Why You Should Join, Part 3: Become a Board Member

We recently announced some big changes to the .NET Foundation, and one of the biggest is that we’re moving to a community elected Board of Directors. We’re expanding the board from three to seven members, with one single seat appointed by Microsoft and the remaining six elected by the community. This structure will help the .NET Foundation scale and better serve the .NET ecosystem.

If you’re passionate about open source .NET, we’d like you to think about running in the elections! This post will explain the details, and hopefully get you to consider it, or maybe encourage someone else to.

This post is the third in a series:

Why You Should Join: Part 1 – Voting Member
Why You Should Join: Part 2 – Corporate Sponsor
Why You Should Join: Part 3 – Board Member (this post)

What’s Changed?

Since the .NET Foundation was created, we’ve had three board members, all appointed by Microsoft. We’re changing that to seven board members, only one appointed by Microsoft. The remaining six are voted in by the community in yearly elections.

What does the .NET Foundation Board Do?

The board completely runs the .NET Foundation. They decide how the money is spent, what projects join the foundation, what the Executive Director (that’s me) does, what programs the foundation will run or be involved with, what events we’ll sponsor. The board runs the foundation.

Who Can Run for a Board Seat?

Any voting member can run for a board seat. That’s anyone who’s contributed to a .NET Foundation project and applied for membership.

Who Should Run for The Board?

Well, we need seven people to run the show. We’d love to see seven people with different viewpoints and experiences. We’d love to see a lot of diversity! We’d love to see people who represent different development backgrounds and concerns – not just .NET open source veterans, but people who speak for students, startups, new developers, corporate developers. We’d love to see folks who speak for different platforms, operating systems, web, desktop, games, IoT. We’d love to see people we haven’t thought to ask. The board is seven people instead of one because we need more viewpoints.

If you’ve had long conversations on Twitter, at conferences, or with developer friends about the way .NET open source ought to be, you’ve got an important viewpoint, and this is where you can make that change.

What’s Expected of Board Members?

The board actively manages the foundation and gets involved in new initiatives. Here’s what that looks like:

Monthly meetings with the board and executive director to keep up with what’s going on and set plans
Review and approve requests for new projects to join

Form committees and get stuff done! Committees are an area where you can really have a personal impact on things you really care about. This will include some general committees for businessy things (like membership and elections), as well as some special purpose committees that are up to you (maybe student outreach, Meetups, game development on .NET, diversity, conferences, etc.). We have a budget and a community that wants to get involved, so it’s not about you signing up for a lot of work here, it’s mostly about vision, planning and organizing.

I’m Interested in Running, But I’m Not Sure I Can Do It…

If in doubt, go for it!

If you’re feeling unqualified, remember that we’re looking for a board that represents a lot of backgrounds, and that includes experience levels. The important thing is that you’ve got a passion for .NET open source and are willing to show up to make it a better place.

If you’re worried about the time commitment – well, it’s true, we need you to be available and to put in the time. I’m not expecting a major time commitment – probably 4-6 hours a month, and most of it can be over e-mail and on your own schedule.

If there’s something preventing you from joining the .NET Foundation as a voting member to be eligible to run in the election, talk to us! Our previous post on joining as a voting member hopefully explains why contributions or dues shouldn’t get in your way.

How Do Campaigns and Elections Work?

We’ll be announcing more details in the next post, and kicking off the one-month campaign and election period on January 28. But here’s the high level:

We’ll be running a simple campaign mini-site using GitHub pages and pull requests. Candidates will submit a campaign statement as a markdown file pull request and can link off to other information if they want (e.g. video, podcast interviews, projects, etc.).
We’d love to see community discussion wherever it happens – Twitter, forums, etc. – following the standard code of conduct.
In the last week of the election cycle, voting members will cast their votes. We’re using the Single Transferable Vote methodology on the OpaVote system.
The board serves for one year, after which you can choose to run for reelection.

Interested? Watch for our next post with specifics on the elections process, and feel free to ping us at [email protected] with questions.

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