Nov 08 2018
Nov 08

This is a public update on the work of the Governance Task Force.

Drupal is one of the most successful open source projects in the world. Governance is fundamental to the project's success.

The community and the code has been built from the ground up. And as the code has grown, so has the community.

When communities are first emerging it's easy to bring newcomers along, but over time the community begins to mature, change, and then needs to adapt. Challenges and opportunities emerge as evolution occurs, and our community needs to navigate them strategically.

A Governance Task Force has been meeting weekly since May to put together the strategic proposal we now share with you. We've synthesized ideas, discussions, and experiences from people we've interviewed, and we've revisited the themes that emerged from the community listening project run by Whitney Hess and by previous governance discussions.

This Drupal Governance Task Force 2018 Proposal serves two purposes.

Firstly, it's clear that for community evolution to occur there needs to be broad agreement and buy-in. People are comfortable jumping in and building a new module, but community change and action is hard. People talked to us openly about the unclear processes and barriers holding back community progress.

We heard strong perceptions that support from Dries or the Drupal Association is needed before initiatives could be created or scaled; real or otherwise, this is affecting community progress and action. Speaking to people from the Drupal Association, the Community Working Group and other initiative leaders, they also feel limitations. But to change their terms of reference and priorities they also need to have a community directive.

The community is stronger and more influential than we sometimes assume  --- when we are speaking together.

That's why at the heart of this proposal is a new community governance structure.

The second purpose of the proposal is to create a starting point --- a framework. We’ve been practical, highlighting a range of actions that form a backbone for community evolution. It’s not a defined roadmap, and it’s not a list of every idea we had or heard. We welcome the discussion, debate and idea generation that this document will spark. We want to hear your solutions on how to get change done, and what you would like to contribute.

We strived to make practical recommendations with the potential to make progress, lower barriers, and help our community to continue to evolve with time.

Throughout this process we have heard people say they believe change is necessary. Change is necessary for the longevity of Drupal the project and the code. Change is necessary to create a new generation of Drupallers — the people we want to help build ambitious things and to have the chance to build a career within our community.

It is hard to not feel the project is at a crossroads. We’ve climbed the mountain of Drupal 8, we sit at the peak and look to the valley below.

Where we go next, and who we take with us, is up to you.

We hope this proposal helps.

David, Ela, Stella, Lyndsey, Rachel, Hussain, and Adam

File attachments:  Drupal-Governance-Task-Force-Proposal-2018.pdf
Oct 04 2018
Oct 04

This is a public update on the work of the Governance Task Force.

The Governance Task Force has been working hard to prepare the proposal. We currently have a completed draft that we are actively refining for editorial improvement. As part of the review, we believe it is important to get initial feedback from some key stakeholders to ensure there are no major issues identified. We'll consider making changes to the proposal at our discretion. The proposal will then be delivered to the community and we’re very excited to soon share this. While things may change, we believe we are on time to deliver the proposal before the end of October.

Our team is actively discussing the handoff and next steps that follow from our work. We recognize that there may be ongoing support needed and want to do what we can to help follow-up efforts. It is imperative that momentum is maintained after our proposal is delivered.

We will be recommending a public commentary period before any recommendations move forward for the community to share their thoughts. This commentary period will likely outlast the task force. The task force will officially disband at the end of October, as we have stated in our charter. This does not mean that the work is complete, as there may be discussion and, most importantly, approved recommendations will need support to move forward. The task force wants to do what we can to enable the next steps and we are actively discussing how this might happen, even if we, as individuals, participate without an official charter.

We continue to be committed to serving the community and operating in a transparent way. If you wish to reach us, please fill out this Google form and we will respond as soon as we’re able.

Sep 15 2018
Sep 15

Who Are We?

The Drupal Community Working Group (CWG) is responsible for promoting and upholding the Drupal Code of Conduct and maintaining a friendly and welcoming community for the Drupal project.

The CWG is an independent group chartered directly by Dries Buytaert in his capacity as project lead. The original members of the CWG were appointed by Dries in March of 2013. Since then, new CWG members have been selected by the group from the Drupal community, and then approved by Dries. The CWG is made up entirely of community volunteers, and does not currently have any funding, staff, legal representation, or outside resources.

The CWG’s current active membership is:

  • George DeMet (United States): Joined CWG in March 2013, chair since March, 2016.
  • Michael Anello (United States): Joined CWG in December 2015.
  • Jordana Fung (Suriname): Joined CWG in May 2017.

Rachel Lawson (United Kingdom) was a member of the CWG from May through December 2017, when she started a new position as the Drupal Association’s Community Liaison.

Emma Karayiannis (United Kingdom) and Adam Hill (United Kingdom) have informed the CWG of their intention to formally step down from the CWG once replacements can be found for them; we are currently engaged in a search process to identify new members to fill their positions.

The CWG is also building a network of volunteer subject matter experts who we can reach out to for advice in situations that require specific expertise; e.g., cultural, legal, or mental health issues.

What Do We Do?

The CWG is tasked with maintaining a friendly and welcoming contributor community for the Drupal project. In addition to maintaining and upholding the Drupal Code of Conduct and working with other responsible entities within the Drupal ecosystem to ensure its enforcement, the CWG also helps community members resolve conflicts through an established process, acting as a point of escalation, mediation, and/or final arbitration for the Drupal community in case of intractable conflicts. We also provide resources, consultation and advice to community members upon request.

