" or "volunteers" are not an
infinite resource, and even if they were, there can be very real
coordination/communication costs to losing focus as a group.
I agree with Gavin about giving direction. I would also like to emphasize that MoCo is a corporation and a large contributor to Mozilla but is not a dictator in terms of Mozilla projects. If a non MoCo person or team wants to start development of a project to which MoCo hasn't devoted resources, that does not mean that the project will not be accepted into Mozilla. As a concrete example, MoCo had decided to omit Linux from the initial launch of the Desktop WebRT (Web runtime for apps). A volunteer decided that Linux should be included and did the work, which was subsequently adopted and included in the initial launch. WebVTT, which is being developed by Seneca students, also comes to mind as a more recent example.

Lawrence
Gervase Markham
2013-04-05 08:48:36 UTC
Permalink
Post by Patrick Finch
It is absolutely not the case that MoCo employees are instructed to
contract out work rather than looking for community support. I'd say
that if there's any kind of instruction to MoCo employees, it's the
opposite.
I certainly have never heard such an instruction given. However, I
suspect that if someone arrives at Mozilla from a traditional company
background, that will be their first idea and thought.

Therefore, I think this is a symptom of the problem that we are not
teaching new employees about the culture, values and methods of working
of the Mozilla community nearly as well as we should. There continues to
be a significant need for an onboarding program, for both employees and
volunteers but _particularly_ for employees, which spends significant
time explaining this. The materials used in that program need to be
public so that they can be reviewed, critiqued and improved by all.

The last time I mentioned in a post in a Mozilla forum that it would be
wonderful if HR were to produce such an onboarding program, I was told
that I had in some way caused a lot of problems by doing so, that they
had been working on one for ages, that everything was nearly ready to go
in a day or week's time, and that I, by my exhortations, had jeopardized
the launch. I don't want to make the same mistake twice, but that was
many months ago, and (unless I've not noticed it) I've not seen anything
become public. (Obviously, not being a new hire, I don't know what they
are doing internally.)

I think that, as a matter of urgency, someone needs to reopen that
dialog with HR and find out what the steps are to get to a position
where we have a public, iteratable and hackable onboarding process that
we can put new employees through to help them learn Mozilla values and
ways of working and collaborating. I extend again an offer to help in
any way I can to make this happen. One small contribution is here:

"Understanding Mozilla: Communications"
http://popcorn.webmadecontent.org/qln

Gerv
Till Schneidereit
2013-04-05 10:26:56 UTC
Permalink
Post by Gervase Markham
Post by Patrick Finch
It is absolutely not the case that MoCo employees are instructed to
contract out work rather than looking for community support. I'd say
that if there's any kind of instruction to MoCo employees, it's the
opposite.
I certainly have never heard such an instruction given. However, I
suspect that if someone arrives at Mozilla from a traditional company
background, that will be their first idea and thought.
The hr person I talked to at MozCamp said things to that effect, too.
That's what I wanted to get at with the aside about me being hired out of
the community: that there seems(/ed) to be a feeling that some MoCo members
were not looking at the community enough when it came to hiring and would
use traditional channels for that, instead. It was very good for me to hear
that hr is very aware of these problems and actively looking for solutions
to them - or might have gone to some lengths to solve them by now, for all
I know.
Post by Gervase Markham
Therefore, I think this is a symptom of the problem that we are not
teaching new employees about the culture, values and methods of working
of the Mozilla community nearly as well as we should. There continues to
be a significant need for an onboarding program, for both employees and
volunteers but _particularly_ for employees, which spends significant
time explaining this. The materials used in that program need to be
public so that they can be reviewed, critiqued and improved by all.
The last time I mentioned in a post in a Mozilla forum that it would be
wonderful if HR were to produce such an onboarding program, I was told
that I had in some way caused a lot of problems by doing so, that they
had been working on one for ages, that everything was nearly ready to go
in a day or week's time, and that I, by my exhortations, had jeopardized
the launch. I don't want to make the same mistake twice, but that was
many months ago, and (unless I've not noticed it) I've not seen anything
become public. (Obviously, not being a new hire, I don't know what they
are doing internally.)
While I am a new hire, I can't compare the current onboarding material to
what was there before. There's quite a bit of information on the community
and how things work at Mozilla, so I'm not convinced that there's a lack of
information per se. What might be worthwile (and might be in the works, for
all I know) is some form of interaction with the community as part of the
onboarding process.
Pascal Chevrel
2013-04-05 13:51:17 UTC
Permalink
If I understand correctly that you are saying MoCo should look at
hiring more paid staff from the community, there is also the counter
argument often heard that it weakens the community. So it cuts both
sides.
Hi,

I have often that argument but there are so many counter examples of
communities that remained in good health in Europe after hiring key
community members that I think it is not really founded. I can only
think of a couple examples when hiring a community member weakened the
community and many when it had no impact or on the contrary helped the
local community grow. The important thing is that when a volunteer
becomes an employee, it doesn't mean that he has to give up his
volunteer work if he wishes to continue it and he doesn't have to leave
the community he was part of because of his employment status. At least
that's how it works in my region.

