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Call for Nominations: Cloud Foundry Foundation Technical Oversight Committee Election

(TL;DR – we are holding an election to create a TOC… members of the CFF technical community need to take a couple of actions. Check the “TODO” list at the bottom of this post.)

Overview:

As many members of the community are aware, a working group has been meeting regularly to propose changes to our community governance structure. Last week, the first major milestone in this work was reached when the Foundation’s Governing Board (GB) voted in favor of establishing a Technical Oversight Committee (TOC) to take the place of the PMC Council.

With that change now approved, we are kicking off the first TOC election cycle today.

This is the first step, of what I expect to be a fairly complex realignment of how our technical community works day to day. There are many decisions still left to be made, but I am confident that a democratic election of the TOC will bring together community leaders that will be responsive and thoughtful when making these choices.

Why Change?

The Cloud Foundry Foundation was created after a long and difficult negotiation process amongst the founding member organizations. Many, many things have changed in our ecosystem in the (over) six years since that negotiation took place, but our community’s approach to decision making has stayed roughly the same. 

When I took on the role as Executive Director in early 2020, my primary goal was to help the Foundation’s membership and the project’s community restructure how everyone works together. At the end of 2020, the Foundation completed a set of changes to the corporate structure that supports the technical community’s efforts. Today, we are taking a major step on the community side.

The community members that have been participating in this process have grounded their thinking on three key guiding principles: Transparency, Clarity and Inclusivity. Every change proposed is tied back to those principles, and every change going forward should do the same. I encourage everyone to take a moment to read more about what we mean by these principles.

Put simply, it is time to make participation in the project easier for everyone.

What’s this TOC Thing?

A Technical Oversight Committee will take the place of the PMC Council, but that is where the similarity ends. The CFF TOC will be a democratically elected group of community members that represent you, the community.

The TOC is responsible for the oversight, direction, and delivery of technical aspects of the Cloud Foundry projects and working groups. Most importantly, the role of the TOC should be to enable the community to do good work in an open and transparent way, while helping to maintain the integrity of the project used by so many organizations around the world.

The first TOC election will be structured to elect five TOC members. Using the results of the election, the two nominees with the highest number of votes will have two year terms. The next three nominees, by number of votes, will have an initial term of one year.

The second TOC election will be held a year after the initial election. During that second election cycle, the three TOC members with initial one year terms will be at the end of their initial terms. Those TOC seats will be up for election during that second TOC election. An election will be held every year after that, with either two or three TOC seats being up for election each cycle.

The work of the TOC should become easier over time, but this first TOC will be asked to continue the hard work transforming how technical collaboration happens.

Who Gets To Participate?

TOC Eligibility:

The rules for eligibility to be a member of the TOC include specific community roles, which don’t exist yet. As such, eligibility to be nominated for the TOC during the first election will be:

Community members who are currently PMC Leads, Project Leads or committers within any PMC or project. Each member organization of the CFF can also nominate one additional person not meeting these criteria as a candidate for the first TOC election.

Eligible Voters:

If you are a member of the Cloud Foundry technical community, you have a role to play here. Any individual who has contributed to CFF projects or technical working groups in the twelve months prior to the election is eligible to vote in the TOC election.

Contributions include, but are not limited to, opening PRs, reviewing and commenting on PRs, opening and commenting on issues, writing design docs, commenting on design docs, participating in mailing list discussions and participating in working groups.

Timeline:

  • May 11 – Announcement of Election and Call for Nominations
  • May 11 through May 28 – Candidate nomination period
  • June 1 – Election Begins via email ballots
  • June 15 – Election Closes
  • June 17 – Results Announced

TODO (What you need to do):

  1. Check the voter list: Each election cycle, we will use automated reporting to try to gather a list of eligible voters. The reporting will be imperfect, given the definition of eligibility being so broad. If you want to vote, or if you want to nominate someone for the TOC, please check for your name in the list. If you are not on the list, just submit an issue using this template. The deadline is May 28th to be added to the voter list.
  2. Nominate TOC candidates: Every eligible voter can nominate candidates for the TOC, and we encourage you to do so. If you are eligible to serve on the TOC, you can self nominate! If you want to nominate someone else, do so as well! You can nominate someone for the TOC by submitting an issue using this template. The deadline is May 28th to be nominated (and for the nominee to indicate acceptance).

More information on the election process can be found in the 2021 TOC election guide.

Final Thoughts:

This will be our first time running this process as a community, so please bear with us if there are any hiccups or issues. The CFF staff will be here to make the process as smooth as possible, and will err on the side of “get it right” vs. “get it done on schedule”. I also expect that we will change the operational processes we use to support the election after this first cycle. As we always share with Cloud Foundry end users, plan to iterate. 🙂

I know that I speak for everyone that has been involved in the technical governance process over the last several months when I say that this should be an exciting time for the community. We have come very far over the years, but have so much further to go.

Community members can feel free to reach out directly to me if you have any questions, concerns or issues.

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Chip Childers, AUTHOR

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