Other activities the CWG has engaged in in the past year include:

  • Sharing experiences and best practices with representatives from other open source projects, both in a one-on-one setting and at various open source community events.
  • Recognizing community leadership through the Aaron Winborn Award, which is presented annually to an individual who demonstrates personal integrity, kindness, and above-and-beyond commitment to the Drupal community.
  • Helping to ensure the community’s voice is represented in the governance process. While the CWG’s charter does not allow it to make community-wide governance decisions, the CWG did work with other interested members of the community to help organize and facilitate a series of community governance meetings in the fall of 2017 following the results of a survey conducted by the Drupal Association. Results and takeaways from these meetings were also shared with the community-at-large.
  • Organizing a Teamwork and Leadership Workshop at DrupalCon Nashville to explore teamwork, leadership, and followership in the context of the Drupal community. Our goal was to expand the base of people who can step into leadership positions in the Drupal community, and to help those who may already be in those positions be more effective. Takeaways from this event were also shared with the community-at-large.
  • With input from the community, drafting and adopting a Code of Ethics for CWG members that clearly defines expectations for members around subjects such as confidentiality and conflicts of interest.

Incident Reports

The CWG receives incident reports from Drupal community members via its incident report form or via email.

  • In 2017, the CWG received 43 official incident reports submitted.
  • From January 1 through September 14, 2018, the CWG has received 33 official incident reports.

In addition, we regularly receive informal reports from community members, which are not included in the totals above. With informal reports, we often encourage the community member to file an official report as well to establish a written record of the incident and to ensure that they have as much agency as possible over how the issue is addressed.

The types of issues that the CWG has received in the last year include:

  • Community members being disrespectful and rude in issue queues.
  • Technical disagreements and frustrations that turn into personal attacks.
  • Abusive language and harassment in Drupal Slack and IRC.
  • Appeals of bans made by Drupal Slack moderators.
  • Inappropriate language and content at community events.
  • Harassment and trolling of community members on social media .
  • Physical harassment of community members (both in and outside of community spaces).
  • Ongoing issues involving specific community members with established patterns of behavior that are disruptive to others.
  • Drupal trademark questions and issues (these are referred to Dries Buytaert, who is responsible for enforcing the Drupal trademark and logo policy).

The CWG also chose not to act on several reports it felt were being made in bad faith and/or in an attempt to harass or intimidate other community members. As per its charter, the CWG also does not respond to requests to take specific punitive action against members of the community. Our goal is to help people understand and take responsibility for the impact that their words and actions have on others.

The CWG relies primarily on its established conflict resolution process to address incident reports. Depending on the situation, this may involve one or more CWG members providing mediation between the parties in conflict or suggesting ways that they can resolve the issue themselves. For matters that may take an unusually long time to resolve, we provide all involved parties with regular status reports so they know that their issue is still being worked on.

In cases of a clear Code of Conduct violation, the CWG will take immediate steps as necessary to ensure the safety of others in the community up to and including recommending permanent or temporary bans from various Drupal community spaces, such as Slack, IRC, Drupal.org, or DrupalCon and other Drupal events.

Other outcomes may include:

  • Discussion of the issue with involved parties to try to find a mutually acceptable and beneficial outcome.
  • Asking one or more of the involved parties to apologize and/or take other actions to address the consequences of their behavior.
  • Discussion of the issue with the involved parties, after which someone may choose to leave the community voluntarily.
  • Asking someone to leave the community if they are not willing or able to address the consequences of their behavior.
  • Recommending bans from various community spaces, including virtual spaces

In some cases, we may receive an after-the-fact report about a situation that has already been resolved, or where the person making the report has asked for no action to be taken. In those cases, we review the incident, decide whether further action is necessary, and keep it on file for reference in case something similar happens in the future.

While the CWG has in the past directly acted as code of conduct enforcement contacts for DrupalCon (which is run by the Drupal Association and has its own code of conduct distinct from that of the community), as of November 2017 those duties have been assumed by DrupalCon staff. The CWG and DrupalCon staff continue to coordinate with each other to ensure that reports are handled by the appropriate responsible body.

Sharing With the Community

The CWG publishes anonymized versions of its weekly minutes that are shared with the community via our public Google Drive folder. These minutes are also promoted via the CWG’s Twitter account @drupalcommunity.

In addition to the public minutes, the CWG also occasionally issues public statements regarding issues of importance to the broader community and beyond:

The CWG also maintains a public issue queue on Drupal.org. Following a series of community discussions in the spring of 2017, the CWG filed a series of issues in this queue to clarify points of confusion and address outstanding concerns about its role in the community.

The CWG also presents sessions at DrupalCon, as well as other camps and events. Sessions presented at DrupalCon in the last year include:

In addition, CWG members have also organized, spoken, and/or participated in Q&A sessions about the CWG at the following events:

  • MidCamp (Chicago, IL)
  • DrupalCamp Asheville (Asheville, NC)
  • Twin Cities DrupalCamp (Minneapolis, MN)
  • DrupalCamp Colorado (Denver, CO)
  • FOSS Backstage (Munich, Germany)
  • Community Leadership Summit (Portland, OR)
  • Edinburgh Drupal User Group (Edinburgh, Scotland)
  • Open Source North East (Newcastle upon Tyne, England)
  • All Things Open (Raleigh, NC) - Upcoming

The CWG is also exploring ways it can make itself available more often to the community via real-time virtual channels such as Slack, Google Meet, or Zoom.

