Your points are valid and well taken. If I may summarize what I think I
heard, it's basically: "Getting things right can be hard, and if full
preparations weren't made ahead of time, thorough answers may not be
readily available. Be compassionate/patient." Is that about right? If so, I
agree in principle and in spirit, but I think the point is in tension with
Community and public enthusiasm for software can be a rare and important
thing. The conditions that make it grow, shrink, or sustain are complex,
and largely beyond the influence of a handful of mailing list participants.
The recent outputs of the Interactive Team have generated enthusiasm in a
number of venues, and many on this list (both volunteers and staff) would
like to see it grow or sustain, and perhaps throw a little weight behind an
effort to make it grow or sustain.
But that enthusiasm has a half-life. What is possible today may not be
possible next week or next month. The zeitgeist may have evolved or moved
on by then.
On Wed, Jan 25, 2017 at 3:53 PM, Anna Stillwell <astillw...@wikimedia.org>
> You make substantive points, Tim. Thank you.
> "An employee should not experience their time off as a period where his
> [her/they] work load is just temporarily buffered until his [her/they]
> return, but where colleagues will step in and take care of business."
> I take this point seriously and don't wish you to think otherwise. In
> theory, I absolutely agree. In practice, sometimes we all face constraints.
> There are roughly 300 of us (order of magnitude). Every now and then, there
> are not enough of us to go around on everything on a timeline that meets
> the legitimate need that you present here. We'll continue to work on this.
> But, to clarify, no one ever said it was a "useful practice" nor did anyone
> suggest that it was generalized across the org.
> What I was wondering about in my previous email and now reiterating in this
> one too, are people willing to grant their request: a bit of time and allow
> for one person to return to work?
> Does that seem like a way to move forward?
> On Wed, Jan 25, 2017 at 2:50 PM, Tim Landscheidt <t...@tim-landscheidt.de>
> > Anna Stillwell <astillw...@wikimedia.org> wrote:
> > > […]
> > > I also hear that the pause on the interactive work is temporary. I’ve
> > heard
> > > them request time. I am comfortable granting that request, but no one
> > > required to agree with me. They’ve also said that the person with the
> > most
> > > information is on vacation. As someone who has seen employees go
> > > considerable stress in the last years, the entire executive team is
> > working
> > > to establish some cultural standards around supporting vacations. We
> > > people here to feel comfortable taking proper vacations and sometimes
> > that
> > > can even need to happen in a crisis. People often plan their vacations
> > well
> > > in advance and may not know that something tricky will come up. Just so
> > you
> > > understand one bias I bring to this conversation.
> > > […]
> > I concur with DJ in his initial mail that this is not a use-
> > ful practice, and I doubt very much that it relieves employ-
> > ees' stress. It conveys the organizational expectation that
> > employees are SPOFs without any backup. An employee should
> > not experience their time off as a period where his work
> > load is just temporarily buffered until his return, but
> > where colleagues will step in and take care of business.
> > Especially such a major decision like "pausing" a team
> > should not depend on the inner thoughts of one employee, but
> > be backed and explainable by others.
> > Tim
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> "If you have knowledge, let others light their candles in it." - Margaret
> Anna Stillwell
> Director of Culture
> Wikimedia Foundation
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