Regards,

Pascal
Jorge Villalobos
2013-04-05 15:19:07 UTC
Permalink
Post by Pascal Chevrel
If I understand correctly that you are saying MoCo should look at
hiring more paid staff from the community, there is also the counter
argument often heard that it weakens the community. So it cuts both
sides.
Hi,
I have often that argument but there are so many counter examples of
communities that remained in good health in Europe after hiring key
community members that I think it is not really founded. I can only
think of a couple examples when hiring a community member weakened the
community and many when it had no impact or on the contrary helped the
local community grow. The important thing is that when a volunteer
becomes an employee, it doesn't mean that he has to give up his
volunteer work if he wishes to continue it and he doesn't have to leave
the community he was part of because of his employment status. At least
that's how it works in my region.
Regards,
Pascal
For addons.mozilla.org we have a team that is in charge of
code-reviewing all add-on submissions.

It started out entirely as a community group, but as our repository has
grown and our review process has increased in complexity, we have had to
change things. This has meant hiring people and also contracting out
some of the review work. However, we always prioritize the community. We
have enough flexibility in our system that allows us to put in paid work
to just fill in the gaps that the community doesn't have enough time
for. I think this model has worked well, and similar one will be adopted
for app reviews.

To echo Pascal's point, 3 members of the Add-ons Team were hired because
of how they stood out in the add-on review community, including myself.
And, every time we've done that, somebody else from the community has
stepped up and taken the lead. I'm sure there are counter-examples, but
I am confident that in most cases hiring out of the community can
actually help motivate its participants.

Jorge
Jorge Villalobos
2013-04-05 15:19:07 UTC
Permalink
Post by Pascal Chevrel
If I understand correctly that you are saying MoCo should look at
hiring more paid staff from the community, there is also the counter
argument often heard that it weakens the community. So it cuts both
sides.
Hi,
I have often that argument but there are so many counter examples of
communities that remained in good health in Europe after hiring key
community members that I think it is not really founded. I can only
think of a couple examples when hiring a community member weakened the
community and many when it had no impact or on the contrary helped the
local community grow. The important thing is that when a volunteer
becomes an employee, it doesn't mean that he has to give up his
volunteer work if he wishes to continue it and he doesn't have to leave
the community he was part of because of his employment status. At least
that's how it works in my region.
Regards,
Pascal
For addons.mozilla.org we have a team that is in charge of
code-reviewing all add-on submissions.

It started out entirely as a community group, but as our repository has
grown and our review process has increased in complexity, we have had to
change things. This has meant hiring people and also contracting out
some of the review work. However, we always prioritize the community. We
have enough flexibility in our system that allows us to put in paid work
to just fill in the gaps that the community doesn't have enough time
for. I think this model has worked well, and similar one will be adopted
for app reviews.

To echo Pascal's point, 3 members of the Add-ons Team were hired because
of how they stood out in the add-on review community, including myself.
And, every time we've done that, somebody else from the community has
stepped up and taken the lead. I'm sure there are counter-examples, but
I am confident that in most cases hiring out of the community can
actually help motivate its participants.

Jorge
Li Gong
2013-04-05 13:14:32 UTC
Permalink
If I understand correctly that you are saying MoCo should look at hiring more paid staff from the community, there is also the counter argument often heard that it weakens the community. So it cuts both sides.

-------------
That's what I wanted to get at with the aside about me being hired out of
the community: that there seems(/ed) to be a feeling that some MoCo members were not looking at the community enough when it came to hiring and would use traditional channels for that, instead.
-------------

Li
--
Li Gong (宫力), CEO of Mozilla Online Ltd and Mozilla Taiwan
Post by Till Schneidereit
Post by Gervase Markham
Post by Patrick Finch
It is absolutely not the case that MoCo employees are instructed to
contract out work rather than looking for community support. I'd say
that if there's any kind of instruction to MoCo employees, it's the
opposite.
I certainly have never heard such an instruction given. However, I
suspect that if someone arrives at Mozilla from a traditional company
background, that will be their first idea and thought.
The hr person I talked to at MozCamp said things to that effect, too.
That's what I wanted to get at with the aside about me being hired out of
the community: that there seems(/ed) to be a feeling that some MoCo members
were not looking at the community enough when it came to hiring and would
use traditional channels for that, instead. It was very good for me to hear
that hr is very aware of these problems and actively looking for solutions
to them - or might have gone to some lengths to solve them by now, for all
I know.
Post by Gervase Markham
Therefore, I think this is a symptom of the problem that we are not
teaching new employees about the culture, values and methods of working
of the Mozilla community nearly as well as we should. There continues to
be a significant need for an onboarding program, for both employees and
volunteers but _particularly_ for employees, which spends significant
time explaining this. The materials used in that program need to be
public so that they can be reviewed, critiqued and improved by all.
The last time I mentioned in a post in a Mozilla forum that it would be
wonderful if HR were to produce such an onboarding program, I was told
that I had in some way caused a lot of problems by doing so, that they
had been working on one for ages, that everything was nearly ready to go
in a day or week's time, and that I, by my exhortations, had jeopardized
the launch. I don't want to make the same mistake twice, but that was
many months ago, and (unless I've not noticed it) I've not seen anything
become public. (Obviously, not being a new hire, I don't know what they
are doing internally.)
While I am a new hire, I can't compare the current onboarding material to
what was there before. There's quite a bit of information on the community
and how things work at Mozilla, so I'm not convinced that there's a lack of
information per se. What might be worthwile (and might be in the works, for
all I know) is some form of interaction with the community as part of the
onboarding process.
_______________________________________________
governance mailing list
https://lists.mozilla.org/listinfo/governance
Till Schneidereit
2013-04-05 13:23:22 UTC
Permalink
Agreed: there's two sides to this. I'm not necessarily saying that hiring
someone from the community should always be preferred. It should, however,
always be considered, IMHO.