New Challenges

Online Harassment

The number of incidents that the CWG handles relating to online harassment, particularly on social media, has increased significantly in the last couple of years. Because this harassment is often perpetrated by individuals or groups of people posting from behind anonymous accounts, it is sometimes difficult for the CWG to positively identify those responsible and hold them accountable for their actions. This is compounded by the apparent lack of interest from leading social media companies in taking action against abusive accounts or addressing harassment that occurs on their platforms in any effective or meaningful way.

The Drupal community’s switch from IRC to Slack for much of its real-time communication has also provided another vector for harassment, particularly targeting people who participate in communities of interest that focus on topics such as diversity, inclusion, and women in Drupal. While it is possible to ban individual Slack accounts, it is fairly easy for perpetrators to create new ones, and because they are not always tied to Drupal.org IDs, it is sometimes difficult to identify who is responsible for them.

Sexual Harassment and Abuse

Following reports last year relating to sexual harassment in the Drupal community, the CWG understands that there are likely additional incidents that have occurred in the past that have gone unaddressed because we are unaware of them. While our code of conduct is clear that we do not tolerate abuse or harassment in our community, we also know that people don’t always feel safe reporting incidents or discussing their concerns openly. As a consequence, nothing is done about them, which undermines the effectiveness of our code of conduct and in turn leads to fewer reports and more incidents that go unaddressed.

It is our opinion as a group that open source communities across the board need better mechanisms and procedures for handling reports of sexual abuse, harassment, and/or assault. We also need to keep better records of incidents that have occurred, so that we can more quickly identify patterns of conduct and abuse, and better ways to recognize and address incidents across projects so that people who have engaged in harassment and abuse in one community aren’t able to repeat that behavior in another community.

Staffing and Resources

We need to ensure that the CWG is adequately staffed to assist with the increasing number of incident reports we receive each year. While several members have pursued relevant professional development and training opportunities at their own expense, the CWG currently has no direct access to funds or resources to pursue them as a group. As a volunteer community group chartered by the project lead, the CWG also currently operates without the benefit of legal protection or insurance coverage.

Initiatives for 2018/2019

Governance Changes

While the CWG is not allowed to make changes to its own charter, in early 2017 we explored a number of potential changes that we had intended to propose to Dries to help make our group more effective and better positioned to proactively address the needs of the Drupal community.

That work was put on hold following a series of community discussions that occurred in the spring of 2017.  Those conversations surfaced questions, suggestions, and concerns about the accountability, escalation points, and overall role of the CWG, many of which we documented and addressed in our public issue queue. While we were able to address many of the issues that were raised, some can only be addressed with changes to the CWG’s charter.

We fully support and appreciate the ongoing work of the Governance Task Force to update and reform Drupal community governance. While we understand that additional changes may occur pending the outcome of the overall governance reform process, we also feel that there are some changes related to the CWG that need to be made as soon as possible. These proposed changes are currently under review both internally as well as with Dries and other involved stakeholders, and will be shared with the community for review and comment prior to adoption.

Updating the Community’s Code of Conduct

The current Drupal community code of conduct was published in 2010 and is based on the Ubuntu code of conduct.  As per its charter, the CWG is responsible for “maintain[ing] the Conflict Resolution Process (CRP) and related documentation, including the Drupal Code of Conduct”. The CWG has made several changes to the code of conduct over the years, the most significant of which was the addition of the conflict resolution policy in 2014, much of which was inspired by work done within the Django community.

While Drupal was one of the first open source projects to adopt a code of conduct, many others have done so since, and there are a variety of models and best practices for open source community codes of conduct. Based on feedback that we have received over the past year, the CWG is working on an initiative to review and update Drupal’s community code of conduct with input and involvement from both the community-at-large as well as outside experts with code of conduct experience from other projects. Our goal is to introduce this initiative before the end of 2018.

Dealing with Banned Individuals

Some local event organizers have asked the CWG for better tools to ensure that they weren’t inadvertently providing a platform to people who have been banned from speaking at or attending other events due to code of conduct violations.  While the number of people who have been banned from attending DrupalCon and other Drupal events is very small, a comprehensive list of the identities of those individuals is currently known only to the CWG and the Drupal Association.

While the CWG does not generally publish the names of individuals who have been asked not to attend Drupal events, we do reserve the right to publish their names and the reasons for their ban if they do not abide by it.  While we believe that this is effective at deterring individuals from attending events they have been banned from, we also understand that it does not always provide other attendees and/or conference organizers with the tools they need to ensure a safe environment at their events.

Members of the CWG have discussed this issue with their counterparts in other communities, and it does not appear that there are consistently established best practices for handling these kinds of situations, particularly in communities as decentralized as Drupal. With the input of the community, we would like to establish clear and consistent guidelines for local event organizers.  

Community Workshops and Training

In 2016, the CWG conducted a survey and interviews of Drupal core contributors to identify sources of frustration during the Drupal 8 development cycle. One of our recommendations was for the project to focus more on developing skills like creative problem solving, conflict resolution, effective advocacy, and visioning in order to broaden understanding of Drupal’s community, its assets and its challenges.

Following the success of the teamwork and leadership workshop that the CWG led in collaboration with the Drupal Association at DrupalCon Nashville in 2018, the CWG is exploring opportunities for additional workshops and training at DrupalCon Seattle and other events.

Summary

Over the past few years, the Drupal project and community has grown rapidly, bringing a series of new and evolving challenges. Not only has the project grown progressively more complex with each major release, but the time between releases has increased and more is being asked of the developer community by customers and end-users.

