Committee Meeting 19th December 2017 Minutes

Ruby Australia - Committee Meeting - 19th December 2017


Toby Nieboer (TN)
Ryan Bigg (RB)
Nick Wolf (NW)
Rachelle LeQuesne (RL)
Caitlin Palmer-Bright (CP)
Ana Djordjevic (AD)
Lachlan Hardy (LH)
Namibia Lebron-Torres (NT)

Move all web related passwords into a new vault
Introduce Namibia to Liam
Discuss what the Disciplinary sub committee looks like with Namibia
Work with Namibia to update contact form with code of conduct Google form
Do short review of Melbourne camp as a forum post
Looking into making our administration and bureaucracy copyleft/creative commons and see what would be required

Treasurer update (Ryan)

Handover progress / current work

Toby: I can briefly cover off some Ryan things - transfer of power
So just getting in to setup the bank accounts
which is surprisingly difficult
People at the bank don’t know how to deal with non-profit association accounts
So where we’re at with that is that we’ve done all of the paperwork, we’re waiting for the debit cards to arrive for Ryan and me. And then once we’ve received those we can cancel the existing ones, which are with Lauren and I think that’s everything treasurer-related that I know about.

Secretary update (Nick)

Secretary handover: all going well, I checked the mailbox today and the only thing that has been sent to us has been sent by David Jones and part of me suspects it’s not actually for anyone who is part of Ruby Australia.The one password should be all set up now, I realised I hadn’t confirmed Lachlan until just now but hopefully that should have come through by now.

Lachlan: I just had a notification flash by while you were talking; all good.

Ana: Would now be an appropriate time to ask questions about one-password access?

Nick: Yeah, sure.

Ana: Okay. I remember there being significant more things, so we have a number of different vaults or whatever?

Nick: Yes, yes. There are.

Ana: For example, DNS config and and anything that’s site-related, if I could get access that would be super.

Nick: Let me check what we have.

Toby: I have all of the vaults Nick if you don’t have all of them.

Nick: Just looking to see what vaults.

Ana: We can take it offline so we don’t waste anyone’s time

Nick: I think the only vault that I suspect would have website related stuff would potentially be stuff in the Presidential one because the other one is credit card, or RubyConf, Rails Camp but what I might do if it’s alright wtih Toby is if we can take the website related that exist in the Presidential vault and shift those into a separate website related vault.

Ana: Sounds like a good idea

Nick: I will add that as an action for me - shift web.

I think that covers the majority of stuff for Secretary handover.

Grants (Namibia)

Namibia: So I’ve been doing lots of searches on different grant opportunities for Ruby Australia I found one that is going to be a very good match for us. It’s called the Wise Grant and they fund Girl Geek Academy it’s for funding initatives that support women in technology and we do that through Elixir Girls and Ruby Girls and Rails Girls. I’ve been looking for other grants that fund other initiatives that we do but I haven’t been able to find anything promising. I’ve been meaning to ask Toby if you could introduce me to Liam via email because I know he has a few connections in the community and especially with more government funded and private grants. You might be able to point me in the right direction where to look. For now I’ve been focusing on government grants and and international grants that might fund the initiatives that we’re working on.

Toby: Okay, I’ll be happy to do that. If you could put that down as an action for me please Nick.

Namibia: in terms of the WISE grant that I mentioned, that one is going to be coming up again in November, so November 2018. So we have about 11 months to plan for that which is pretty good for that, we can put a lot of time into getting this amazing grant. I’m going to keep looking into other ones. I’ve put together a spreadsheet that I’ve been putting in grants that I think we line up with, and the due dates for those. So hopefully by next year we’ll have a comprehensive list of everything that we can apply to.

Caitlin: In terms of the WISE grant that we would apply to, do we talk about here are all the things we are doing, but also, here are things that we want to do. Are they going to be funding us to enable us to keep on what we are doing or are they going to want us to be doing new things, which is also awesome, but it means we need to come up with some new things.