In addition, I feel that, ideally, paying someone for their work shouldn't
mean that they're less a part of the community all of a sudden.
Post by Li Gong
If I understand correctly that you are saying MoCo should look at hiring
more paid staff from the community, there is also the counter argument
often heard that it weakens the community. So it cuts both sides.
-------------
That's what I wanted to get at with the aside about me being hired out of
the community: that there seems(/ed) to be a feeling that some MoCo
members were not looking at the community enough when it came to hiring and
would use traditional channels for that, instead.
Gervase Markham
2013-04-08 10:52:20 UTC
Permalink
If I understand correctly that you are saying MoCo should look at
hiring more paid staff from the community, there is also the counter
argument often heard that it weakens the community. So it cuts both
sides.
I think that the way to make this problem better is by allowing people
"transition time" when hiring them out of a community to give them an
opportunity to train up and hand off to other community members. At the
moment, whether a particular new hire gets this is (AFAIK) entirely up
to their manager. It would be great if Mozilla specifically recommended
to new managers that they allow this.

Gerv
Gijs Kruitbosch
2013-04-05 10:39:23 UTC
Permalink
Post by Till Schneidereit
Post by Gervase Markham
Therefore, I think this is a symptom of the problem that we are not
teaching new employees about the culture, values and methods of working
of the Mozilla community nearly as well as we should. There continues to
be a significant need for an onboarding program, for both employees and
volunteers but _particularly_ for employees, which spends significant
time explaining this. The materials used in that program need to be
public so that they can be reviewed, critiqued and improved by all.
The last time I mentioned in a post in a Mozilla forum that it would be
wonderful if HR were to produce such an onboarding program, I was told
that I had in some way caused a lot of problems by doing so, that they
had been working on one for ages, that everything was nearly ready to go
in a day or week's time, and that I, by my exhortations, had jeopardized
the launch. I don't want to make the same mistake twice, but that was
many months ago, and (unless I've not noticed it) I've not seen anything
become public. (Obviously, not being a new hire, I don't know what they
are doing internally.)
While I am a new hire, I can't compare the current onboarding material to
what was there before. There's quite a bit of information on the community
and how things work at Mozilla, so I'm not convinced that there's a lack of
information per se. What might be worthwile (and might be in the works, for
all I know) is some form of interaction with the community as part of the
onboarding process.
(disclaimer: Tuesday was my first day as an employee, but I've been part
of the community for a while)

Same here. There was quite a good amount of info on the community,
although possibly a little high-level (it's hard to be 100% sure because
I skimmed some of it, being familiar with it already; there's a lot of
stuff to take in for onboarding anyway). I agree with Till that it'd be
a good idea to involve the community in welcoming the new hires. Perhaps
community reps or other volunteer contributors could be pulled into some
of the new hire meetings?

~ Gijs
Stormy Peters
2013-04-05 11:25:42 UTC
Permalink
Post by Gijs Kruitbosch
Same here. There was quite a good amount of info on the community,
although possibly a little high-level (it's hard to be 100% sure because I
skimmed some of it, being familiar with it already; there's a lot of stuff
to take in for onboarding anyway). I agree with Till that it'd be a good
idea to involve the community in welcoming the new hires. Perhaps community
reps or other volunteer contributors could be pulled into some of the new
hire meetings?
I like this idea. Most managers have a new hire go around and meet a
certain set of people. While on some teams, this means they reach out to
community members, I am guessing that at this point most of the "in person"
(i.e. Vidyo meetings :) are between paid staff. Maybe just calling that out
would help teams realize they should they are consciously including the
entire community in the list of people their new hires should meet with.

Stormy
d***@public.gmane.org
2013-04-05 17:27:45 UTC
Permalink
Post by Gervase Markham
Therefore, I think this is a symptom of the problem that we are not
teaching new employees about the culture, values and methods of working
of the Mozilla community nearly as well as we should.
I agree. We need to be more explicit about our culture, values and methods of working and we can no longer assume that people will already know this or will be able to just pick it up on their own.

I joined the People team near the end of the last year and am happy to connect anyone who wants to help address this with the people running projects. Here's an overview of the efforts I think are relevant:

* Community building workshops: We are creating workshops to help people learn about how to structure their projects for participation and how to find and work with volunteers. At the Community Building meetup last week we had a discussion about how to distribute this information more widely and I'd love to talk to people who would be interested in giving these workshops to their team or community.

https://wiki.mozilla.org/Contribute#Workshops

* Capture Mozilla: This is an effort to collect information about Mozilla that very often exists only in people's heads right now and put it into videos that can be distributed broadly across the project.

https://wiki.mozilla.org/Capture_Mozilla

* Onboarding: A new onboarding portal has recently gone live. By all accounts it is a huge improvement over what was available previously and it does address many of the points raised in this thread. If people are interested in hacking on that, we can find a way to do that.