We believe this is a significant contributing factor in the increase in the number of documented incidents of negative conflict, which left unaddressed may result in a decline in contributor productivity and morale. The work of the Community Working Group seeks not only to mitigate the impact of negative conflict, but also to provide the community with the tools and resources it needs to make the Drupal project a safer, more welcoming, and inclusive place.

Sep 11 2018
Sep 11

This is a public update on the work of the Governance Task Force .

The Governance Task Force completed the research phase, community member interviews, and is now working on the proposal to be delivered to project leadership and the community. We analyzed all of the previously shared information, and the interviews we conducted, in an effort to identify individual themes. These individual themes will be the basis for the proposal.

Extension

This process has taken longer than expected, especially given summer time conflicts. As such, members of the Governance Task Force have formally requested a one-month extension. We aim to have the proposal delivered by the end of October.

Drupal Europe

September 11, some members of the Governance Task Force will be leading a session at Drupal Europe, providing an update on current progress, facilitating an open discussion, and answering and questions.

Ongoing Feedback

Should you want to contact the Governance Task Force, feel free to reach out to any member of the group via Slack, drupal.org, or any public place you find our members. We’ve also setup a Google form for direct feedback. You can submit the form anonymously. This form will stay active throughout the proposal process.

Adam Bergstein
David Hernandez
Ela Meier
Hussain Abbas
Lyndsey Jackson
Rachel Lawson
Stella Power

Aug 07 2018
Aug 07

This is a public update on the work of the Governance Task Force.

We have progressed into what we are calling the “Engagement Phase” of our schedule; interviewing community member, working groups, and soliciting feedback and meetups and camp. To date we have interviewed at least 18 people (including community members, liaisons, and leadership,) and 3 groups, with at least 15 more being scheduled.

Interviews

If you would like to participate in an interview, please contact any member of the Governance Task Force or sign up using this Google form.

The purpose of interviews is to meet with people individually to get feedback and ideas, and have a conversation about community governance (non-technical governance.) Many governance related discussions have occurred in the past, but we want to make sure everyone has an opportunity to be heard, since group discussions are not always conducive to individual thoughts. Notes taken during the interview are available to, and editable by, the person interviewed, and not shared outside the Governance Task Force. If you have any concerns about a language barrier, privacy, or any other concerns about participating in an interview, contact us. We will do what we can to work with you.

Analysis

The individual interviews are a new step in this governance process, but we do have access to a lot of information that was already compiled from prior discussions. Many town hall style discussions were held over the past year, and we are using all of that information. As we progress into the “Analysis Phase” we are using that information to develop user stories and ideas that will help inform our eventual proposal. Once the interviews are concluded, their analysis will be merged with the existing information.

Drupal Europe

Rachel, Ela, and Stella will be providing an update on the task force’s efforts at Drupal Europe. Findings will be shared and there will be an open discussion to hear from attendees to inform our efforts.

Ongoing Feedback

The task force is committed to working transparently and delivering a well-rounded proposal for both the community and for leadership to review. We believe the proposal presents a great opportunity to help evolve community governance and inform next steps. Should you want to contact the Governance Task Force, feel free to reach out to any member of the group via Slack, drupal.org, or any public place you find our members.

We’ve also setup a Google form for direct feedback. If you do not want to participate in an interview, but do want to contribute your individual thoughts, use this form. You can answer as many or few questions you like. You can also submit the form anonymously. This form will stay active throughout the proposal process, so if you have thoughts to share at a later date, you can still use this form.

Adam Bergstein
David Hernandez
Ela Meier
Hussain Abbas
Lyndsey Jackson
Rachel Lawson
Stella Power

Jun 06 2018
Jun 06

The Drupal Community Working Group (CWG), with support from the Drupal Association, organized and held the first-ever Teamwork and Leadership Workshop at DrupalCon Nashville on April 10, 2018. The goal of the three-hour workshop was to explore teamwork, leadership, and followership in the context of the Drupal community as well as to help provide support and resources for people in the Drupal community who work alongside others in teams and/or may find themselves in positions of responsibility or leadership. Additionally, we hoped to expand the base of people who can step into leadership positions in the Drupal community, and to help those who may already be in those positions be more effective.

The workshop was led by Drupal Association board chair Adam Goodman, who generously donated his time. Adam is the head of Northwestern University’s Center for Leadership, and he works as an executive coach and advisor to senior executives and boards of directors at dozens of companies and organizations around the world. 

As part of the planning for the workshop, Adam asked us to enlist a number of facilitators to help with the various workshop exercises. In addition to three CWG members (Jordana Fung, George Demet, and Mike Anello), the following community members also facilitated: Donna Benjamin, Shyamala Rajaram, Gábor Hojtsy, Angie Byron, and Tiffany Farriss. The facilitators met with Adam prior to the workshop to understand what would be expected of them. 

We wanted to make sure that we invited a diverse range of people to the workshop who are doing awesome work with Drupal around the world, including those whose efforts may not be as well-known or recognized (yet).  We set an internal goal of at least 50% of attendees to be from populations historically underrepresented at DrupalCon, including those who self-identify as women, non-gender binary, people of color, and/or people who are not from Europe, the United States, or Canada.. To this end, prior to the public registration period, we sent out invitations to 64 community members, 75% of whom were from an under-represented cohort. We invited people who are involved in all aspects of the community including (but not limited to) event organizers, sprint organizers, project maintainers, as well as past and current Aaron Winborn Award nominees. At the workshop, there were a total of 50 attendees (there were a total of 60 seats available), with approximately 64% from underrepresented cohorts. 