Namibia: That’s a really good question. I’ve been looking at grants that will fund initiatives that we’re already doing that way we don’t have to overextend ourselves and try to plan new events or new things to fund that might take a lot of time on our part. So this particular grant will be able to be issued to fund ElixirGirls and RailsGirls. So hopefully that will work out really well for us and we can use that money we’re getting from our current sponsors to fund conferences and other initiatives that we might have in mind during the year.

Caitlin: And that would include diversity tickets?

Namibia: So if I heard correctly you said diversity?

Yeah, so we have just generic diversity tickets at RailsCamp.

This one is specifically for getting women into programming.

Unless we have other diversity programmes in mind that are specifically for women, or we use language that makes it clear that money is going to sponsor women in technology.

In terms of like we could add some specifically named diversity tickets. Women in tech anyway. But will it be okay if we change some of the naming of that?

Absolutely. We can put that in the language when we apply for the grant, we can say the grant money is going to all our women in tech initiatives, such as this this and this, and also the diversity tickets for conferences that will go to underrepresented groups which include women.

Toby: Question around the amount of the grant: Is it a case of we are asking for X amount of dollars and here is where it’s going to go?

Exactly. So we have to be very specific on how we’re going to allot the money to the specific programs we’re interested in and I believe it’s a wide range. I can look again but I believe it starts at $50000 which is pretty good. We might not get all of it, but we’ll get something as long as we can show how we are going to break up the amount we are putting into these programs. And we have data on that of course because we’re already funding RailsGirls diversity tickets, ElixirGirls, all those kinds of movements.

Nick: Sounds awesome.

Lachlan: Anything more on grants? No? Namibia, was that all the things?

Yes. And also that I’m continuing to look and adding to the spreadsheet for the kinds of grants we can apply for and when they’re due.

Sweet. Is that spreadsheet already something we can look at, or are you gonna share it at some point.

Not yet, Yeah, I’m gonna share it soon, I want to talk to Liam because I know he has a lot of resources that he can share with me and then I can have a more extensive list of grants that we can apply to with their due dates. The last thing I wanted to mention is applying for the grants is going to take a lot of work so it’s definitely something that I’d like some support on from people in the committee. And we can as we look at, put the spreadsheet together, we can look at the dates and see who has time for what, who’s interested in what, what kind of language we want to use for them. I mean it’s mostly going to be writing for them, and then applying isn’t going to take much time. So we can talk about that at the next meeting but hopefully I’ll have a more comprehensive list of grants to apply to.

Code of Conduct (Namibia/Toby)

Namibia: I met with Toby and I had mentioned that when I was nominated for this position, that I had some experience with code of conduct type of initiatives and I did have a look at the constitution and I would like to look at our liability stipulations to see if there’s any language that we have to include in the constitution so that we’re never in a position where we get in trouble for not including something or not making something obvious in case an incident does get reported. After looking through the constitution, one of the things we can improve on is perhaps is coming up with a system for anonymous reporting so my concern is that if there is an incident that someone might not feel comfortable disclosing because they’re afraid that their identity might be disclosed as well. then coming up with a way to provide anonymous reporting might be a good option for us. We might also see that we get more reports of certain incidences if we do provide a way for anonymous reporting so one of the things that I noticed is in our Ruby Australia Code of Conduct reporting guide, we have language that says to provide your contact information if you report an incident, along with the details of the incident and all of that, however I think we could probably just add language that says “Or, if you prefer to remain anonymous, here’s another way of reporting the incident, just provide all of the details that we might need to proceed.” Other than that I think there’s really great language with how someone should go about reporting. The other thing that I think might allow for more clarity or options in reporting is rather than saying that we have a number that someone can contact, providing the conduct email address along with a number. So that’s something that’s in the documentation but they aren’t together, so I think that they might be useful to put them together just so that people have both options. The last thing that I think we should talk about is, I’m not sure if there’s a committee in place yet, but I remember we spoke about having three committee members, so having a way to elect those people, and once they’re elected, how are they going to monitor the incidents that are reported after each event.

Lachlan: Is this a disciplinary committee?

Namibia: Yes, so it’s in our Constitution but I’m not sure that we have a committee in place for that yet.