* Workforce planning: We are looking into how to integrate volunteers into teams' resource planning process. Based on discussions I've had, it would go a long way to put something together that described what different options are available (employee, contractor, intern, volunteer) and what types of projects are well suited to each of the different options.

If you're interested in any of these projects and want to help out, feel free to contact me.

Thanks,
David
Dirkjan Ochtman
2013-04-08 11:19:20 UTC
Permalink
Post by d***@public.gmane.org
* Capture Mozilla: This is an effort to collect information about Mozilla that very often exists only in people's heads right now and put it into videos that can be distributed broadly across the project.
https://wiki.mozilla.org/Capture_Mozilla
I wonder if this kind of thing wouldn't be more accessible as a more
web-native slideshow-with-comments. I personally find videos to be (a)
hard to search in, (b), hard to skim/scan through, (c)
bandwidth-intensive, (d) hard to peruse e.g. in a library or at work.

Cheers,

Dirkjan
Gervase Markham
2013-04-08 11:02:09 UTC
Permalink
Hi David,

Thanks for this round-up. These projects are great!
Post by d***@public.gmane.org
* Capture Mozilla: This is an effort to collect information about
Mozilla that very often exists only in people's heads right now and
put it into videos that can be distributed broadly across the
project.
https://wiki.mozilla.org/Capture_Mozilla
I'd encourage people who have something they want people to know to get
involved in this. I did a popcorn video about how we communicate at Mozilla:

http://popcorn.webmadecontent.org/qln
Post by d***@public.gmane.org
* Onboarding: A new onboarding portal has recently gone live. By all
accounts it is a huge improvement over what was available previously
and it does address many of the points raised in this thread. If
people are interested in hacking on that, we can find a way to do
that.
(I understand that the tool involved here is not open source.) Is it
possible for people not being onboarded to see the content presented
through the portal? If not, can we create some way of doing this? E.g.
can we e.g. create "test accounts" for people to go through the process
so they can give feedback?

Is there a wiki page or other resource somewhere which gives an overview
of the process and the content used? Who is in charge of the content,
and making updates to it? What processes exist to make sure it is
updated as things change?

It seems very weird to have the onboarding process for an open community
be un-open; within the limitations of the chosen tool, we should try and
fix that.

Gerv
d***@public.gmane.org
2013-04-08 21:13:19 UTC
Permalink
Hi Gerv and others:

thank you so much Gerv for the simple and elegant video you published. I placed it on the etherpad that's collecting video for eventual publishing on the Air.Mozilla channel for Capture Mozilla. It is so key for Mozillians to teach each other how to be successful in an open culture. And knowing the culture is evolving and the way we work together is so distributed, video is ONE way we can share knowledge and see each other in a personal way.

The Capture Mozilla project is working to get a home where both interactive and non-interactive video can be hosted. For now, we have a channel on Air.Mozilla and all popcorn video that cannot be viewed there will live on the etherpad...for now.

It is so easy to take for granted that new Mozillians, sitting either alone or on the other side of the earth know the simple things like the communications channels you mentioned in your video. As someone who is here with her whole heart but did not grow up in an open culture and just now growing into one, these tools are priceless.

Communications channels is one topic, I know there are many others.

A few things we're doing to help make video:

-Capture Mozilla's volunteer contributor has built a few tools to help bring the barrier to video down.

-We've published a Video Sprint curriculum with those tools and a sprint guide for those interested in doing a knowledge capture event. you can find it here:https://wiki.mozilla.org/Capture_Mozilla/video_sprint

any other tools and suggestions you have for making teaching via-video easier would be great- all in the spirit of empowering eachother and making the project successful.

One of the greatest resource we have is each other. Keep teaching.
d***@public.gmane.org
2013-04-09 20:35:29 UTC
Permalink
Post by Gervase Markham
Is it
possible for people not being onboarded to see the content presented
through the portal? If not, can we create some way of doing this? E.g.
can we e.g. create "test accounts" for people to go through the process
so they can give feedback?
Yes. At the Community Builders meetup in Toronto, Debbie Cohen gave a demo of several of the People systems, including the Onboarding tool, and invited everyone to take part in making those systems better. A summary of that meetup is at

https://wiki.mozilla.org/Contribute/Meetup/Toronto_Mar_2013

One thing that came out of that meetup was the formation of Working Groups around the 5 pillars of community building that the group has identified:

* Contribution funnels
* Systems & data
* Education
* Recognition
* Organizational support

If anyone is interested in any of these topics, feel free to add your name to the Working Group wiki page. I'll be reaching out to people interested in Systems & Data soon about getting access to these systems so they can help understand more about those and fit them into the overall community building planning.

https://wiki.mozilla.org/Contribute/Working_Groups
Post by Gervase Markham
Is there a wiki page or other resource somewhere which gives an overview
of the process and the content used? Who is in charge of the content,
and making updates to it? What processes exist to make sure it is
updated as things change?
The People team is aware that there needs to be more information about our projects on the public wiki and more information will be available soon.
Post by Gervase Markham
It seems very weird to have the onboarding process for an open community
be un-open; within the limitations of the chosen tool, we should try and
fix that.
One of the things the Onboarding tool is attempting to fix for new employees is having to deal with the firehose of information right off the bat. This tool addresses that by personalizing the content and that requires a login so the site knows who you are. I think it's great to see experiments around dealing with the firehose.