Attendees were seated at round tables of approximately 10 people per table. The first half of the workshop was focused on large group exercises that focused on helping attendees think about what it meant to be a leader and a team member. We talked about keeping perspective as team members and not jumping to conclusions about each other's behaviors based on an often (extremely) limited set of data. The second half of the workshop focused on smaller group exercises in which individuals responded to various prompts and then discussed them as a small (table-sized) group. 

A few days after the workshop, we asked the attendees to complete an 11-question follow-up survey. Of the 50 attendees, we had 17 responses for a 33% response rate. We asked what their expectations were for the workshop; representative responses included:

I thought it would be a workshop on leadership, but I was surprised by the approach to the Drupal community.

Didn't know what to expect. So...none

The fact that we had multiple responses indicating that the expectations were not clear tells us that we need to do a better job in communicating exactly what the goals and activities of the workshop will be in the future. 

On a scale of 1-5, 73% of respondents indicated that the workshop met their expectations (via a rating of 4 or 5). 

We also asked respondents to share an insight from the workshop. Responses included:

Transition planning for responsibilities you take on and having a plan in place before even taking on the responsibility.

The need to know why each person on the team is present (their motivation) and the importance of unified movement toward a goal.

I hadn't written out what leadership looked like to me before, so I found that part of the exercise to be quite helpful.

The survey also found that the attendees found more value in the smaller group exercises than the large group exercises (81.3% vs. 60%), with 81.3% indicated they'd be interested in attending future similar workshops.

Many of the open ended responses indicated that some attendees were hoping for more practical, hands-on advice for specific situations. In addition, several of the responses felt that parts of the exercises felt rushed, and wished there was more time. Finally, several attendees commented on the appropriateness of some of the imagery used in one of the workshop exercises, for which the CWG made a public apology following the event. We have gone through all of the comments relating to aspects of the event that were considered negative or unhelpful and will take this into consideration on how we can improve the workshop for the future.

Overall, we feel the workshop was a success, and something that has been long overdue for the Drupal community. We've been discussing how we can make similar content available to everyone in the community, not just DrupalCon attendees. We're open to ideas for future workshops on these topics (and format), let us know if you have any ideas.
 

Mar 17 2018
Mar 17

The Drupal Community Working Group, in partnership with the Drupal Association, is very excited to offer a special workshop at DrupalCon Nashville designed to explore leadership, followership, and teamwork as it applies to various roles in our community.

One of the most remarkable things about open source projects like Drupal is that they enable people from all over to come together and collaborate with others toward shared goals. In order to be successful, open source projects need to continually work toward building positive, supportive communities that enable everyone to be at their best. If you are someone who has, or is ready for a position of responsibility within Drupal (e.g., camp and group organizers, initiative leads, sprint mentors, module maintainers, etc.), we encourage you to attend.

This free event will be facilitated by incoming Drupal Association board chair Adam Goodman, who is also the head of Northwestern University’s Center for Leadership, and works as an executive coach and advisor to senior executives and boards of directors at dozens of companies and organizations around the world. A number of other community members, including Donna Benjamin, Shyamala Rajaram, Gábor Hojtsy, Mike Anello, George DeMet, Tiffany Farriss, and Jordana Fung will also be helping to co-facilitate.

The Teamwork and Leadership Workshop will feature a large group exercise about common assumptions and myths regarding teamwork and leadership, discussion of some best practices for effective leadership and teamwork today, and small group sessions where people can link those concepts with their own experiences within the Drupal community.

The workshop will be held from 2-5pm on Tuesday, April 10, and you can register now at: https://goo.gl/forms/7SWzVS4qhHqbiRrW2. Space is limited, so don’t delay.

We hope to see you there!

Mar 08 2018
Mar 08

Are you interested in volunteer work primarily concerned with community health, conflict resolution, and Drupal Code of Conduct matters? Then the Drupal Community Working Group (CWG) can benefit from your help. We are looking to add new volunteer members to our small, but dedicated, team and we’d like to hear from you! 

About the CWG

As our Charter states “The mission of the Community Working Group (CWG) is to uphold the Drupal Code of Conduct in order to maintain a friendly and welcoming community for the Drupal project.”; this means we very often deal with conflict resolution and guidance in the handling of Code of Conduct violations involving Drupal Community members and Drupal Community spaces. Although this sometimes can take a big chunk of our time, we also work on proactive tasks involving community health, growth, and awareness. For example, we get to honor amazing members of the community with the prestigious Aaron Winborn Award as well as work on tools and processes to facilitate community health and growth.

We currently are a diverse group of five members from three continents and we are looking to continue to diversify. We come from different backgrounds, and have different experiences, perspectives, and opinions, but we all share a deep desire to help community members and have them treat one another with respect, dignity, and encouragement. 

About you

Characteristics that are in line with what we do and what we are looking for:

  • Patient and open-minded
    We are often involved in high-stress and/or highly emotional situations. As facilitators, we must be able to listen to all sides patiently and without judgment to try to fully understand the situation as best we can. Although the work we do is rewarding and necessary, sometimes the issues we deal with can be tough and emotionally draining, and individuals looking to join the CWG need to be aware that it can involve a fair amount of emotional labor.
  • Self-driven and self-motivated
    A typical time commitment for CWG members is a couple hours a week, though that can vary. We are all volunteer members and, as such, juggle our own work-life-community schedules and try to create a balance where we do as much as we can without getting burned-out. We encourage and support members taking breaks from CWG business when needed.
  • Discrete and confidential
    We often deal with sensitive and confidential information and all members are expected to safeguard any and all information we come in contact with in our roles as CWG members. Additionally, we disclose any potential conflicts of interest and recuse ourselves when appropriate.
  • Love for the community
    All members of the CWG are volunteers and donate our own time and efforts while doing work we consider important and necessary. The main drive behind our work is the health of the community and its members.
  • The desire to uphold the Drupal Code of Conduct and share the Drupal values and principles.
    This almost goes without saying, but we think it is worth it for you to take a(nother) look at the Drupal Code of Conduct.