Toby - Yeah, so, on that subject that’s one of the things we need to discuss tonight. We have the conference coming up and we need to basically sit down with the organiser and say that under the new Code of Conduct and under the new reporting guidelines these are what your obligations and your responsibilities and also your abilities under this. As part of that we need to have the disciplinary subcommittee up and running. As much as I have thought about this, which is not to say a lot, I had an idea in my head that that would be a volunteer position rather than election or something along the lines of "we the committee are identifying three people that we could approach to be on that subcommittee for the next six to twelve months. So that’s kind of what I had in my head, so what do you guys think about that?

Ana: How much work would ultimately be involved in such positions?

Hopefully none.

Ideally zero.

Caitlin: One thing that I also thought was worth considering was that if we do have an email contact, in terms of openness we need to make sure that email is going to more than one person and not just that that email account is monitored by one person, obviously I don’t think anyone monitoring it from this committee would ever have a report made against them but for openness we need to make sure that there isn’t one person who if there was a report against them, ‘oops, I deleted it’.

Lachlan: Yeah, for sure.

Namibia: So I had two thoughts on this. It’s worth considering if it’s not possible for this year, at least for next year having some sort of anonymous reporting page where people can choose to disclose their name and identifying information or not disclose it, but also a place where pretty much anyone can go to if there is an incident so that it all goes to one place, rather than email or a call, that might be a good option to consider. The other thing that is stated in the constitution, it doesn’t say how many members we’ll have, but I remember you and I Toby spoke of having potentially three people on the committee. The language says that if there is a conflict of interest then the committee member needs to disclose it and then recuse themselves from dealing with the incident. I do think it’s worth potentially having fourth member on rotation so that in case there is an incident, then if there is a conflict of interest then that fourth member can step in and deal with the incident or if for example since we say that we’ll be responding to an incident within 24 hours, and we don’t have someone who is unable to respond within 24 hours, then that fourth member can then step in and meet with the committee to come up with a solution or some sort of response to the person who is involved in the incident.

Toby: So that response within 24 hours could be, in no way is that intended to be an official response, that could be as simple as an autoresponder that says this has been received, and this is what happens next. The guidelines say that if there is not resolution within a week then there will be an update within a week. So I think that’s where actual discussion etc. needs to take place.

Nick: One potential way of doing the anonymised process would be to have a Google Form and you could have it set up so that when it’s filled in, notifications go to all of the people on the disciplinary committee. And that way everyone gets notified at the same time with an automated process.

Toby: One of the things to bear in mind though is that I’m for the idea of centralising report, but you also need to bear in mind there is an element of timeliness. Let’s hope not, but there might be a case wherein someone needs to speak with someone right now because there is a situation in progress that needs to be handled. So having multiple avenues to report is not just a convenience thing, it’s a safety thing.

Nick: Definitely. You would want the phone number listed on that form as well for immediate action.

Ana: Would that immediate action be per event or would there people be on that list for like a six month period or something.

Toby: When you’re talking about a phone number to call, that’s going to vary by event. So in not all cases will there be a phone number so there going to be a RoRo number, for example. There’ll be one for a conference, there might not be one for a camp because you may not have mobile reception. So your contact methods are going to vary. And even in cases where there is a phone number it’s going to vary because of different people going to be involved and that sort of thing. In theory we should have a Ruby Australia SIM card, but those things die every six months so it won’t always be the same number anyway, so.

Namibia: That’s fair of course the organisers might have a better way in which they want to communicate with people. You make a good point in that if the incident is something that needs to be handled right away, then that’s something that anonymous reporting may not work for. I’m thinking more of just in situations in which someone might not be comfortable at the event or disclosing at the event that it might just be a good option to have to increase, or to make sure that we are getting incidents reported.

Toby: As long as we are pretty up front of ‘here is an option for you to provide a name and contact number details, you do not by any means need to do this, but in terms of investigating the incident, if we have more questions or need more information’ I’d want to make an informed decision on that basis.

Toby: In regards to membership, in who we approach or how we do that, I think that it’s important that we do that sooner rather than later because I don’t want to get to two weeks before the conference and then go Hi, guess what you’re now responsible for. I want people involved from the ground. so I think we need to get some serious thought to how those people are selected and who, if it’s that we approach people, which I think is probably the fastest and most sensible way to go about it, then I think we need to give some thought as to who that is.

