Ubuntu Membership Myths Debunked

Daniel Holbach just posted this on his blog. As a member of the Ubuntu Regional Membership Board for Europe, the Middle East, and Africa, I thought I would share his comments and help him out a bit.

One thing I really like about Ubuntu is that all kinds of contributions to Ubuntu are valued and recognised through Ubuntu membership. We have several hundreds of Ubuntu members already who have all kinds of backgrounds and all kinds of different areas of expertise. They are united by having made significant and sustained contributions to Ubuntu. There are a number of myths about Ubuntu membership that we want to debunk.

If you come across somebody who’s uncertain about Ubuntu membership, tell them:

  • ALL kinds of contributions are welcome, not only technical contributions.
  • Launchpad Karma, number of uploads, etc. CAN be a determining factor, but they don’t need to be.
  • There is no strict time limit for “having been around years before being able to apply”.
  • Apart from the Regional Membership Boards, the Edubuntu Council, MOTU Council and Kubuntu Council approve membership too.
  • Endorsements of fellow team members are important. Be a team player.
  • If you’re unsure if your contributions are significant and sustained, ask your team mates.
  • Read the Membership documentation. Together with the RMBs the CC just did a number of changes to the Membership document, I hope it’s much clearer now.

As far as I am concerned, the most important factors for applicants are these:

  • Follow directions when creating your wiki page and put all the requested information on it to make it as easy as possible for the membership board to know what you have been doing, how, and with whom.
  • Get as many testimonials from others involved in those activities. If you have few or no testimonials, or if they are only marginally positive, this will hurt your application. We want to hear from people who are involved in the same project because we know they are best able to judge the quality of your contributions. If no one knows you, at least by name or nickname, then you haven’t been involved long enough or done enough for official membership in the community to be granted reasonably–give it a little more time and keep up the good work.