Still with us?

If you think you’d be a good fit or know someone you think is, please reach out by emailing us and by telling us why you'd like to join at [email protected]

Jan 11 2018
Jan 11

The Drupal Community Working Group is pleased to announce that nominations for the 2018 Aaron Winborn Award are now open. This annual award recognizes an individual who demonstrates personal integrity, kindness, and above-and-beyond commitment to the Drupal community. It will include a scholarship and stipend to attend DrupalCon and recognition in a plenary session at the event.

Nominations are open to not only well-known Drupal contributors, but also people who have made a big impact in their local or regional community. If you know of someone who has made a big difference to any number of people in our community, we want to hear about it.

This award was created in honor of long-time Drupal contributor Aaron Winborn, whose battle with Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) (also referred to as Lou Gehrig's Disease) came to an end on March 24, 2015. Based on a suggestion by Hans Riemenschneider, the Community Working Group, with the support of the Drupal Association, launched the Aaron Winborn Award.

Nominations are open until March 1, 2018. A committee consisting of the Community Working Group members and past award winners will select a winner from the submissions. Members of this committee and previous winners are exempt from winning the award.

Previous winners of the award are:

  • 2015: Cathy Theys
  • 2016: Gábor Hojtsy
  • 2017: Nikki Stevens

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Nov 29 2017
Nov 29

Introduction

As part of ongoing efforts to improve Drupal’s community governance, the Drupal Community Working Group (CWG) was tasked by the Drupal Association and Dries Buytaert with defining next steps in the process. The CWG solicited volunteers from the Drupal community interested in governance, creating a group of community members to strategize how to involve as many people as possible. This new group then decided to hold public meetings to get feedback on next steps from the community.

The group facilitated a series of meetings in an effort to solicit feedback from a broad range of community members. Meetings were held in Slack, were offered at different times to support differences in timezones, and were facilitated by community members from different regions of the world, including North America, Latin America, and South Asia. The group tried to create a space for as many different people to share their voice as possible (for example, one meeting was held specifically to hear from community members who identify as women).

As noted within this blog post, the goal of these meetings was to solicit actionable feedback from the community and provide results back to project leadership (Dries Buytaert) and the Drupal Association. We strongly encourage community members to read the full transcripts of the meetings, which we have captured below, and provide additional context beyond this summary.

While we felt it was important to distill the meeting transcripts into summaries, we also made a conscious effort to avoid adding personal bias by misrepresenting or distorting the voice of the community members who participated in this activity. Each facilitator, most with a review and voting of priorities from the meeting attendees, defined a set of takeaways from their meeting. Our group has subsequently added our perspective to an executive summary, in which we identify patterns and priorities community members raised. The key takeaways and executive summary are found in subsequent sections.

Our group held a total of 13 meetings, with a total of 102 attendees, representing 56 unique participants (many attendees participated in multiple meetings). Efforts were made to encourage participation from the global community, but we did not request participant demographics to share in this post (which, in hindsight, would have been helpful).

We encourage community members to review the key takeaways and our executive summary below with an independent and critical eye. We also encourage community members to share their perspectives as we continue on this important journey of evolving our community governance.

Executive Summary

The following points are grouped thematically, not by priority, though the members of this group agree that creation of a values statement is the highest priority:

  • A community values statement is needed before making governance changes. This statement should come directly from leadership.
  • Governance should evolve over time to remain sustainable. Consider a group of community members to regularly evaluate our policies, procedures, and governance structure.
  • The Drupal Association, project leadership, and the community need to define the community, its membership, and its boundaries; at the very least for better communication and understanding of intentions and expectations. We need to define the communal roles for users, contributors, and maintainers.
  • The Drupal Association, project leadership, and the community need to clearly define leadership, leadership positions, and the higher standard for those positions.
  • The Drupal Association, project leadership, and the community need to clearly document governance structures, policies, and procedures so that anyone can find and understand them.
  • The Community Working Group and the community need to improve the community code of conduct so that it is clearer and more actionable, particularly with regard to harassment. The Drupal Association should also review the DrupalCon Code of Conduct and its policies for enforcing it. Consider other tools that articulate the responsibilities of community participation like an etiquette guide, and conflict of interest policy.
  • The Community Working Group and the community need to define the areas where community expectations exist (issue queues, camps, Slack, etc.)
  • The Community Working Group and the Drupal Association needs to create  well-defined processes and procedures for when members violate these expectations.
  • Community matters should have escalation points that go to groups, not individuals. Those groups should be representative of our community, but can also include outside experts.
  • The community needs to improve its outreach to smaller local and regional communities around the world in a more structured and consistent way, providing resources that allow them to participate more fully in the global Drupal community with the same communal standards.
  • The Drupal Association, project leadership, and the community should take greater responsibility in setting standards for events that carry the Drupal name.
  • The community should develop a communication strategy around community documentation, dissemination, discoverability, organization, and ease of use for onboarding new community members.
  • The community, project leadership, the Community Working Group, and the Drupal Association) should engage other communities and experts to be informed and identify best practices in governance.

