Meeting to be held at IBM Squirrel Hill at 7:30pm on Tuesday, February 7th, 2017.
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The regular meeting of the WPLUG Board of Directors was held on February 7th, 2017, at 7:30pm, at IBM Squirrel Hill.
- Vance Kochenderfer (Chair)
- Joseph Prostko (Vice Chair - by phone)
- Pat Barron (Secretary)
- Justin Smith (Director at Large - by phone)
- Terry Golightly (Treasurer - by phone)
The meeting was called to order at 7:40pm
Approval of minutes:
The minutes of the previous board meeting were read, a correction was offered (typo was corrected), and the minutes were adopted as corrected.
Reports of officers:
Chair: Nothing to report.
Vice chair: Nothing to report.
Secretary: WPLUG currently has 12 members, 1 due to lapse in Feb, 2 due to lapse in March. As a sidebar, Vance raised the thought that we could let members drop and not accept renewals, or leave people on to keep contact with them. We can discuss later.
Treasurer: (The secretary reported this on behalf of the treasurer) As of 1/31/2017 WPLUG's checking account balance was $325.47 There was 1 debit of $12.50 from Linode on 1/3. The treasurer indicated that there are no deposits or transactions pending.
Director at large: Nothing to report.
Reports of committees:
Event committee: Vance had a phone call with Beth Lynn earlier in the week, she is going to be here in a couple of weeks and is interested sometime between 21st and 24th in hosting an event at the PSC. The topic is likely to be Beth Lynn's history with free software and introduction to that. No more specifics than that, but this is something we can definitely announce when we get more details. Beth Lynn also did follow up on our discussion from last time on data center tours - this is possible, given some advance notice and planning, that could be something we look at in the future.
Technology committee: Nothing noteworthy to report.
Investigating committee: Nothing to report.
Marketing and Communications committee: No specific report, but Joe will make sure to promote the upcoming events when given further details.
The major item is working on the job description for the steward (formerly custodian). The one question we really didn't resolve was the introductory text. It is long, and Vance could take either side related to removing it or not. If anyone has further ideas, please speak up. Justin indicates that executive-type people value brevity and we want to make sure we don't make it overly long. Vance thinks the information in the lead-in, for the type of person we're looking for, is not going to be news - on the other hand, it does serve as a sort of lead-in. Vance is still indecisive. Justin says the content of the lead-in would depend on who we wish to target. Vance's view is 1) we need to make sure that we cast a wide net and not necessarily just software developers - reach out to people who might be involved with free software projects in other ways / free culture projects / etc. Vance thinks that experience is definitely relevant. And, 2) do think we want to avoid the tendency of wanting to focus on just whatever is the new and hot technology without a lot of regard as to the principles of free and open source software. Vance isn't interested in having a group that gets very interested on running things on MS Azure / some other proprietary technologies, just because it happens to be popular / attracting a lot of attention. That, in his mind, is an argument for keeping that in, and the companies mentioned do cool stuff by is also tied into the ethos of FOSS. Justin suggests that regardless of the description, an interview process will reveal much more about the person that could otherwise be gleaned. This is from his experience with getting hired in his last job, and his experience as a sysadmin over the years. Vance may be been too focused on putting everything in the job description up front, when it will ultimately come out during the selection process. Pat doesn't think the intro paragraphs are necessary, but anyone who gets lost over the length in 2 paragraphs isn't a good fit, and it also seems like it's a story and written for the entertainment of the writer, rather than conveying something to the reader. Joe also thinks these paragraphs aren't necessary but don't hurt. Justin suggests these paragraphs could be reworked, and rephrased as a question to try to prompt an answer from the reader. Vance thinks we have more or less a consensus on axing the first 2 paragraphs and focusing on current day, leading into the questions.
Some other specific edits to the job description were discussed.
No other suggestions for edits, Vance will start getting to work this week on contacting the people we discussed last time, and will send this around. Might just come up with a final draft and circulate one last version to make sure there's nothing we happen to be forgetting. Otherwise, will start publicizing it through the channels we discussed. There is no need to establish a cutoff date. Probably would want to use "email@example.com" address for people to respond so that an address will be used that will be long-lasting. Justin suggests we should have some sort of internal timetable or cutoff date in mind, and if no success by then, discuss with Beth Lynn now to proceed. Vance's mental picture of the timeline is end of current board term (November). If not filled, try plan B. Pat thinks that might be an example of something we've been criticized for in the past, which is not moving with any sense of urgency, though it depends on who offers themselves up to talk to. Vance thinks we should continue trying to get together monthly as a board, to keep on top of where things stand, if we need to make some sort of adjustment or find other placed to publicized, or ocme up with some other approach, we can. Vance noted that we still do have a LinkedIn group which he could post a message in. But having that recurring event to touch base should help prevent stagnation. Vance will come up with the final draft and send out one last version for any additional comments, and sometime this weekend starting to distribute it. Vance would say he's more than happy to have it distributed elsewhere, but we need to make sure it's the right audience. Justin thinks we should start thinking about what sort of interview questions we might be asking candidates. Justin raised some issues of the logistics of doing these interviews - maybe just over e-mail? Vance thinks initially e-mail, but strongly prefers a face-to-face meeting at least at some stage of the process. He's OK with hanging on to the publication until we can get some questions together, but not want to make it too long. Maybe a week from Friday as a deadline. Justin thinks this would be fine. Vance can be available to meet to discuss.
Joe asks if we should take down the membership page. Vance agrees we can make some edits to identify anything that might need to change. Maybe leave committees because these are people who could be useful to the steward.
Terry asks for clarification on what happens to the board after the steward is appointed, and if the board will have authority over the steward. Vance clarifies that after the steward is appointed, and the few other housekeeping tasks specified are completed, the board is dissolved and the steward has complete authority without recourse.
Vance asks Joe to come up with an edit to the membership page to indicate we are not currently accepting new members and things are changing.
It was proposed to set the date of the next board meeting to March 21st. There was no objection.
The meeting was adjourned @ 8:45pm