Web Edu CG planning

Hello again! At this point I wanted to share with you our notes and immediate plans, so that you can all comment and give you input. What follows is a proposal for the new front page text – I will replace the current Web Edu CG placeholder text with this, after soliciting a round of feedback, so long as that feedback doesn’t bring up any show stoppers, of course. You have until September 7th to submit feedback on this.

there are also some notes later on in the post, discussing further ideas, which I would like your opinions on.

Have fun!

Chris

Proposed Web Ed CG new front page text

The Web Education Community Group (CG) aims to evolve the Web and improve the overall skill set of the web industry by improving the quality of available web education resources and courses around the world. To do this, we are engaging in several activities, which are the responsibilities of different sub-groups inside the CG:

If you want to contribute to this CG, following these steps:

  1. To contribute to community groups, and perform activities such as updating Wikis, W3C Membership is not required but you must first sign up for a public account. Read our Guide to contributing to the Web Education Community Group.
  2. Make sure you are logged in to this page (see the relevant link up the top). You should now be able to sign up to the group using the “Join this Group” button on this page.
  3. Get involved with one or more of the above sub groups – to do so, visit their pages, liked above, where you can find out more about their activities, members and contact points.
  4. Feel free to suggest improvements, updates to existing activities, and new activities: the best place to do this is the public-webed mailing list.
  5. You can also discuss things with other members in the Web Education CG IRC channel: irc://irc.w3.org:6665/#webed. We will make sure the room has someone in it for as much of the time as possible.
  6. To look at current and past sub-group activities, and jot down ideas, you can go to the Web Education CG Wiki.

I’d like to stress that all opinions and ideas will be considered equally inside the group. No one is better or more valued than anyone else, so please don’t be afraid to speak your mind!

Thanks for reading!

Chris Mills, co-chair, Web Education CG

Text for sub-group pages

TBC – really this can be decided by the different sub-group activity leads.

Text for the “View all participants” page

I think that – if possible – we should list the sub-group pages down the side, and that they should replace the “View all participants” page. Thoughts?

Internal notes

I would like to have a landing page available for each sub-group, which lists:

  • Name of sub-group.
  • Sub-group activity leaders and deputy leaders – each sub-group should have a leads and a deputy lead, so there isn’t a single point of failure if one person gets disinterested, or hit by a train.
  • Sub group participants.
  • Overall aim and responsibilities of sub-group.
  • Current projects the group is working on (which can then lead to Wiki pages showing more details on those).

Mailing lists and group member tiers

We should have two levels of commitment: those who commit to spend time managing a project (project leads), and those who contribute to the project (contributors).

This should not be confused with rank, authority, or superiority; this is simple organization. That said, there is an aspect of meritocracy involved: to be considered as one of the project leads, a person has to demonstrate the skills and motivation to contribute effectively.

Everyone in the WebEd CG will be subscribed to the public-webed and public-webed-contrib lists; project leads will also be subscribed to internal-webed and internal-webed-contrib, but these lists should only be used sparingly, for administrivia. Project leads will also take part in regular meetings, and be responsible for representing the ideas and status of their projects, and relating meeting information back to their project contributors. All minutes will be public.

Everyone can participating in as many (or as few) projects as they have time for.

List Details

The purpose of each list is as follows:

  • public-webed: public queries, general subject discussion that is safe for pubic consumption.
  • public-webed-contrib: reporting and discussion of project activities.
  • internal-webed: discussion of internal project leadership affairs.
  • internal-webed-contrib: reporting and discussion of significant leadership activities. Not sure if we will need this one.

Running of the group

  • When a new project is to be proposed inside a sub-group, the proposer drops a mail to that sub-groups’s activity leader, containing details, and a list of at least two other people who second it.
  • The sub-group activity leader makes a decision about whether to put the activity forward, and responds on the public-webed-contrib list with a yay or nay.
  • Those who see the decision have a chance to argue against the decision if they wish.
  • If a project is adopted by the sub-group, a leader and deputy leader is chosen for that project (again, not one point of failure), plus other members as needed. These members, and the aims and activity of the project is recorded on the Wiki. Actions/Issues for that project are recorded at the tracking page. We need to learn how to best use this.
  • Every fortnight, a leadership meeting will occur, featuring the co-chairs (Ben and Chris), Doug, and the sub-group leaders. The chairs will report any general happenings of interest, and the sub-group leaders will report on how all the activities are going in their subgroup.
  • If a project is failing, we should discuss why, and what can be done to get it back on track. It should be given a few months to get back on track, and if not, we abandon it, or look for an alternative project to replace it.
  • All achievements/major milestones should be reported on the public-webed-contrib list, and updated on the tracking function somehow.

Notes on running the group

  • Eventually we will be able to pay people to write material for the W3C, when we get the money coming in (via training, or certification).
  • I want to give people profile pages – show how much W3C karma people have. This should record what they have done. Could we have some way to give people experience points or accolades to show what they have done? I am conscious that, at least to begin with, people wil be doing this for nothing, so they at least need some recognition.
  • We need to be sensible about time commitments all the way through. Make sure we are not doing too much, groom assistants and replacements as required.
  • Wikis are good for quick edits, but curated material is important. How do we reconcile this?