As many of the items discussed in these meetings currently are the responsibility of the Drupal Association and/or project leadership, it is the recommendation of this group that they convene to discuss and process these takeaways, and then provide the community with a clear roadmap for what changes to governance they will take the lead on, and what role the community should play in helping to support those efforts. This roadmap should also be clear about what changes (if any) should be led by the community.

Key Takeaways From Each Meeting

Nikki Stevens / October 2 / Link to full transcript / 11 attendees

  • We need to define what “contributor” means when we talk about “contributor community”
  • We need to figure out where the community is/what its boundaries are.
  • We need a values statement
  • That values statement should include D&I as part of it, not as an addendum.

Adam Bergstein / October 6 / Link to full transcript / 10 attendees

  • It strikes me that having all the information in a single place that is easily digestible would help a lot. I would be tempted to suggest talking with Gabor about his Rocketship thing and if it could be adapted to hold all the info and ongoing issues.
  • It's a personal bugbear of mine that the way we disseminate info across the project is a bit unorganised. Very hard to find anything.
  • I'd love to see drupal.org/community be reworked and owned by a working group
  • What people often seem to devalue is discoverability. Lots of info is out there if you know where to find it. how do you find the things you don’t know exist. Like meetings. Having them all in one place like that would rock.
  • I'm seriously open to having a community communication strategy created and implemented. Just wanted you all to know that. I've asked the team at a minimum to create a blog section on d.o/community so there is one place for community news from groups like CWG.
  • My gut feeling is that we need to surface the current state of governance somewhere in the most clear way possible - then use that as a base to evolve governance to make it clear how a group is “official”.
  • One of my learnings in Vienna is that sometimes, people need the DA or Dries to just name a group so the world knows a group is official and so that group feel empowered. So if this group needs that done, let me know. I don't want to overstep or assume or get in the way … just offering help where I can.
  • I feel that if more people are present here, more perspectives from the community can be heard. Post to general before meeting starts.
  • So, do we need to define Community as wider than DA membership? Does it include businesses etc? Does it include clients? Does it include DA staff? Does it include that Dries guy?
  • Maybe we need to invite people to the meeting? Maybe the WeeklyDrop should have a little announcement about each governance meeting? there's also /r/reddit. Are we reaching out to all our different channels?

David Hernandez / October 7 / Link to full transcript / 8 attendees

  • Define values before governance.
  • Define who we are as a community. What does membership mean?
  • What is the scope of the community?
  • How do you a define groups or individuals that will be involved/appointed?

David Hernandez / October 7/8 / Link to full transcript / 5 attendees

  • Governance needs to evolve over time.
  • What are other orgs doing for evolving governance? We should look beyond open source and/or developer-centric organizations.
  • We should bring it outside help/consultants.
  • There will be some who resent/want to resist input from an outsider/expert while it would lend legitimacy to the process for others. Working with community members is essential.
  • Forming a core group of DA/community/consultant with formal oversight of talks would allay some fears about wasting time talking.

Mike Anello / October 9 / Link to full transcript / 2 attendees

  • There have been discussions in open source communities at the Sustain conference about what makes projects sustainable. These could be good concepts to embrace when evolving our governance structure(s).

George DeMet / October 12 / Link to full transcript / 14 attendees

  • While the community may include anyone who interacts with Drupal in any way, there is a distinction between those who just use Drupal and those who deliberately choose to be a part of it in some way.
  • Understanding the rights and responsibilities that come with being part of the Drupal community is a responsibility that’s shared between various institutions but also relies on how we hold ourselves accountable to each other.
  • Leaders help set expectations by setting and upholding rules in a way that reflects the shared values of the community.
  • Building an inclusive and diverse community requires being able to understand and appreciate those with backgrounds and cultures different from our own.
  • We should support participation by positive people who represent the values of the project. Note: In post-meeting discussion, it was agreed that this point failed to capture an important aspect of the conversation that occurred, which was that we should also not be afraid to reject individuals who persist in engaging in toxic behavior after having received warnings about the negative impact their behavior is having on others.
  • We should avoid a focus on “punishment” for those whose behavior has a negative impact on others, but we need processes and procedures in place to identify and deal with trolls and other bad actors.
  • Governance will need to change and evolve over time as the project and the people involved with it change.

David Hernandez / October 24 / Link to full transcript / 10 attendees

  • CWG needs some path of escalation to a group, not an individual, and that group should be made up of community members.
  • The group of community members should also be qualified to handle these matters. Subject matter experts, experience, etc.
  • The community needs some mechanism by which to know certain problematic community members exist.
  • Camp organizers need a way to vet speakers, volunteers, and attendees.
  • If the DA allows camps to use their financing, the DA should take a greater role ensuring the camps follow a defined standard.
  • There may be value in having a blacklist of known bad actors that is public so the community is aware.
  • Camp organizers should ensure safety at their event, as a requirement, not nice to have.
  • The DA should leverage the licensing of the Drupal trademark to ensure events that use the Drupal name are safe.

