This first council is going to set the stage for further councils in a way, as well as likely settle the biggest governance questions. However, it’s also special because it’s the one where we’re transitioning our governance model, meaning it will probably need to be more BDFL-like at first than future councils will. With all that in mind, it’s important that we are extra cognizant this time around of who would fit best (and how well they would work together).
Initially I focused particularly on individuals and thought the following would make up a good council, especially considering continuity:
- Łukasz, Victor, or Yury
The first three, in addition to providing continuity, have good instincts and are really good about being objective in decision-making (and are thoughtful community-wise). I couldn’t imagine a council without Carol, whose thoughtfulness is superhuman and would have a critical impact on the council’s decisions and effect. I also thought the council would benefit from someone willing to break a few eggs to push Python forward. Those five people would be a mix that would give us a good result.
After discussing this with @steve.dower and @barry last week, I started thinking more about classifications of council members. Here are the groupings I was already thinking of plus a few from Steve and Barry:
- old guard (especially important for this first council)
- new to core development
- runs a business (deals with efficiency, process)
- effective at community (able to process all the needs & viewpoints)
- forward-thinking (pushing things forward)
- teaches Python
- part of an under-represented group (relative to python-dev), e.g. gender, nationality, etc. (diversity makes our group richer and helps us make better decisions)
- has mentored or is mentoring
- time zone (a world-wide spread potentially impacts council communication and speed)
- core developer vs. external
Obviously our pool of candidates is composed of people that fall into several of these groups. Think of it as a Venn diagram. I expect we’ll want to maximize coverage between the five elected council members.
Note that “technical proficiency” is not a category. Nor do I think it should be a prerequisite for the council. Instead, the council should be adept at deferring technical decisions (on a case-by-case basis) to delegates that can make effective choices. (A member of the council could certainly be chosen as a delegate, but that’s up to the council.) FWIW, I hope that this first council feels comfortable right away with pronouncing on a few PEPs (or picking speedy delegates), so we can clear out our logjam.
Another important consideration is that there’s a realistic possibility that most incumbents (which run again) will maintain their seats on the council. That would probably be fine, but it does factor in to the idea of “the composition of this first council is special”.
With all that said, below are councils that I (currently) think would be effective for this release. We’re lucky to have a great pool of candidates. The below selections are a reflection of my ideas on composition and not an assessment of any individuals–I mean no disrespect to any candidates.
- Barry or Nick
- Emily or Yury
more typical (anticipated)
- Nick or Greg
- Carol or Mariatta
- Yury or Victor
FWIW, I don’t intend the above as any form of politicking (telling others how they should vote). It’s a demonstration of how I think we can compose an effective council. Furthermore, neither of the above is necessarily how I will end up voting. I’d like to see an educator on the council, but wasn’t sure there was a good candidate (David?). I’m also inclined to include Peter or Travis somehow, for the sake of their insight.
Anyway, I figured it would be useful to share my thoughts on the composition of the steering council. I hope you find it helpful.