I don't think that precludes making the content and experience open for hacking, but we'll need to figure out the right way to do that that also preserves the firehose mitigation feature :)

David
Majken Connor
2013-04-09 20:42:49 UTC
Permalink
Post by d***@public.gmane.org
Post by Gervase Markham
Is it
possible for people not being onboarded to see the content presented
through the portal? If not, can we create some way of doing this? E.g.
can we e.g. create "test accounts" for people to go through the process
so they can give feedback?
Yes. At the Community Builders meetup in Toronto, Debbie Cohen gave a
demo of several of the People systems, including the Onboarding tool, and
invited everyone to take part in making those systems better. A summary of
that meetup is at
https://wiki.mozilla.org/Contribute/Meetup/Toronto_Mar_2013
One thing that came out of that meetup was the formation of Working Groups
* Contribution funnels
* Systems & data
* Education
* Recognition
* Organizational support
If anyone is interested in any of these topics, feel free to add your name
to the Working Group wiki page. I'll be reaching out to people interested
in Systems & Data soon about getting access to these systems so they can
help understand more about those and fit them into the overall community
building planning.
https://wiki.mozilla.org/Contribute/Working_Groups
Post by Gervase Markham
Is there a wiki page or other resource somewhere which gives an overview
of the process and the content used? Who is in charge of the content,
and making updates to it? What processes exist to make sure it is
updated as things change?
The People team is aware that there needs to be more information about our
projects on the public wiki and more information will be available soon.
Post by Gervase Markham
It seems very weird to have the onboarding process for an open community
be un-open; within the limitations of the chosen tool, we should try and
fix that.
One of the things the Onboarding tool is attempting to fix for new
employees is having to deal with the firehose of information right off the
bat. This tool addresses that by personalizing the content and that
requires a login so the site knows who you are. I think it's great to see
experiments around dealing with the firehose.
I don't think that precludes making the content and experience open for
hacking, but we'll need to figure out the right way to do that that also
preserves the firehose mitigation feature :)
David
_______________________________________________
governance mailing list
https://lists.mozilla.org/listinfo/governance
Majken Connor
2013-04-09 20:46:35 UTC
Permalink
(Sorry about that, hit the send button when I was trying for the content
area)

I think shielding against the firehose effect is a good way to explain why
people like to be onboarded through a mentor rather than through tools and
wikis. Until you get familiar not only is it so much information, it can be
hard to find the answer you're looking for. Someone mentioned this above,
but it would be great to pair people, like a buddy system.
Post by d***@public.gmane.org
Post by Gervase Markham
Is it
possible for people not being onboarded to see the content presented
through the portal? If not, can we create some way of doing this? E.g.
can we e.g. create "test accounts" for people to go through the process
so they can give feedback?
Yes. At the Community Builders meetup in Toronto, Debbie Cohen gave a
demo of several of the People systems, including the Onboarding tool, and
invited everyone to take part in making those systems better. A summary of
that meetup is at
https://wiki.mozilla.org/Contribute/Meetup/Toronto_Mar_2013
One thing that came out of that meetup was the formation of Working
Groups around the 5 pillars of community building that the group has
* Contribution funnels
* Systems & data
* Education
* Recognition
* Organizational support
If anyone is interested in any of these topics, feel free to add your
name to the Working Group wiki page. I'll be reaching out to people
interested in Systems & Data soon about getting access to these systems so
they can help understand more about those and fit them into the overall
community building planning.
https://wiki.mozilla.org/Contribute/Working_Groups
Post by Gervase Markham
Is there a wiki page or other resource somewhere which gives an overview
of the process and the content used? Who is in charge of the content,
and making updates to it? What processes exist to make sure it is
updated as things change?
The People team is aware that there needs to be more information about
our projects on the public wiki and more information will be available soon.
Post by Gervase Markham
It seems very weird to have the onboarding process for an open community
be un-open; within the limitations of the chosen tool, we should try and
fix that.
One of the things the Onboarding tool is attempting to fix for new
employees is having to deal with the firehose of information right off the
bat. This tool addresses that by personalizing the content and that
requires a login so the site knows who you are. I think it's great to see
experiments around dealing with the firehose.
I don't think that precludes making the content and experience open for
hacking, but we'll need to figure out the right way to do that that also
preserves the firehose mitigation feature :)
David
_______________________________________________
governance mailing list
https://lists.mozilla.org/listinfo/governance
Gervase Markham
2013-04-18 09:58:34 UTC
Permalink
Post by d***@public.gmane.org
Yes. At the Community Builders meetup in Toronto, Debbie Cohen gave
a demo of several of the People systems, including the Onboarding
tool, and invited everyone to take part in making those systems
better. A summary of that meetup is at
https://wiki.mozilla.org/Contribute/Meetup/Toronto_Mar_2013
I can't see a write-up of the Onboarding tool session. Is there one?
Post by d***@public.gmane.org
One thing that came out of that meetup was the formation of Working
Groups around the 5 pillars of community building that the group has
* Contribution funnels * Systems & data * Education * Recognition *
Organizational support
If anyone is interested in any of these topics, feel free to add your
name to the Working Group wiki page. I'll be reaching out to people
interested in Systems & Data soon about getting access to these
systems so they can help understand more about those and fit them
into the overall community building planning.
https://wiki.mozilla.org/Contribute/Working_Groups
Surely the Onboarding tool would be "Education" rather than "Systems and
Data"?
Post by d***@public.gmane.org
The People team is aware that there needs to be more information
about our projects on the public wiki and more information will be
available soon.
This project was started 18 months ago, and every time the question has
been asked about when it would go public, the answer has been "soon".
The system has now got as far as actually being used for onboarding new
employees, and yet there is no (as far as I can see) public
referenceable information about the content which is being used to
educate them.

