Ruby Australia Special General Meeting Minutes
13th of December, 2015 - 3:45pm
Held at Rails Camp 18 - Camp Cottermouth, Canberra
Committee Members Present
- Sebastian von Conrad - President
- Melissa Kaulfuss - Vice President
- Matt Allen - Treasurer
- Len Garvey - General Member
- Rob Jacoby - General Member
- Mikel Lindsaar - Secretary
- John Barton - General Member
- Amanda Neumann - General Member
Ruby Australia Members Present
- Andrew Harvey
- Angus Scown
- Anton Katunin
- Edward Tippett
- Eleanor Haggerty
- Elle Meredith
- Garrow Bedrossian
- James McGrath
- James Sadler
- Jo-Jo Hall
- Joshua Paling
- Keith Pitt
- Keith Pitty
- Kwasi Appiah
- Kylie Gusset
- Lachlan Hardy
- Lauren Hennessy
- Luke Shillabeer
- Mario Visic
- Pat Allan
- Phil Oye
- Rebecca Skinner
- Ryan Bigg
- Stephanie He
- Steve Gilles
- Tim Riley
- By Pat Allan
- An unexpected guest (a bug!)
- Ryan Bigg recording meeting minutes.
- Meeting opened at 3:43pm.
Motion to accept previous meeting’s minutes
- Rob Jacoby moves to accept
- Keith Pitty accepts
- Motion passed without dissent.
President’s Report - Sebastian von Conrad
- Outlined 3 working groups last Rails Camp (Sydney)
- Last General Meeting
- Thanks to Ruby AU for support for the last year
Treasurer’s Report - Matt Allen
- 14/15 report
- $394k income, $64k profit
- TODO: Matt to put report up on ruby.org.au website
- Ruby AU is open to pay for Rails Camp expenses immediately
Secretary’s Report - Mikel Lindsaar
- Mikel’s absent, Sebastian von Conrad giving it in his stead
- Mikel’s last general meeting
- TODO: Ryan to get Mikel’s report text from SVC
- Two issues:
- GMs are held at Rails Camp, proposal to hold GMs elsewhere, perhaps online
- Requiring attendance at Rails Camp for members prohibits those who are not able to attend Rails Camp
Review Main Activities
Ruby Conference - Rob Jacoby
- A couple months out
- 210 tickets sold so far; more required before break-even point is reached
- 1 Social event has sold out
- Social events filling up
- RubyAssist program: to get under-represented groups to the conference
- 10 people currently applied for that
- Cogent & ThoughtWorks have sponsored these tickets
- Buy tickets if you haven’t already!
‘Event Knowledge’ Project - Len Garvey
- Focusing on Rails Camp
- After Rob is through with RubyConf, will get input from him for a conference guide
- There is a GitHub repo (https://github.com/rubyaustralia/guides)
- There is a #railscamp channel on the Ruby Australia Slack where knowledge is shared
- Event Knowledge Project is open to new contributors
‘New People into the Community’ Project - Amanda Neumann (not present at GM)
- Mel Kaulfuss giving report in Amanda Neumann’s stead
- Invited a group of people to the Ruby Australia Slack, invitations open to all
- There was a Google Hangouts meetup; brainstormed ideas about how to get people into the community
- Having meetups have a variety of talks, including junior-level talks
- Tried to bring all the meetup.com groups into one group, but it failed because meetup.com wasn’t able to do that
- Ruby Australia Slack has #ruby-meetups-au for meetup organisers to discuss meetup organisation
- Possibly redoing the Ruby Australia website; plans are afoot
- Would like to get a small working group together to build it
- Proposal: Ruby AU to sponsor RailsGirls.
‘Ruby to the Business’ Project - John Barton (not present at GM)
- Sebastian von Conrad giving report in John Barton’s stead
- Not a lot of progress due to “work life and […] procrastination”
- Sent out a survey for the Ruby Australia community, received hundreds of responses
- TL;DR of the Survey: we are mostly well-paid, university educated white men who are employed in offices on the East coast. (Surprise!)
- Finding out a lot of interesting data.
- Proposal to make the survey an annual thing so that we can track data
- John is giving up his General Member committee position, as he “feels his heart is not in it”
Discussion and motion to alter GMs to be held online for inclusivity
- Rails Camps are not the venue to have these conversations.
- Concerns that the Rails Camps are not accessible enough for people to participate in the meetings.
- Camp spots can be limited.
- Kylie Gusset asks why can’t we host a Rails Camp at somewhere with internet, so we can do both.
- Pat Allan suggests picking either one of online or in-person.
- Ryan Bigg suggests using Slack; others suggest it might be hard for those with literacy problems.
- Keith Pitty suggests taking this as an acknowledged problem. We do not have the information to make a decision on this point.