Adam Bergstein / October 25 / Link to full transcript / 6 attendees

  • i have seen some etiquette guides that have example interactions.
  • Giving people guidelines on how to give feedback, for example, in the issue queues needs to be right in people’s faces as they are giving that feedback. It helps them do a better job.
  • When you flag someone's post in various ways carefully scripted messages get put up that are designed to encourage positive behavior.
  • We could do more to help onboard new members and provide them with resources to help navigate the community. Other communities have clearer documentation for getting started: https://kubernetes.io/community/ and https://kubernetes.io/docs/tutorials/stateless-application/hello-minikub... I would respectfully suggest a section of d.o really isn't good enough. It needs to be the right messages in the right place throughout our infrastructure.
  • Celebrate success (through recognition system?) when people improve. It's not enough just to tell people off all the time.
  • Who in the community would perform this? it sounds like it would be self-monitored and we would just ask other community members to interact with specific interactions; enhancements to d.o and automation; allow the previous person to mark the reply as "helpful"; My understanding is that would mostly be dev workflow and issue queues.
  • Drupal Association efforts may overlap with governance initiatives. Members should review https://www.drupal.org/drupalorg/roadmap/community-initiatives and https://www.drupal.org/drupalorg/roadmap
  • The worst place on the internet /r/politics puts this above their comment forms "In general, be courteous to others. Attack ideas, not users. Personal insults, shill or troll accusations, hate speech, and other incivility violations can result in a permanent ban." Keep it short and simple.
  • Regarding the issue queue commenting, don't forget the forums. they still exist. So it isn't just an issue commenting concern. gdo too. We should also include other community spaces like Slack, IRC, and in-person events.

Shyamala Rajaram/ October 26 / Link to Full Transcript / 4 attendees

  • The DA or someone helping send experienced contributors to smaller events. Provide grants and scholarships to bring people to more Local events.
  • Importance being placed on local communities and in-person connections.

Fatima Khalid / October 27 / Link to Full Transcript / 7 attendees

  • There’s a fundamental need for a values statement. It’s critical that project leadership put out a strong statement of values. Ideally we’d like to see our values statement include more than one-word descriptors
  • Discussed the equality vs equity comic: `https://images-cdn.9gag.com/photo/ajAerM1_700b_v2.jpg ` We need to define that equity is a value we want to see achieved - this the kind of thing we would like to see in a values statement. We want to see systemic barriers to participation removed. It would help to also define those barriers
  • We want a governance policy:
    • A statement of values (see above)
    • Define the leaders and groups that uphold those values,
    • Define the code of conduct that ensures those values are maintained
    • Define the consequences for not meeting those values through code of conduct violations.
  •  We want a conflict of interest policy
    • Mediation between two parties isn’t always appropriate when there is a big power differential between
    •  individuals or when the issue is problematic actions one person did towards one person or multiple people or actions that affected an entire community.
    • Documentation of who handles what kind of issues
  • We need a model for better communication.
    • We want standards for what people can expect to be communicated, how, and when, because our communication processes are not well-known or well-defined.

Shyamala Rajaram/ October 28 / Link to Full Transcript / 6 attendees

  • Inside out approach (instead of bottom up or top down) and is about looking at what's strong and what works in a community and how to get more of it.
  • Need for Paid  “Community Organiser” roles
  • Toolkits as distributions and collaboration platforms as ways to have connection and sharing of information
  • Common the Drupalers regularly conducting meetups for GTD and code sprints -  starting meetup, code sprints with a slide on Drupal Governance, Code of conduct is a way to create awareness.
  • Recognise that any volunteer tasks are difficult and imperfect. That we need to support volunteers at all times. know that the community cares and we do. More ways to recognize!
  • Look to other processes in similar communities to identify strategies that could work for us" (edited)

Alanna Burke / October 30 / Link to Full Transcript / 6 attendees

  • This was a meeting for women-identified participants only. There were 7 total participants.
  • We need a clear values statement, which should include why this statement is necessary - why not having one is adversely affecting the community and what the purpose is.
  • Instead of worrying about getting the whole community on board, the statement should reflect how things are going forward, full stop.
  • We need a very clear CoC, which should include as much as we possibly can (look at examples like Geek Feminism) (most agreed to this, one did not) to be clear so there is no question what is not allowed and what the consequences will be. Use language like "includes but is not limited to"
  • Implementation details to be worked out later (do you agree to CoC by creating a d.o account? downloading Drupal? etc)
  • It is also important that the CoC not be worded in a way that it can be applied differently to different people. There should be tiered consequences appropriate for the action.
  • We should have some kind of mechanism for changing and improving the governance systems we put in place, so that they don't become stale or malfunction when something comes up. We are a community that practices agile development, so why not extend the process to include our governance? It should be flexible & resilient.
  • Reach out to other communities - what have they dealt with? How? What are gaps and strengths? There must be things that we can learn from other similar communities. Maybe we could start a team to work on this.

Kenny Abarca / November 03, 2017 / Link to Full Transcript / 15 attendees

  • People agreed that Drupal CoC should apply on Drupal Camps and other Drupal events throughout the world.
  • From the above, the conversation went on to discuss the approach and complexity of having it implemented globally and even criteria for defining what a Drupal event is.
  • When organizing Drupal community events, people should be aware that there’s a set of standards that apply and they should commit or at least be aware of them before putting together an event.
  • “Drupal governance should automatically apply to events containing the word Drupal”. Attendees discussed the approach.
  • Involvement of CWG in matters related to Drupal Camps.
  • Attendees discussed Dries ownership of the Drupal trademark and how governance would be applied under those circumstances.
  • Defining guidelines to solve issues at Cons & Camps, who to contact and where to go.
  • There should be some control or moderation over events that get created on groups.drupal.org

Facilitators

Listed alphabetically by Drupal.org username:

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