If the team is working towards providing more info, is there any
possibility that we might have a target date, rather than "soon"?
Post by d***@public.gmane.org
One of the things the Onboarding tool is attempting to fix for new
employees is having to deal with the firehose of information right
off the bat. This tool addresses that by personalizing the content
and that requires a login so the site knows who you are. I think
it's great to see experiments around dealing with the firehose.
Fair enough. So let's have some test logins that people can use, that
are automatically reset to start again every week. Or allow any
interested Mozillian to send an email to the system maintainer and
request a login or a login reset.
Post by d***@public.gmane.org
I don't think that precludes making the content and experience open
for hacking, but we'll need to figure out the right way to do that
that also preserves the firehose mitigation feature :)
To my mind, there is no conflict at all between making the content
available for hacking and exercising control over what content is
presented and what topics are addressed. If the content has an active
owner, then it would work very much like any other part of the project -
e.g. a code module. Owners of such modules are not required to accept
every contribution.

Gerv
Rubén Martín
2013-04-19 09:00:38 UTC
Permalink
Hi,

Another important item here is that if you ask volunteers for help, you
have to be open to work with them and let them be part of your team, they
are not an external agent, they are colleagues.

Volunteers are not here to solve a few translations or small tasks you
don't want/can't do. Let the volunteers be involved in your team if they
have time, integrate them and they will do better job.

It's not the same "we need these strings translated" than "let's talk how
to improve our communication in your language and meet the team to know the
goals".

Regards.
--
Rubén Martín (Nukeador)
Mozilla Reps Mentor
http://mozilla-hispano.org
http://twitter.com/mozilla_hispano
http://facebook.com/mozillahispano
d***@public.gmane.org
2013-04-19 21:57:35 UTC
Permalink
Post by Gervase Markham
I can't see a write-up of the Onboarding tool session. Is there one?
This was part of the 'Review of People Tools' session listed on the meetup summary page.
Post by Gervase Markham
Surely the Onboarding tool would be "Education" rather than "Systems and
Data"?
Sure, there is definitely an education component to this too. It was included in with Systems and Data since there's a tool the site uses to customize the content for each user -- the firehose mitigation feature :)
Post by Gervase Markham
If the team is working towards providing more info, is there any
possibility that we might have a target date, rather than "soon"?
I'm not directly involved with the Onboarding work, so I can't speak to any specific date for when more public info would be available.

I can say that since I joined the People team that I've seen people being much more open about their efforts. It's an ongoing process and I expect more to be coming soon. As part of this, there's a People team offsite next week and Dia and I will be talking to everyone there about how to be more open.
Post by Gervase Markham
Fair enough. So let's have some test logins that people can use, that
are automatically reset to start again every week. Or allow any
interested Mozillian to send an email to the system maintainer and
request a login or a login reset.
Getting some test logins is exactly what I'm looking into right now for members of the Systems and Data Working Group. Feel free to join the kick-off meeting for that group next Friday if you'd like.

https://etherpad.mozilla.org/cbt-working-group-systems-data
Post by Gervase Markham
To my mind, there is no conflict at all between making the content
available for hacking and exercising control over what content is
presented and what topics are addressed. If the content has an active
owner, then it would work very much like any other part of the project -
e.g. a code module. Owners of such modules are not required to accept
every contribution.
Agreed. I don't see any inherent conflict either.

David

Axel Hecht
2013-04-07 15:29:50 UTC
Permalink
Post by Rubén Martín
Hi,
I would like to open a discussion here about something that I've been
observing more and more at Mozilla, starting probably 2 years ago or so.
When some team or employee (it's not everyone but a big number) needs
help, first tries to hire or pay someone and then, if he can't or needs
extra help, pings the volunteers. This lead to a lot of situations where
the volunteers are not needed or they are like a extra or free resource,
last bullet good to have.
Historically this was completely the opposite, you have a project or an
idea, you work with all mozillians (current employees and volunteers)
and if you can't make it this way, you look for extra paid help.
Why and when this switch happened?
I would start the discussion saying that I think this a huge problem
right now, if new employees are instructed or used to paid help first,
we will kill the community. It's not nice to feel like free people only
needed if we can't get anything better paying...
Regards.
I'd like to chime in here with three comments:

1) It's one of the best mozilla traditions to recognize people with
leader roles once they've led.