Caitlin: It’s probably worth considering if we want to make sure the people who would be involved in the committee for a certain the event are actually attending the event and that are not necessarily a part of organising the event, for the sake of fairness and etc.

Lachlan: I think related to that, we really need to look at what’s appropriate in terms of training. Training might be: ‘read this document, know this procedure that we’ve all agreed we’re going to follow’ or it might be more than that? I don’t know. But ideally would be training would be how to handle incidents, how to handle escalating situations etc. etc. I don’t think we’re going to get there in the next month or two but we can at least have a procedure and deal with that. That’s why you wouldn’t want the people at the other end of those notifications to change very often. We’re going to spend some time, train some people, I don’t know if it’ s appropriate to send people on a course, something to look at, but if we’re going to do this and do this properly, these are the kind of things we need to think about, and you’re going to want to do that too often. On the other hand as people rotate up, they’re still going to have that experience and be able to help out as backup in the future. I don’t know if we need to go that far but it’s worth looking at.

Toby: Just to be clear about the disciplinary subcommittee. They don’t necessarily need to be at the event. They are not the ones who are going to be the receiving the initial report.

Nick:: They work out the resolution.

Toby: Event organisers and the committee basically. So they’re going to be the first line and then the idea is that the disciplinary subcommittee are basically disinterested third parties, by which I mean not that they don’t care, that they don’t have an interest in the proceedings.

Lachlan: Thanks for clarifying, that’s good.

Toby: It’s probably to the advantage of the impartiality of the process that they are not at the event.

Namibia: Yeah, I agree.

Toby: So they are not influenced by things that they saw or didn’t see.

Ana: I agree.

Toby: Having them geographically distributed is probably one way of going about that. I think it might be good to approach some of the more senior members of the community who have been around for a while to look after this sort of thing. This is something that Namibia and I need to work on, and I think we need to come back to the January meeting with a a plan in place and to approach those people very shortly there after, so we’ve got a solid seven weeks before the conference to make sure everybody knows what happens if something happens. In terms of actions Namibia and I should have a plan in place for what this looks like and in the meantime I would like everybody to have a think about who they might suggest to be on this and to contact me or Namibia with those suggestions in between now and the next meeting. Does that sound sensible?


Caitlin: Did we want to do anything about implementing an anonymous form for reporting?

Toby: I think we probably should do that but in the interests of time we may just have to do a typeform or a google form.

Caitlin: Who would it go to? Who would have access to it? I think that’s the main issue

Toby: It would go to probably a couple of different officers, maybe it should go to the whole committee, I don’t know.

Lachlan: We’ll be able to submit the results in the typeform or whatever to conduct@ruby. We still receive it in the same way.

Toby: we were saying earlier that it needs to be automatically distributed someone has the keys to conduct@ruby and it’s the only copy and they erase it.

Lachlan: Yeah, I get that, but we could make conduct@ruby a clearing house

Toby: Automatic forward from conduct@ruby to wherever else. That’s the way it works with online@ruby for example, it forwards to a couple of different other addresses.

Lachlan: was that a yes, somebody should be doing something about that up between now and January, or

Nick: As a follow up question where would we post that link

Toby: It’s already part of the code of conduct itself and the reporting guidelines so the conduct@ruby … oh you’re talking about the link to the form. So we’d need to update the code of conduct and the reporting guidelines to reflect that.

Namibia: I can work with you Toby on setting that up.

Toby :Can you add to that to the actions for Namibia and I please Nick


So we’re very much aiming to have a prospectus out in March which as part of that, probably means that we will need to pick where next RubyConf is going to be by March, which in turn probably means we need to know who is going to be running next RubyConf. So guess who’s the idiot who’s going to do that (points at self).

I figure my term as president will end sometime October November next year, so I will have some time to organise a conference.

Caitlin: But you need to start pretty much at the beginning of the year.

Toby: Yeah.

Caitlin: Or at least when this conference ends.

Toby: We need to be able to be quite certain where the conference is going to be next time around in order to give potential sponsors some certainty. I’m more than happy for someone else to take the reins if they like but if we need to make a decision on where it’s going to be and someone needs to be responsible for that then I will do that.