- Lauren Hennessy suggests maybe trying to have one online and see how it works. Voting might be “the thing” that people want to attend the AGM for. Voting may last longer than the AGM, perhaps a week.
- Ed Tippett says that political parties mail out decisions for the party too.
- Len Garvey says that attending an AGM is free to all. Rebecca Skinner counters that not everyone can make it.
- Joss Paling asks if an online AGM might actually lead to less attendance.
- Lachlan Hardy says that in his Microsoft experience it’s not impossible to have remote people. It requires having guidelines/training/advice about how the meeting is run. He does not believe that it would work in this instance.
- Joss suggests that a benefit of having it at a Rails Camp is great because people are boosted by the time they’ve spent at the Rails Camp. He says that the Rails Camp might boost the interest of new attendees to be a part of the AGM.
- Keith Pitty suggests nominations before the Rails Camps, and then votes to happen at the AGM.
- Rob Jacoby asks if we are actually solving a real problem. “Are there people who miss the AGM?”
- Lachlan suggests trying the idea and seeing what happens.
- Seconded by Leonard Garvey.
- Steve Gilles asks if we should first ask the community if they want this before we try it.
- Lachlan Hardy happy to provide guidance on this.
- No dissenting votes. Motion passed.
Motion to alter Ruby AU membership through Rails Camp attendance, for inclusivity
- Constitution states that Rails Camp attendees are automatically Ruby AU members.
- Ruby AU website allows for members to sign up online.
- Keith Pitty suggests that there is no need for this motion.
- Len Garvey suggests attending any Ruby AU event makes you a member… but also suggests an opt-out.
- Ed Tippett asks if we have a membership database, Matt Allen says that we don’t.
- Lauren Hennessy says that we need to a better job of what it means to be a member.
- Phil Oye says that being a member allows you to vote, but what else?
- Sebastian von Conrad says that if you don’t attend a Rails Camp then you cannot be nominated for office and you can’t vote.
- Kylie Gusset asks if the RailsGirls attendees should be members. Pat says yes.
- Keith Pitty says the organisation should take charge of this and manage your membership.
- Sebastian von Conrad says that the constitution says that we need to deliver the notice to ALL members.
- Lachlan Hardy says that we should just get a page on the website of why you should be a member of Ruby AU. Let’s suggest to all people of all events that they have a checkbox if they would like to become a member of Ruby AU.
- Len put forward a motion to capture the membership of Ruby Australia. Seconded by Keith Pitty.
- Motion tabled for future committee discussion.
Motion to make Ruby AU Slack channel open to all.
- Elle Meredith makes motion for making the Ruby AU slack open.
- View Source was brought up, Ruby AU Slack suggested as better alternative.
- Motion passed without dissent..
Discussion to help grow the Elixir community
- Andrew Harvey talking about Elixir
- Discussion about events in the style of Rails Camp with Martin Stannard and James Sadler
- Would this fit within the mandate of Ruby AU?
- Ruby AU infrastructure has taken a long time to assemble
- Lachlan Hardy asks if this is meant to come under the wing of Ruby AU and then to grow and spawn out. Andrew says that it would be nice.
- Mel Kaulfuss says that CampJS organisers also asked about operating “under the auspice of Ruby AU”
- James Sadler says that the organisers of these camps want to contribute in too.
- Angus Scown says that we need to split up the groups, otherwise we become generic. Lachlan Hardy pipes up: “Then we become like the ACS!”.
- Tim Riley says that Ruby AU has enough plans to build the Ruby community. Doesn’t want to “poo poo” the efforts of other languages. It’s tough to run a volunteer organisation & that needs focus.
- Lauren Hennessy said it was great to get help from Ruby AU people for the first Adelaide Rails Girls.
- Rob Jacoby says that it would be good to do some knowledge sharing for these new groups, rather than working under the Ruby AU banner.
- Elle Meredith says that Richie Khoo helped get Ruby AU started.
- Lachlan Hardy supports the symbotic relationship between the Elixir group and the Ruby group. “I get that Elixir is not Ruby, but I don’t give a f***. I mean, I care not a whit. It really sucked for us before Keith & the others made [Ruby AU] happen. It doesn’t mean that the new groups need to go through that too.”
- Elle Meredith suggests that if its just liability insurance then that’s OK, but mixing financials might be too difficult.
- Phil says “it’s already a pain in the ass, why are we adding more pain in the ass?”
- Matt Allen says that was a finite pain in the ass. It was setup, and then it was done. Matt says to Andrew Harvey that Ruby AU can share the knowledge, but it might be too hard to support other groups.
- Steve asks about open sourcing the docs and talking about what we did.
- Angus says that paying membership in other orgs helps fund admin assistance.
- Matt says that we could accept funding from members, like $50-100 per member.
- JoJo says that if Ruby AU cares about running the camps + org, then someone should be paid to be the admin assistant.
