A Political Career Ends

The 2009 OpenSolaris Governing Board elections are well underway now, so check it out if you are interested. I have been nominated for another term -- and I appreciate that nomination deeply -- but I have decided to not run in this election. It`s time to move on from the governance project. I could use the extra hour of sleep, too. And believe it or not, that`s more than critical to me. It`s a must, actually, not just a nice to have. Also, I`m implementing specific plans for my future on OpenSolaris, so I make this decision with a great deal of clarity. You have to give up something if you want to grow into something else. I am determined to do that.

I`ve done a lot of governance on the OpenSolaris project, and I have learned a great deal in the process. Some of the experiences have been quite good and very successful, but I have to be honest and say that far too many were disappointing. I have think about how I can learn form the experience and integrate it all into my project management bag of tricks. To review, I was directly involved in the formation of the Community Advisory Board during the OpenSolaris Pilot Program four years ago, which included running the election, searching for a member from the open source community, contributing to various policy discussions with executives and community members, offering program management services to both sides, etc. I then provided program management support for two years to the CAB as it transformed into the OGB throughout the Charter and Constitution development process. I helped draft numerous documents and have been communicating extensively about the OGB for more than for years in a variety of venues internally and externally. I`ve even given entire speeches on governance, if you can believe it. I found those talks challenging because governance is boring (except for the flame wars we had along the way), and I`m certainly no expert in all this. Anyway, I ran for the OGB during the first public election and lost by one position, which was probably a blessing but I was pissed nonetheless. I then ran for the OGB last year and won and subsequently did a great deal of work. But I also sacrificed significantly due to time zone issues conflicting with my regular job. I say "regular job" because serving on the OGB, which is certainly related to my job, is a very different experience from reporting up line to the OpenSolaris engineering organization at Sun, and it is also a very different experience from the community building projects I run.

I believe I could better serve Sun and the OpenSolaris project by working on engineering projects that build core infrastructure for community development and/or support the generation of product revenue. That is clearly the direction I am moving. I will have to be involved in governance after this term to a certain degree because part of my job now involves creating groups on the site, and I already manage the process of creating all the OSUG projects on the site. And since the proposed project life cycle process will be centralized with the OGB under the new Constitution, I'll work on the Sun side to manage the actual creation of infrastructure in collaboration with whatever committee the OGB sets up to approve the applications. Additionally, my role is evolving now and I'm the program manager for the website transition team, so my priorities need to be focused on that work especially during the next 6 months. A lot of this stuff is related to a certain degree, but for me the lines will be much more clearly understood after this term ends in a few weeks.

And, again, I get an extra hour or sleep. Which is nice after you are up till five in the morning the day before.


Good for you Jim.

While I may not agree with all of the decisions that have been made, I do greatly appreciate what you and many other OGB members have worked tirelessly to do for the community.

I also feel that I understand your reasoning for not being involved in governance in a personal way. I have chosen to pass up the opportunity to be involved more in governance because my true heart and passion is in helping the pkg(5) team ensure the OpenSolaris distribution has the best packaging system around. Little by little, we're getting there.

I look forward to seeing the great things you'll be working on.

Posted by Shawn Walker on March 05, 2009 at 06:07 AM JST #

Thanks, Shawn. I respect your opinion and your decision as well. I have been thinking a about this the last few days and I have a clear set of lessons learned so in that sense the experience was valuable.

Posted by Jim Grisanzio on March 05, 2009 at 12:13 PM JST #

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