RFC: Organizational Changes – Engineering Service

Mike McGrath mmcgrath at redhat.com
Fri Feb 5 18:07:19 UTC 2010

Among a lot of the target audience discussions or “top down” vs “bottom
up” discussions end at a very similar place.  We have no actual resources
to direct at specific OS initiatives.  FESCo in particular suffers from
this so as a result that team is mostly policy setting and conflict
resolution, both very valuable to Fedora.

I used to think the Board suffered from this as well but then I realized
they have gone to places like marketing, infrastructure, art, design team,
etc to get things done.  They don't mandate, but when a new
fedoracommunity.org domain is requested, the infrastructure team does it.
When we wanted a new website, we went to the websites and design teams and
they've done it (and continue to work on it).

The problem is we have no such service organization for our OS.  The work
gets done by the people that do it (this is good).  Still, some things
fall through the cracks and you certainly can't mandate work to FESCo as
they have no facilities to do it and the FESCo members themselves can't be
expected to do it.  So what I'm proposing is a new engineering service
team.  People volunteer knowing they will be told what to do and offer
only their time and skill set.  Suddenly FESCo has a directable resource.

So what would this team look like?  There would be a basic signup process.
We'd come up with a few types of 'jobs' and possibly some job
descriptions.  People would also put down exactly how many hours / week
they're willing and able to give and they would be accountable for that.
Those who can't keep up with what they said they could do get their hours
lowered to a level where they can.  Those that aren't reliable would get
removed altogether.

This team would be managed (and I mean that in the literal sense) by a
couple of people and assign tasks to those who are free.  During a release
we could have them do QA, we could have them write patches, we could have
them work with upstream.  The key here is a couple of people sit at the
top and literally assign the tasks that come in to people.

We could stick 3 of them together to identify what they think are critical
bugs in our netbook installation process, then have 2 others fix it.
Infrastructure could provide resources when it's needed and FESCo could
help prioritize things that are critical because a freeze is coming up or

The obvious flaw here is “will people volunteer?” I think they would.  I
know I will.

Thought / comments?


More information about the advisory-board mailing list