As we're breaching into new aspects of known things and new things
altogether, getting people in charge of things that have led an effort
that's at least related often means getting people out of non-mozilla
ecosystems on board.

That comes with some obvious challenges, and brings along change that's
not always easy to absorb. Including but not limited to screwing up in
new ways. And that's OK.

2) People only work well as long as they're intrinsically motivated.

Volunteers are intrinsically motivated by default. My reading of the
statement above within the context of mozilla is really:

We need to 'manage' paid staff to be volunteers.

"Paid staff" should really only differ to "volunteers" in NDAs and
no-bother-about-the-rent.

3) Volunteers do what's right and within their power

IMHO, the worst misconception about volunteers would be that they're
only doing things they like to do. That's not my experience at all.
Localizers go through DOM error messages, coders write tests and fix
crashers. Neither of those are commonly regarded as fun, but they're the
right thing to do, for well explained reasons, and they're doable.

One shouldn't assume that a paid staff person would do any of those
tasks more passionately or more thoroughly just because they get a pay
check.

Axel
Rubén Martín
2013-04-07 17:47:52 UTC
Permalink
Post by Axel Hecht
We need to 'manage' paid staff to be volunteers.
"Paid staff" should really only differ to "volunteers" in NDAs and
no-bother-about-the-rent.
I'd like to stress this part, I think it's a very interesting approach,
and involves a lot of HR stuff inside de organisation (training,
motivation, building connections...).

Regards.
--
Rubén Martín [Nukeador]
Mozilla Reps Mentor
http://www.mozilla-hispano.org
http://twitter.com/mozilla_hispano
http://facebook.com/mozillahispano
Majken Connor
2013-04-07 18:29:02 UTC
Permalink
I think they should have a bit more difference than that. I know it can
sometimes be demoralizing to do work that other people are getting paid to
do. Some other differences I think we could identify are time commitment
and level of management and area of involvement.

A couple examples: If someone is putting in full time hours coding, this is
exactly the same job as Mozilla pays people to do, and so this person
should at least be offered a job as well. On the other hand, currently
Mozilla does not pay people to run local events (as far as I know, if this
is wrong pretend it's true!), so someone choosing to put lots of hours into
that wouldn't feel the same disparity. Someone putting full-time hours into
managing a large community like Mozilla Hispano (another hypothetical since
this community explicitly avoids having a hierarchy) is bringing a lot of
value to Mozilla, and I think we should consider hiring them as they are
basically a project manager (think Brian King's new role).

I think these criteria (or other criteria that suit better) would help
guide when someone shouldn't be hired for a role, but also when a volunteer
should be (if they would like it!)

Another thought, if there are enough employees on a team to do all the
work, either there are too many employees or not enough work! Though in
reality I know this is paradoxical, as employees tend to be less community
focused when they feel like they have deadlines and not enough time to get
their work done. Management should be mindful to make sure their teams have
enough time in their roadmaps to onboard volunteers through the whole
process, not just at the end to spread the word.

It might also help to add to the position creation process a justification
- how will paying someone to do this help the volunteer community be more
successful? In my view of things, if Mozilla is at its core an open,
volunteer based community, then every hire needs to be for the purpose of
leveraging and maximizing the value of volunteer efforts. I'm sure that's a
controversial statement!


On Sun, Apr 7, 2013 at 1:47 PM, Rubén Martín
Post by Rubén Martín
Post by Axel Hecht
We need to 'manage' paid staff to be volunteers.
"Paid staff" should really only differ to "volunteers" in NDAs and
no-bother-about-the-rent.
I'd like to stress this part, I think it's a very interesting approach,
and involves a lot of HR stuff inside de organisation (training,
motivation, building connections...).
Regards.
--
Rubén Martín [Nukeador]
Mozilla Reps Mentor
http://www.mozilla-hispano.org
http://twitter.com/mozilla_hispano
http://facebook.com/mozillahispano
_______________________________________________
governance mailing list
https://lists.mozilla.org/listinfo/governance
Majken Connor
2013-04-08 05:26:56 UTC
Permalink
I agree it needs to be a little more complex, but in the coding example
it's easy to see if the work produced is comparable.

The "toxicity" of the situation is worth discussing. Yes if someone doesn't
expect a job then they won't be upset if they don't get a job. But the
situation with volunteers is not so simple as that either. So long as
Mozilla pays employees there will be volunteers who hope for a job. Some
volunteers are putting the hours in trying to *earn* the job. Mozilla is
supposed to be a meritocracy that rewards results, not your resume so I
don't think volunteers should be discouraged from trying to earn those
jobs.

My suggestion is rather than trying to avoid the expectation altogether, we
should make it easier to have realistic expectations and be sure we're not
overlooking inside talent.

I also think there's nothing wrong with a policy that weights towards
hiring out of the community. If the community is healthy then we should
have the skills needed to pull from in many, if not most, cases. Again this
is the ideal scenario and maybe isn't entirely realistic but if we agree
it's ideal then it's still worth trying for.