Nick: I’m putting Toby ‘volunteering addict’ in the minutes.

Toby: I’m not quite at that level but seem to be getting there. That’s what up with sponsorship.

Website redesign (Ana)

Ana: I’ve been trying to grok everything that’s on the forums basically and given the prior work what is the expectation here?

Toby: We don’t have timeframes, it’s going to be a case of what you feel we can accomplish and there is no timeframe. If you want to put together a plan to implement things in phases or you want to recommend some low hanging fruit that we could knock of quite easily or if you want to do the whole thing and launch all at once, I’m it’s your baby. Whatever you feel is the right approach is what we’ll listen to.

I have one willing volunteer so far and we caught up to figure out a kind of plan and figure out the prior work and I’m going to o a handover with Anton and when I’m in Brisbane I’m going to meet with Rochelle.

Toby: If we just implement the existing design, if that were the whole scope of it, yourself and the other volunteer, If we limited the scope of the work to just implementing the design, leaving aside the membership stuff, with yourself and one volunteer what time frame are we looking at? Three, six, 12 months?

Ana: I really don’t know and especially with holidays coming up there’s not a lot of time to actually do stuff in. I need to ask Jason when he would be available if he is planning on travelling in the near future. I guess a backward estimate, if we don’t have anything that we’re aiming for.

Toby: Let’s prioritise the redesign first and foremost. Let’s not mess with membership database until after the Conf.

Ana: Three months?

Toby: Works for me.

Lachlan: it’s like a real project estimation meeting.

Toby: I would say just when you can get it done, I think the scope of the work is fairly well defined and given that that’s the priority, that’s have at it and let us know how things are going in January.

RailsCamp post-mortem (Toby)

Toby: The final budget reconciliation has been done now that all the invoices have been paid. Long story short we had a final net position of a small loss, so it ran at a slight loss which is pretty much consistent with the Gold Coast and Darwin camps from memory and I think Adelaide made a small amount of money. So not where I hoped it would be, I hoped it would make a little bit of money but stuff happens.

Ana: When was the last time we did make money?

Toby: In Darwin?

Ana: Was there a camp recently?

Toby: The last camp was in Darwin and it lost a bit more than this one.

Ana: So when was the last time we actually made money?

Toby: Adelaide. 19. Rails Camp 19.

Ana: Is that the norm or is the norm to make a loss?

Toby: The directive that is given to organisers is try to make a small profit but if you go the other way then it’s okay. I think where we start running into problems is if you lose large amounts which as far as I’m aware has never come close to happening.

If we can increase sponsorship, particularly if we have sponsorship money that used to go to other things that are covered by new grants, then we have more sponsorship money to play with, I want to increase the amount that Ruby Australia subsidises camps so that tickets can be cheaper.

Toby: Only other thing to cover off after the post-mortem that I ran, the survey that I sent out, we had 41 responses which is just under half of the people who went. In terms of how satisfied with the camp overall that scored a 9.1 out of 10 which was pretty good, we also asked questions on how satisfied with you with these aspects of the camp on a scale of 1-5: so that’s accommodation, food, communications leading up to and during the camp, transportation, location, activities, ticket costs and swag. All of those scored between 4-5, the lowest being 4.2 for ticket costs and the highest being 4.8 for the location. The other question we asked was the number of other camps the attendees had been to, the medium number of camps was three, 20 of the 41 respondents had been to 3 or more, 18 of the respondents had been to 5 or more. So seems like a good mix of old faces and new.

Nick: sounds good

Lachlan: Is it worthwhile to the community if there’s a short blog post or a report or something about those survey results?

Toby: I’m happy to do that, and talking in broad strokes about how we did from a budget perspective is fine as well.

Nick: Maybe a forum post?

Toby: The forum is the official record of Ruby Australia, so if we post on the forum it’ll get cross-posted to Slack and we can tweet it from the Ruby Australia account as well. Chuck an action down for me Nick and I’ll look after it.

