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From Martijn Dashorst <martijn.dasho...@gmail.com>
Subject [DISCUSS] Podlings are part the Incubator Community
Date Thu, 20 Jun 2019 07:56:54 GMT
 The future's not set. There's no fate but what we make for ourselves.
– John Connor

I wish to posit an opinion that is antithetical to the criticisms
floating around the Incubator. I know that I have not been involved
with the incubator for the last few years and read from the sidelines
the criticisms of the incubator. This post was written in the
aftermath of the Corinthia blow up, and has been in my drafts folder
ever since. I guess now is as good a moment to send it.

This is not a criticism of folks arguing for fewer rules, sanely
enforcing those rules and making those rules learnable items (hi
Greg!). This is a criticism of folks arguing that the Incubator is the
Enemy of All Good Things™, and all faults with the incubating process
lies with the incubator and the people working to make incubation
happen.

One of the oft cited criticisms is that mentors are 'second guessed'
by the 'peanut gallery' with drive-by comments at critical moments in
incubation. I think that this is a symptom rather than a cause: that
the 'peanut gallery' issue is caused by a Podling not interacting
(enough) with the IPMC community as a whole and vice versa!

Mentors are often invested in a community because they have guided
them. Not all mentors are good release vetters (how many have been
release managers?)–I've learnt a great deal from Sebb, nor are they
required to be: they should help the podlings find help throughout the
Foundation. Mentors are good for direct interactions and hands on
guidance. If your mentor is really good at building releases, then
that is great, if they have no experience with that, that is great
too, but then you need help from outside your mentors.

The larger IPMC can provide valuable checks and balances upon
important moments in a podlings journey towards TLP. These important
moments are in my opinion:

 - getting adopted by the IPMC,
 - shipping the first release and
 - graduating from the incubator.

These are the IPMC hurdles the podling has to jump over. They are
important. Yes you will find different opinions, quoted scripture and
what not. The way you handle those is as much informative about your
readiness to graduate, as is whether you checked all the t's and
dotted all the i's.

Also, it just occurred to me that podlings and many folks around here
don't seem to think that podlings are part of the incubator community.
Which is a sad realization, because as a podling you can have a great
influence on your future and the ease of graduating by engaging in the
incubator community. There's a metric ton of experience hanging around
at general@. Keeping your head down inside your dev@ list and only
looking outside when you have to ship your release or think you are
ready to graduate just doesn't cut it.

Engage with the incubator, ask for help when starting your first
Apache release, not just from your mentors, but also on general@.

Also, upon graduation it is beneficial for your project to keep
looking outside your community for opportunities to work with other
projects. This starts inside the incubator, and remains part of
graduated life. When you don't reach out, your community has a high
chance of not gaining new project members.

So instead of incubating in an antagonistic manner--let's keep those
IPMC fanatics as far away from us as possible--try to engage the
incubator as a community. Instead of fighting head on, ask why someone
has a concern. Instead of complaining, acknowledge that you have
learned something, say "we will fix it in the next release", create a
ticket, and fix it in the next release. Don't forget to mention in the
next release that you actually fixed the issue.

Becoming an Apache project is hard work.

My anecdotal evidence is the incubation of Wicket. We were very wary
of becoming an Apache project because of the things we heard about the
incubation process. We stayed in the incubator far to long (though
ultimately we had a swift incubation period), but not due to the IPMC:
we were to blame ourselves naval gazing in our own dev@ list instead
of working towards graduation. Once we realized our mistake,
graduation was a mere couple of months away. Also, we tried to engage
the incubator community and listen to what advice was given to other
podlings, asking for clarification when we didn't understand.

After graduation you'll have to report to the board, and (one of you)
will need to subscribe to the board@ mailing list. If you keep your
head down and only do the bare minimum, you are doing our (including
your!) community a disservice. There's a lot to learn from
disseminating what's happening at the board level, even in discussions
that don't directly affect your project: it might be that in a couple
of weeks the discussion *will* affect your project.

So interacting with the IPMC will invariably train you for life beyond
the incubator. Make the best effort and you will thrive once
graduated.

Martijn Dashorst

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