Notes on training

We want to partner with educational institutions and trainers to provide training and certification that will utilise our material to provide a best practice, consistent, high quality standards of web development education. All the material will be free for anyone who wants to use it, but the W3C will make some money from the certification aspect (see below), and perhaps training activities of our own in the future.

Notes on certification

We agree that it’s needed. we could treat it like MCSE, or Adobe qualifications. Quality control too. certification is the fastest path to gross legitimacy/revenue.

Risks of certification

  • Do we alienate developers who already have the skills/reputations? Try to make it clear that a cert is nice to have, but is not required for being in the industry.
  • Do we alienate existing trainers? We should partner with them instead, and allow them to offer the W3C cert as well as anything else they may have. But you don’t have to use it.
  • Would people dislike it because the W3C is making money out of it? Well, it is available for anyone for free. the only way W3C makes money is via the certification. and training maybe, if we went into that (not for now).

4 Responses to Web Edu CG planning

  1. Andrew Cooper says:

    I don’t have any feedback to give that disagrees with any of the planned text, but from your subsequent messages I figured you wanted comments anyway so you know that we’ve read it and to acknowledge it.

    I don’t know about anyone else but I just can’t wait for September 7th to come by so we can move forward with the project and get the sub-groups into action and the ball rolling.

  2. Jeremie Patonnier says:

    Hi all,

    I’m fine with that introduction and the goals are quite clear. My main concern is more about the way we’ll start.

    How do you plan to launch the work ? Starting with the mailing list, organize some kind of irc warmup, other ?

    I guess it’s up to us to start some subjects (I have a few in mind and this current material give me some more to think about) but a little formal kick from the 2 co-chairs could be a good starting point ;)

    Here are some insight about some minor part of your proposal (don’t think I’m picky, it’s just to avoid misunderstanding from me):

    When a new project is to be proposed inside a sub-group, the proposer drops a mail to that sub-groups’s activity leader, containing details, and a list of at least two other people who second it.

    I guess this is a proposal for a formal endorsement of the project by the group. Is this a strict process or just some kind of guideline? (the way I understand your whole proposal I guess it’s the latter). For example, what’s happen if someone start to build an idea on the WebEd ML that turn into an informal project?

    We agree that it’s needed. we could treat it like MCSE, or Adobe qualifications. Quality control too. certification is the fastest path to gross legitimacy/revenue.

    I fully agree with that but who are exactly “We” here? I guess it’s Chris, Ben and Doug but I will be more comfortable if we (the whole group) have the opportunity to discus that certification stuff soon (there is many things to talk about).

    And to conclude, there is something unclear to me : This group is not necessarily composed of fully W3C members (meaning members who are working for company that pay to be part of the W3C) so when we talk about a W3C certification or about W3C training material, who’s the W3C voice in here to allow or disallow such a commitment?

  3. Chris Mills says:

    @Andrew – thanks for the reply!

  4. Chris Mills says:

    @jeremy – some good questions and points, thanks. I will address these one by one, below:

    “How do you plan to launch the work ? Starting with the mailing list, organize some kind of irc warmup, other ?”

    After launching the updated site text, we will then start looking to invite more members to our little educational family, and I’ll start gently pushing people towards taking up leadership positions in all the sub-groups, so we can get all our activity up and running.

    Around this time I’ll start hanging out on IRC so people can reach me fairly easily with questions (or just drop me a mail!), and yes, I think I’ll organise an IRC warmup to kick things off.

    “I guess this is a proposal for a formal endorsement of the project by the group. Is this a strict process or just some kind of guideline? (the way I understand your whole proposal I guess it’s the latter). For example, what’s happen if someone start to build an idea on the WebEd ML that turn into an informal project?”

    Yes – it really is more of a guideline for the moment, which will be utilised or dropped, depending on how well it works. I think in most cases it will be obvious when a proposal is a good idea to adopt, without needing people to explicitly second it. I want the whole group to run in a fairly chilled out manner, but I still want to exercise some control to make sure we keep going forward in some sort of a consistent direction, and use our time effectively. In some cases, where a proposed activity is not that obvious in terms of fitting in with our core aims/direction, I’ll ask for clarification and consider the different arguments, before we make a final decision on moving forward with it. I doubt it should come to this that often.

    “I fully agree with that but who are exactly “We” here? I guess it’s Chris, Ben and Doug but I will be more comfortable if we (the whole group) have the opportunity to discus that certification stuff soon (there is many things to talk about)”

    Yes, my apologies – this was an agreement between Ben, Doug and I, but we will give all members full opportunity to discuss it before making any moves.

    “And to conclude, there is something unclear to me : This group is not necessarily composed of fully W3C members (meaning members who are working for company that pay to be part of the W3C) so when we talk about a W3C certification or about W3C training material, who’s the W3C voice in here to allow or disallow such a commitment?”

    Doug can probably comment better on how this would work, but I’m guessing that any such proposal would have to be agreed across W3C management before we were able to move anything forward.

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