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It's dangerous to go alone: Building teams like an organizer

Colin
April 26, 2017

It's dangerous to go alone: Building teams like an organizer

One of the most exciting things about ruby is its ecosystem -- how can we maintain the health of our ecosystem by making sure our projects pass the bus test and bring up others interested in the work? This talk discusses maintaining the health of the open source software community through adapting community organizing practices. Presented as part of the Leading at all Levels track at Railsconf 2017 in Phoenix, Arizona.

Colin

April 26, 2017
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  1. BUILDING TEAMS LIKE
    AN ORGANIZER
    Colin Fleming / @ridethecatbus

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  2. ALT TITLE:
    NOT BURNING OURSELVES
    OUT OR RAGEQUITTING
    STUFF WE CARE ABOUT
    THROUGH BUILDING
    COMMUNITY

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  3. Preview of the next 30
    minutes of your life
    •  Building a team/community around
    our goals
    •  By invesTng in individual
    relaTonships with members of that
    community
    •  Is not a big departure from what you
    are already doing

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  4. Scenario 1:
    My life in 2012

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  5. My new job:
    Running voter contact
    for a state house
    campaign in Phoenix, AZ

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  6. s/o my district, LD20

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  7. The enTre budget
    is already spent

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  8. BUT
    Lots of people like my
    candidate (or do not like
    the other person)

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  9. ????????????????

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  10. Successful voter
    outreach program!

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  11. Scenario 2:
    My life in 2016

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  12. The DC AborTon
    Fund (DCAF) needs
    a new case
    management
    system

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  13. There are zero
    dollars for a new
    case management
    system

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  14. There’s a local
    chapter of Code for
    America
    (Code for DC)

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  15. They’re super down
    with the DC
    AborTon Fund’s
    mission

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  16. ????????????????

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  17. New case
    management
    system (in rails)!

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  18. What’s the
    common thread
    between these
    scenarios?

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  19. Which I can’t
    solve on my own

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  20. But which we can
    tackle with person
    power and
    teamwork

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  21. If I drop out of
    life, there are
    Problems

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  22. There are huge
    benefits to other
    people knowing
    these problems

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  23. ????????????????

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  24. What is
    ??????????????

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  25. Building a
    community

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  26. Parallels
    •  Campaign
    –  Needs some voter
    contact
    –  Solvable with person
    power
    –  Build a community
    –  LasTng community of
    people who know each
    other and care about
    this stuff
    •  DC AborTon Fund
    –  Needs some engineering
    –  Solvable with person
    power
    –  Build a community
    –  LasTng community of
    people who know each
    other and care about
    this stuff

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  27. (This is the
    premise of open
    source sodware!)

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  28. Just to review
    •  There are some problems which really
    benefit from more people working on
    them
    •  Building a community around these
    problems and tackling them together is
    sustainable, and has major benefits

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  29. How do I
    community?

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  30. Very Deliberate
    Organizing!

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  31. The playbook

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  32. Playbook #1:
    IdenTfy a goal

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  33. Playbook #2:
    Build individual
    relaTonships with
    other people who
    share that goal

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  34. Playbook #2:
    Build individual
    relaTonships with
    other people who
    share that goal

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  35. Playbook #3:
    As a group, work
    together toward
    your shared goals

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  36. Playbook #4:
    Hit that goal
    together

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  37. But really, how do I
    relaTonship?

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  38. I have a goal. Why
    do I care about
    that?

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  39. Sit down with the
    other person,
    one-on-one

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  40. What does the
    other person care
    about?

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  41. What’s the
    common thread
    that links you
    together?

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  42. What’s a concrete
    step they can take
    with you toward
    the shared goal?

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  43. A great example of
    finding common threads
    from last year’s
    Railsconf:
    Joe Dean’s talk on
    working with chari;es

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  44. ONE DIRECTION

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  45. Some good news
    (not about One
    DirecTon)
    (no One DirecTon reunion)

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  46. This is baked into
    agile already

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  47. IncorporaTng this into
    what you’re doing
    doesn’t mean you
    have to whole-hog
    change anything

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  48. Agile Organizing
    • Individuals and
    interacTons
    over processes
    and tools
    • Personal
    relaTonships
    as the building
    block of
    community

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  49. And from the manifesto…
    •  Build projects
    around moTvated
    individuals. Give
    them the
    environment and
    support they need,
    and trust them to
    get the job done.
    •  Use those
    relaTonships to build
    a community of
    individuals with
    shared goals

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  50. And also from the manifesto…
    •  The best
    architectures,
    requirements, and
    designs emerge
    from self-
    organizing teams
    •  The community
    here is basically a
    self-organizing
    team!

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  51. And thus
    •  We have a great tool for building teams and
    communiTes called organizing
    •  We organize by building individual
    relaTonships with people on common ground
    •  This method is baked into agile so it’s an
    extension of what we’re doing

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  52. So now we have
    • A defined benefit from
    building community
    • The tools to start building
    community around the
    work we’re doing

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  53. What do we
    actually do, as
    leaders?

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  54. Idea #1:
    Make it a point to
    have a one-on-one
    conversaTon with
    every contributor

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  55. Every single person
    gets the welcome
    basket, even if they
    aren’t new

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  56. Idea #2:
    Make it straighlorward
    to get involved!

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  57. Idea #3:
    Escalate responsibility
    of community
    members

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  58. A different perspecTve

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  59. PS the github open
    source community
    guide is REALLY GOOD
    hmps://opensource.guide/

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  60. Remember this slide?
    •  Building a team/community around
    our goals
    •  By invesTng in individual
    relaTonships with members of that
    community
    •  Is not a big departure from what you
    are already doing

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  61. thanks
    •  ALLISON MCMILLAN THE NICEST PERSON ALIVE
    •  DCAF contributors in the room!
    •  People whose talk formats I ripped off (esp Lillie
    Chilen!), who gave talks last year
    •  JusTn Collins (Brakeman Pro), who helped out
    the DC AborTon Fund early on and who gave a
    talk last year
    •  Nadia Odunayo, who gave a talk last year
    •  Joe Dean, who gave a talk last year

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  62. QuesTons /
    The end….........?
    •  My name was/is:
    Colin Fleming
    •  Email:
    c3fl[email protected]
    •  Twimer:
    @ridethecatbus

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