Enumerating our Fundamental Values

(John R Epperson) #1


We’ve discussed getting our values and mission statement down on multiple occasions and it has fallen through for various reasons, but as our group grows and as we look towards getting funding, partnering with other groups, and figuring out how our leadership really works, we need to enumerate the fundamental principles that we work from. We’ve had a LOT of people involved in this process thus far, but we’re going to need more.

There are three major parts to this “charter” if you will. The first is the mission statement, the second, our core values, and the third an accounting of the primary ways in which we carry out our goals and mission. The mission statement is a PR statement if you will summing up the values and representing the overarching mission that all of our smaller tasks stem from.

Egalitarianism (equality of opportunity),
Community (Fellowship),

Note, I had "Diversity" in this list, but felt that "Inclusivity" really represented the idea better - we value including everyone. Please do talk through this if you disagree as these are difficult ideas and I expect a wide range of opinions.

Tasks (How we implement and carry out these values):
Fostering Leadership,
Building a home for smaller groups

From this, I tried to distill a mission statement, but I thought the following was a much better distillation courtesy of Victoria Pinsion (thanks!)
Mission Statement:
Our mission is to house and nurture the Charlotte technical community.

Please do suggest word changes, add or remove things that don’t make sense and comment on what you think. Keep this civil and understand that this is a community. Every one of your voices matters in this discussion, but don’t drown out others either.

(John Mason) #2

LGTM @kirillian, though I think Egalitarianism is an appropriate word, it might be a bit of a tongue twister :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

Kudos to @victoriapinson for making a succinct mission statement.

My only 0.02 would be that we transpose the values to questions, so they become guiding principles that we can all use to ask ourselves before making decisions. Answering yes = we’re in alignment with our values; no = we’re out of alignment.

Here are some that I have thrown around in the past. What does everyone think if we use this format? (Showing the below example to share format, we don’t have to use any of these questions). Any potential downsides to this approach?

  • will this encourage maximum participation?
  • are we operating with maximum openness and transparency?
  • will this help future volunteers/organizers if/when we are no longer around?
  • will our actions be helpful for devs in Charlotte?

(Victoria Pinson) #3

This might be a pipe-dream, but I would also love to see our values be something tech-related (because who doesn’t love puns?).

Anybody wanna help me here? I know we have some pun masters in the house.

Here are some random thoughts. Please take these, scrap them, build on it, whatever you want!

  • Egalitarianism – Could be something like All developers welcome?
    No matter what your background is or how you came into tech, we’re all united in our love for this industry and our desire to see it grow.

  • Inclusivity – (Open source? Open source leadership) – Free and Open Source?
    Just like the greater FOSS community, we believe that diversity in experience, vision and opinion is a superpower. Diversity of thought, experience and opinion – We don’t want a singular vision.

  • Community (Fellowship) – Taking it through the whole life cycle?
    (like a product play on words?)
    We don’t leave our products half built, and we don’t want to leave our community half developed. Charlotte Devs is dedicated to mentoring Charlotte’s Junior Developers, helping Sr. Developers keep their skills sharp, and serving as a hub for other technical organizations.
    – Also could say something like, “Taking an active role in encouraging the relationships and interactions in the Charlotte tech community.”

  • Always Learning –
    As developers, the one thing we can count on is that technology is ever evolving. We live by the mantra “we’re all a beginner at something” and strive to give members of the community a supportive and diverse environment to learn together - whether they’ve been a developer for two weeks or 20 years.

(Victoria Pinson) #4

I have to agree that I love the idea of a set of questions we can come back to. It would help everyone make sure decisions are aligned with the org’s greater goals while still allowing people to have autonomy.

(John R Epperson) #5

I think having a test is a great thing. However, I think it’s really easy to confuse the presentation and PR aspect of this with the actual core parts - i.e. confusing the test with the values themselves. You can use the test to get to the values or vice-versa. Either is fine as long as you end up with a concrete thing in the end. Having the values allows you to rewrite the test and, as you pointed out before, tests have much easier applications.

Tests are often intertwined with that second section I posted above…related to how deciding if something is outside of the core focus of the group or not?

@victoriapinson I really liked your suggestion a lot. I think it works pretty well while getting most of the things we want. I feel like we could explore the community one a little bit more as it feels a little more contrived than the others, but overall, I’m a big fan of the evolution.

(Chris Anthony) #6

I really like all the suggestions, ideas and drafts as well. Nice going guys!

Is there a document on the drive with all this information already, and / or what’s the plan for solidifying the “draft” moving forward?

Personally I don’t really see a need to take anything away from the conversation and write-up that’s been developed - i.e. I think we should just expand all the ideas into the “Tasks” section (think we could probably come up with another name for this): Victoria’s expansion with the equivalent test / questions.

Now we just need to ratify the constitution…