27 Aug 2002 gleblanc   » (Journeyer)

As long as we're all thinking and talking about certifications and trusts, I thought I'd share some of mine. :)

One of the big things that I think lots of folks miss out here is the dedication part of certifications. The dedication part can change, and when it does, the level you certify someone at can change. I think I'll go with a hypothetical example, since it's easier to make fit. Let's say that Joe was one of three people who were the leaders of an important software project. They each had areas where they helped contributors, and wrote lots of code themselves. They were working lots of hours on their software, and getting folks involved. I come along, and start dinking around with this software, asking questions, and come to know Joe, and that he's really pushing this project along. Since it's an important project, and I'm pretty familiar with Joe after a while, I certify him on Advogato as a free software "Master". Some time passes, and Joe decides that he's not going to work on that project anymore. Perhaps he takes a new job which doesn't permit him the time to work on free software, so he's only contributing in smaller ways now. Joe puts this sort of stuff into his advogato diary, and it's clear that he's not putting the same kind of time into free software as he was. Joe may still be just as competent a free software hacker as he was, but since he's not pushing an important project along, I decide that he's fufilling a role as a free software "Journeyer" now, and change his certification to represent this. This is the right thing to do if Advogato isn't a popularity contest, since it represents the role that Joe is playing at the moment. Joe won't be offended, he's just doing something else now. I know of quite a few people who have change how much they work on free software, but not many of them have ever had time for advogato.

So, as for the rankings... It seems to me that there is some inflation of the certifications, but I'm not sure where it comes from. Perhaps it's just based on people not thinking hard enough about how they certify someone. In my mind, "Master" is a pretty exclusive group. It's for somebody who's not only the driving force behind a free software project, but is the driving force behind a big one. So, Alan pushes along a big part of the kernel, and David Merril pushes along the LDP pretty well. They're both clearly "Masters" in my book, since both the kernel and the LDP seem to be large important projects to me.

I want to write some more on Journeyer, and perhaps Apprentice, but I'm tired, so it will wait until later.

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