- Keith motions that we should participate in knowledge sharing, but not take the other communities under our wing.
- Garrow asks if its possible to setup an organisation to handle liability insurance. Ed asks if we can postpone that particular discussion until the next AGM.
- Motion tabled for future discussion by the committee.
Event Report - Rails Camp 18
- Tim Riley & JoJo Hall report
- J: Fortunate that was a timeboxed level of commitment. Decision to take the funds from ticket sales to fund things made things easier.
- J: Checks and balances would be nice. Discuss more in-depth in some other venue.
- T: Happy to support the next camp in suggesting things to do.
- Elle asked about the guides. Len reiterates that he is working on it some more, but would like some feedback.
Event Report - Rails Camp 19 (?? 2016)
- Pat says that a Rails Camp should be hosted in the place that was longest time since hosting a Rails Camp. That aside, people have to volunteer to run the Rails Camp.
- Seb suggests not hosting a Rails Camp in Tasmania in June.
- Lauren says that Adelaide is a bad place to hold a Rails Camp in winter, and in summer.
- CampJS is happening June 3rd(?)
- Just go to New York (Catskills) camp if you want one in a more temperate location.
- Ryan Bigg puts hand up to run next Rails Camp, end of June in 2016.
- Keith Pitt and Lauren Hennessy want to run one in Adelaide, perhaps end of 2016.
- Ed Tippett suggests Bordertown Camp.
- Keith Pitt suggests hosting it at Keith (the town) (RailsKeith, KeithCamp).
- Garrow asks how long a lead time. Len says 6 months is good.
- James asks how many hours required to run a Rails Camp. JoJo says that there’s been hundreds of hours.
- Elle says that you need to provide people time to plan flights to the place.
- Rob says that someone should consider organising the 2017 Ruby conference now.
Committee Election - President (outgoing - Sebastian von Conrad)
- Sebastian explains the role of the President. Not super-specifically defined role. You’re the contact person for a lot of enquiries. You become involved in a bit of everything. Set direction for working groups. Helping and supporting those groups. Involved in helping RubyConf AU out with sponsorship, and Tim out with Rails Camp things. In the middle of everything.
- Matt Allen adds that there are things that happens in the background that don’t see the light of day; conflicts and what not. Handling people and legacy issues. “Handling people who have opinions”. Talking also about Code of Conduct things, which can involve privacy and personal concerns.
- Sebastian says that 2-3 hours a week is required minimum, up to 10-15 hours of commitment.
- Nominations open for the presidency.
- Ed nominates Pat Allan. Pat declines.
- Lauren nominates Mel Kaulfuss. Mel declines.
- Rebecca nominates Ryan Bigg. Ryan declines due to running a Rails Camp. Ryan later changes his mind, opening up the opportunity for an Adelaide Rails Camp in June, and accepts the nomination.
- Elle nominates Lauren Hennessy. Lauren is undecided. Later on says she feels she’s more suited to a General Member role.
- Garrow asks if the top 3 positions would come up for re-election.
- Steve Gilles nominates Len Garvey (currently General Member). Seconded by Rebecca Skinner.
- Lachlan Hardy nominates Angus Scown; says he is thoughtful, considerate and careful when he makes decisions. Matt Allen seconds. Angus says that having previous committee experience might be beneficial to the role.
- Len Garvey and Ryan Bigg nominated for the presidency.
- Len is currently a general member on the committee, has been doing stuff on the committee for 6 months.
- Rob asks about time commitment; are the nominees involved in any extra-cirrucular activities that may hamper their abilities.
- Len wins the vote.
- Len Garvey is now President of Ruby Australia.
Committee Election - Secretary (outgoing - Mikel Lindsaar)
- Mikel not present. Matt Allen describes the role.
- Mikel keeps us all organised. Runs the meetings, types the notes, gets them deployed to the website. Kind of an operations sort of person on a committee level. Formerly making sure that the organisation was compliant; and maintaining the membership ledger.
- Sebastian von Conrad has two remote nominations:
- Jo Cranford nominates herself. Seconded by Pat.
- Mikel Lindsaar has nominated Rebecca Skinner. Seconded by Len. Rebecca (here in person) accepts.
- Matt Allen says that this role just needs to organise the committee.
- Joss nominates Ryan Bigg for secretary. Len + Pat second. Ryan accepts.
- Rob has a written nomination from Jo:
Jo can’t make Rails Camp, but would like to nominate herself for the committee. She was nominated in June, but not voted in. Helped to organise RubyConf, helped to organise RailsGirls, and attends the meetups in Melbourne. Will be busy with the conference until Feb, but will get free time there.
- Andrew Harvey asks if the committee would organise the next AGM.
