Ubuntu Membership: debunking myths

One thing I really like about Ubuntu is that all kinds of contributions to Ubuntu are valued and recognised through Ubuntu membership. We have several hundreds of Ubuntu members already who have all kinds of backgrounds and all kinds of different areas of expertise. They are united by having made significant and sustained contributions to Ubuntu.

There are a number of myths about Ubuntu membership that we want to debunk. If you come across somebody who’s uncertain about Ubuntu membership, tell them:

  • ALL kinds of contributions are welcome, not only technical contributions.
  • Launchpad Karma, number of uploads, etc. CAN be a determining factor, but they don’t need to be.
  • There is no strict time limit for “having been around <n> years before being able to apply”.
  • Apart from the Regional Membership Boards, the Edubuntu Council, MOTU Council and Kubuntu Council approve membership too.
  • Endorsements of fellow team members are important. Be a team player.
  • If you’re unsure if your contributions are significant and sustained, ask your team mates.
  • Read the Membership documentation.

Together with the RMBs the CC just did a number of changes to the Membership document, I hope it’s much clearer now.

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  • I use Ubuntu time to time, not my default distro. As a FOSS activist I keep one eye on what everybody is doing in the other LUGs. We help each other, no matter what distro it is. There was one time that I attended to a regional board meeting to approve Ubuntu members via IRC, I was disappointed. One of my friends was bounced because his work was not overwhelming Ubuntu. He helped in all Ubuntu local activities, but as he helped in other activities his contribution was diluted. The decision was that he was a good foss activist, but not Ubuntu exclusively. So being a “team player” is not an option. This poisoned my help in Ubuntu activities, as I was aware that from that moment on all my Ubuntu friends will be counting karmas in any join effort among LUGs. Anyway, I was shocked. Several months later, I still dislike Ubuntu membership process.

  • Unfortunately for me, the application process wasn’t as I had expected in that I was left feeling like to gain Ubuntu Membership is an “exclusive club” and it wasn’t so much of what you know but who you know.

    This isn’t to say that it’s this way, but it certainly left me to not bother with applying again (I’ve tried twice!)

    I realise that I’m only one, but if there are others that have had a similar experience then maybe the “Myths” are real!

    • It’s not “important who you know”, but it’s important that you have worked with other people in Ubuntu who can endorse your work. That’s slightly different.