RoRo Swag (Toby)

Toby: RORo swag Lachy authorised use of the logo, I’ve had it recreated in high fidelity and it’s been posted to RedBubble so you can buy a RoRo t-shirt now. I’ve also had a batch of 500 RoRo stickers made which is on its way and I’m going to split those up between the meetups just to hand out.

Forum updates (Toby)

Toby: On the other thing the forum updates that I was supposed to do, I did.

Events (Caitlin)

Caitlin: I haven’t had any contact with the conference organisers but I intend to reach out in the next couple of days, as far as contacting myself about camp, I’ve been having plenty of talks with myself I’ve been very informative, a little long-winded. I’ve got quotes back from three venues for the camp, I’ve also been getting rough ideas across some coffee carts and things like that. We’ve got one really good looking venue that might be a little high up in budget than what I want but still very much looking and keeping at the same sort of ticket prices we’ve had recently, including the buffer for diversity tickets and then one other which would be really cheap and allow us to do activities but I"m not convinced would have the spaces we’d need in terms of rooms and rooms for talks and stuff. I need to check out that venue because it would better if it had more space. I’ll report back when I know more.

Voting Systems (Nick)

Inspired by

To also cover the voting systems section as well, the little YouTube video I posted gives sort of a brief summary of the advantage of voting for all the candidates you are happy with so this is only really relevant when you have three options, but it means if you have candidate ABC, and 30% want A but would be happy with B but don’t want C, and you have 30% who want B but would be happy with A, and don’t want C, and you only have 40% who are happy with C, then you have C ‘wins’ if you just vote for your favourite candidate, whereas 60% would have preferred someone else. So it just means a minor change in that when you have three candidates for a position you vote for all of the ones you prefer. If you vote for all of them, you just nullify your vote, so there’s no way to cheat the system. It’s a fun little video, so that would be my suggestion in the unlikely event that we would have a similar situation of a large number of people running for regular members like we did at the camp, or a situation like that again.

Lachlan: I watched the video, I thought it was cool and it all made sense to me. I feel like it would be easy to implement.

Toby: The only thing I’d be curious about Nick is, I think you did a pretty good job of explaining it just then, I’m just conscious of having to explain it to 100 people in a room. I wonder if you’ve thought about how to best summarise it so that you could say it twice and 100 people are all going to get how it works.

Caitlin: I think that Nick’s explanation was good in terms for justifying it but I don’t think it’s necessary for the room to understand the mechanics behind the mathematical likelihoods and probabilities; they just need to know ‘put your hand up for everyone you like’.

Nick: Raise your hand for everyone you would accept as a candidate.

Lachlan: Yeah, makes sense. And if people want to know more, talk to Nick.

Caitlin: and we can make it a lightning talk at a camp. If you want to know more about our voting system, come to our talk at 2pm etc.

Nick: Sure! Well that covers my points.

Documentation (Toby/Lachlan)

Lachlan: The last one is on documentation which is Toby and myself. Basically Toby and I were talking about things like Elixir Girls, Elixir Camps, and what is our responsibility towards these other interest groups, these other organisations that come to us for help and we don’t have a clear answer per se, but one thing we can do to help other people, even just amongst our own community is to open source or copy left, or creative commons whatever the documents around how to run camps, how to run conferences things like that including sample budgets, all of the stuff that we do.

At the very least it’s a way of giving back to the broader community that Ruby is a part and helping the broader community to get to the beautiful administration and bureaucracy of running a committee meeting.

Unless everyone wants to say ‘yay’ right now we might leave this discussion for the next meeting but wanted to tell you that’s what it is.

Nick: I’m in favour

Lachlan: will look at what I need to do to do that. I’ll take an action on that one Nick.

Treasurer update (Resprise)

Ryan: The handover’s been fully completed now, I’m in charge of of all the treasury accounts, I’ve been to Westpac and I have complete control of the accounts, the bank account’s looking pretty healthy, all the RubyConf bills have been paid, the public liability insurance has been paid, it’s all under control, I’m impressed at how easy it is.

Toby: Ryan on the subject of liability, Namibia made the point earlier that the liability insurance may have certain obligations on us in terms of code of conduct related things so I’m having a chat with her to identify if there’s anything like that.

End of Meeting