How to recognize contributor achievement (Re: LWN Subscriptions for Fedora contributors.)

Jeff Spaleta jspaleta at
Mon Feb 25 06:05:31 UTC 2008

On Thu, Feb 21, 2008 at 8:47 PM, Francesco Ugolini
<fugolini at> wrote:
>  Since the 1th FAmSCo we organize an Award program starting from an
>  Alex Meier (Ambs proj founder) arriving to the last FAmSCo. Yes, i
>  agree with a the idea of metrics, as you advice each sub project has
>  its metrics, ambassadors project, for his nature, has both a concrete
>  (events etc...) and personal metric (leadership in a country, etc...).
>  We are a really different project, because ambassadors aren't working
>  in the same place and each country has its events, smaller, for
>  example, than other one. If we choose a standard metrics we could cut
>  those people that, for example, are working great trying to prepare
>  online material or trying to organize their country IRC meeting. Not
>  only. We decide to use a metrics, how can we measure it for each
>  ambassadors? We haven't a tool to measure all ambs activities, both
>  live and offline.

You've described is exactly why its important for each subproject to
decide among themselves how to recognize contributors inside their own
space of the larger Fedora project.  You are absolutely right... for
some types of important work we can't get hard metrics. I want them,
the people on the Red Hat side of the fence like Max and Greg want
them.. but we all know we can't always get them.

I want to have a recognition framework that gives each subproject the
freedom to nominate and recognize individuals in their group in a way
that makes sense to that group.  I don't even want to attempt to
compare maintainers to ambassadors in some sort of ill-fitting attempt
to compare people doing these very different things but doing them
exceedingly well.  Its apples to oranges...and I love both types of

I want a state fair approach to contributor recognition, not a dog
show approach.  I want each the outstanding contributions to each
category..each breed of contribution to get recognized. But I don't
want to have "a best in show" award that gets all the attention and
but is ultimately hollow in terms of serving to inspire the growing
community of contributors to do their best work.

I want a framework that Red Hat and potentially other entities (and
even community individuals) can seed a small amount of resources into
explicitly for recognition. Maybe in the future its more LWN
subscriptions, or maybe its a gift certificate to Chile's, maybe its a
book on curling strategy.  The awards aren't really that important,
compared to having a fair way to stand up people we know are important
and give all of us an opportunity to thank them for doing their best
work and helping us do ours.  That's what's important and that sort of
lifting up is only really possible by a group of peers who are in the
trenches together getting stuff done.

So in that sense what your group is already doing is a great model...
not because of metrics or the lack of them.. but because you've agreed
on a way of making that recognition happen.

What we need to figure out at the larger Project level is how to build
a framework that we can use to take that sort of recognition to the
next level. So we can take the people each subproject chooses to lift
up and embarrass them by making them externally and internally poster
children for what it means to be a Fedora contributor.

-jef"Did i mention a book on curling strategy would make an excellent
recognition award... just want to make sure I mentioned that...cuz its
important...books...on curling"spaleta

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