- Rebecca speaks about her ability to organise people and write notes. “It’s a gateway into the community”. She goes on to say that she would like to help out with the community.
- Rebecca wins the vote.
- Rebecca Skinner is now Secretary of Ruby Australia.
Committee Election - Treasurer (outgoing - Matt Allen)
- Accountants do compliance work and book-keeping. Majority of work is transactional work; payments, reimburses, invoices. Keeping on top of monthly sponsorships. Time it takes varies per week, but some things need to be done timely. Need to be good at paying attention to detail, and answering queries for people in a timely manner. Matt feels that his downfall has been that he has had a lot going on, and hasn’t been able to give people the time they need.
- Running a business that turns over $350k, more than most startups! Leads to understanding a P&L.
- Term limit of a treasurer needs to be 2 years; to span RubyConfs. Pat Allen says that it’s a valuable role to have for two years.
- Garrow nominates himself. Seconded by [not heard]
- Jo Cranford nominates herself.
- Garrow says that he would like to get involved with the community. Built accounting software. Asked by Angus Scown if he could handle the role for two years: “I don’t know”. Asked by Matt Allen if he has enough time: Garrow says that he has enough time and doesn’t have any commitments outside of kids and the occasional RoRo.
- Rob mentions that Jo says that she has the time commitments.
- Matt says: “You get to work with the bank…”
- Jo wins the vote.
- Jo Cranford is now Treasurer of Ruby Australia.
Committee Election - General Member (outgoing - John Barton and Len Garvey)
- Two positions up for election due to John Barton resigning and Len Garvey being promoted from General Member to President.
- Pat Allen explains role. Nothing specific in the role, but you’re part of a committee and you can get stuff done. John has been running one of the working groups (business outreach). New member does not necessarily need to maintain this working group. Committee may discuss dropping this group.
- Lauren asks if members can move “up” in position. Pat answers yes.
- Lachlan Hardy suggests adding the previous + next Rails Camp organisers as General Members.
- Pat says that the committee is busy enough without running an event as well.
- Keith asks JoJo if it would’ve helped her to be a committee member. JoJo: “No, not really”.
- Sebastian says that at the last AGM we decided we want people who have time to dedicate to the committee; those who can focus on the committee than having an event to run.
- Lauren Hennessy nominated by Angus Scown. Seconded by James McGrath.
- Angus Scown nominated by Keith. Seconded by Lachlan.
- Anton Katunin nominated by Rob Jacoby. Angus seconds.
- Ryan Bigg nominated by Rebecca Skinner. Ryan accepts.
- Ed Tippett nominates himself. Seconded by James. Says he has time to put together a database for names.
- 5 nominations!!!
- Lauren speaks first. Says she’s still studying at TAFE, about to start an internship at a startup. Runs the meetups in Adelaide. Says that because she is studying part time she has the time to be a committee member.
- Angus from Brisbane speaks next. Used to run an organisation of 1,400 members, about 90 members a month turnup to the meetups. Helps organise Devops Brisbane (60ppl) and Devops Downunder (350ppl). Hasn’t been to a Rails Camp for a while. Would like to give the organisation some more administrative support.
- Anton speaks. Ruby developer for 5 years. Has attended the Rails Camps and CampJS. Involved in BrisRuby. Currently works in a small startup, works remotely. Flexible for time.
- Edward speaks. Has come to Rails Camp for a while. Has nominated himself to commit to building a database. Works for reinteractive in Adelaide.
- Eyes closed vote so that nominations can be done with nominees in the room.
- Lauren and Angus win the vote.
- Lauren Hennessy and Angus Scown are now General Members of Ruby Australia.
Flying speakers around the country
- Elle asks if there’s any more snakes (the lollies, not the animals!)
- Nigel Rausch says that it might be nice to do speaker swapping between meetups. Asks if Ruby AU would have some funds to fly speakers around the country. “It’d be nice getting some different perspectives from around the country”. James says “Matt is always telling me that he wants to find ways to spend the surplus cash.”
- Elle moves a motion for the committee to consider it. Second from Mario.
- Motion passed.
- Angus raises the issue; says that we need an assistant as we are now a large-ish organisation. Lauren nominates herself for the role, if the committee is interested.
- Seconded by Rob.
- Matt asks if we are paying for any other organisation’s membership. Discussion happens regarding why you’d pay for an organisation’s membership: insurance, publicity, etc.
- Inspire9 arranged to get $10k of AWS credits to startups that run within that organisation.
- Lachlan Hardy says that Ruby AU has the “negotiating power” to accomplish the same kind of things that Inspire9 can do.
- Matt jokes that it’d be better to have a membership database.
- Angus says that his surveyors paid membership is partly due to requiring accreditation.
- Motion from Angus for the committee to find out who would be interested to pay towards Ruby AU.
- Motion passed.
Meeting closed at 5:57pm.