Though I don't want the other side of my point to get lost either - using
the guidelines to avoid hiring where the problem is that the volunteers
aren't being leveraged properly. To make it easier to understand why an
outside hire was the right thing.
Post by Majken Connor
A couple examples: If someone is putting in full time hours coding, this
Post by Majken Connor
is
exactly the same job as Mozilla pays people to do, and so this person
should at least be offered a job as well.
This is a perilous road to go down.
Open source contributions are a _fantastic_ way to build up skills and
verifiable experience, and a strong background in such can weigh heavily in
a candidate's favor. But it's one of many complex factors to consider when
hiring for a position, and no simplistic policy can capture that. Setting
up an expectation that volunteering will ensure a job offer makes for a
pretty toxic relationship.
Justin
______________________________**_________________
governance mailing list
https://lists.mozilla.org/**listinfo/governance<https://lists.mozilla.org/listinfo/governance>
Gavin Sharp
2013-04-08 15:27:12 UTC
Permalink
Post by Majken Connor
I agree it needs to be a little more complex, but in the coding example
it's easy to see if the work produced is comparable.
Not really. And even if it was, "work produced" is not the only factor
that matters (for employment decisions or for participation in a
community).

Gavin
Majken Connor
2013-04-08 16:30:48 UTC
Permalink
Sure, but can you guys call out specific things that factor in as well?
Post by Gavin Sharp
Post by Majken Connor
I agree it needs to be a little more complex, but in the coding example
it's easy to see if the work produced is comparable.
Not really. And even if it was, "work produced" is not the only factor
that matters (for employment decisions or for participation in a
community).
Gavin
Justin Dolske
2013-04-08 02:35:13 UTC
Permalink
Post by Majken Connor
A couple examples: If someone is putting in full time hours coding, this is
exactly the same job as Mozilla pays people to do, and so this person
should at least be offered a job as well.
This is a perilous road to go down.

Open source contributions are a _fantastic_ way to build up skills and
verifiable experience, and a strong background in such can weigh heavily
in a candidate's favor. But it's one of many complex factors to consider
when hiring for a position, and no simplistic policy can capture that.
Setting up an expectation that volunteering will ensure a job offer
makes for a pretty toxic relationship.

Justin
Dirkjan Ochtman
2013-04-07 20:30:02 UTC
Permalink
1) It's one of the best mozilla traditions to recognize people with leader
roles once they've led.
...
2) People only work well as long as they're intrinsically motivated.
...
3) Volunteers do what's right and within their power
Really good points. Riffing on these, a Mozilla employee recently said
to me something like "I know not to rely on volunteers" when I
apologized for taking a long time with something I'd said I would do.
This might not be the exact wording he used, but IMO this is exactly
wrong. Of course you can't manage volunteers quite the way you can
manage employees whose work you oversee, but I would personally feel
better if Mozillians of all stripes expected me to actually do things
I said I'd do, and at least follow up if I don't. And I expect that
would go for a lot of the other volunteers who are (only)
intrinsically motivated.

Cheers,

Dirkjan
Gervase Markham
2013-04-08 10:57:54 UTC
Permalink
Post by Dirkjan Ochtman
Really good points. Riffing on these, a Mozilla employee recently said
to me something like "I know not to rely on volunteers" when I
apologized for taking a long time with something I'd said I would do.
This might not be the exact wording he used, but IMO this is exactly
wrong.
I think he drew an unfortunate conclusion, and if he didn't follow up
with you like he would have with a paid person, then that was wrong of him.

But I do think (any maybe everyone here agrees!) that, while we do not
expect volunteers to put in a time minimum or anything like that, one
thing I think it's reasonable for us to expect (in this and any
volunteer organization) is that people will do things they promise to
do, or be very communicative if their circumstances change and they no
longer can. If that's a problem, they shouldn't be making any promises
in the first place. "I'm a volunteer" is no excuse for flaking out on
people; to do so gives diligent volunteers a bad name.

Gerv
Josh Matthews
2013-04-12 15:52:03 UTC
Permalink
Post by Lawrence Mandel
Post by Gavin Sharp
On Fri, Apr 5, 2013 at 6:55 AM, Rubén Martín
Post by Rubén Martín
* Don't continue or don't start a development because "we don't
have
resources" and no volunteer was asked for help.
This particular point is a tricky one: "we don't have the resources
for this project" is often confused with "we don't think we should
focus the resources that we have on this project". But indeed there
is
an important distinction between those two reasons. Helping guide
where resources are used, and discouraging contributors (paid staff
or
otherwise) from pursuing low-value projects can be an important role
for Mozilla leaders. "The community" or "volunteers" are not an
infinite resource, and even if they were, there can be very real
coordination/communication costs to losing focus as a group.
I agree with Gavin about giving direction. I would also like to emphasize that MoCo is a corporation and a large contributor to Mozilla but is not a dictator in terms of Mozilla projects. If a non MoCo person or team wants to start development of a project to which MoCo hasn't devoted resources, that does not mean that the project will not be accepted into Mozilla. As a concrete example, MoCo had decided to omit Linux from the initial launch of the Desktop WebRT (Web runtime for apps). A volunteer decided that Linux should be included and did the work, which was subsequently adopted and included in the initial launch. WebVTT, which is being developed by Seneca students, also comes to mind as a more recent example.
Lawrence
Similarly, much of the per-window private browsing work was done by
volunteers, with Firefox product drivers telling us that it would be
great to ship but no corporation resources would be devoted to it.

Cheers,
Josh
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