Eliot Miranda – Lubrication and Flow
21 December, 2016
Eliot gave a terrific presentation about the current state of the community and what we might do to improve it.
Evelyn (Lin) Ostrom
Eight principles for managing a commons
- Clearly defined boundaries
- Proportional equivalence between benefits and costs
- Collective choice arrangements
- Graduated sanctions
- Fast and fair conflict resolutions
- Local autonomy
- Polycentric governance
Editorial: by Ron Teitelbaum follows
Eliot gave the presentation to help get the discussion going (it’s not the start of the conversation either, there are earlier efforts like the Pharo Consortium) this Article is part of that discussion.
My take on the conversation is that there are really two aspects of what Eliot is discussing.
First that some sort of economic organization that helps Smalltalk is needed and that the organization should be used to help both programmers and customers. It seems to me that a Smalltalk Guild could be set up to do just that. It would be a place for customers to find certified developers with access to a group of people (other guild members) that can solve difficult problems if they get stuck. It could also be a place where members who make over a certain amount of money could get proportional benefits. As a developer. I would probably join such a guild and as a customer, I would love to have a place to go which could help me solve some programming issues.
Second that we need to have better visibility, coordination, and cooperation. The cost of coordination using technology is falling fast. Having a site that pairs tasks with developers, shows developers guild certifications, allows for customer and developer ratings and comments, highlights training materials and growth paths, and generally allows communities to form and disband around specific areas funded by companies or the guild itself would fundamentally change how we organize and grow the community.
To illustrate let’s say we form a Smalltalk Guild. Members pay $10 a year to join + %10 of what they make on jobs they get through the Guild Jobs. Companies can also join the guild and pay $100 per year and pay %10 in addition to what they pay for a job if they hire a Guild member to do the work. (These are just made up figures I have no idea if they would actually work and some study would be needed to figure that out). As a group, the Guild can provide Training for new members, create certification levels and growth plans. The incentive for the group is that as members grow and make more money everyone benefits, there is an incentive to make sure people are qualified, can do the work, and actually get work instead of doing nothing (like java programming). Users that contribute over 10k to the guild (earn 90K) can get benefits if they are out of work, or maybe healthcare on a group plan, some form of compensation which of course would be less than they contribute + generate in customer fees and would be decided by the Guild as Eliot says 0.N/X. This gives the best guild members an incentive to stay with the guild and to feel like the guild is helping them provide some basic needs and it allows the guild to acknowledge the contributions the member is putting in to help the entire group. The money could also be used to benefit the Guild. To pay for someone’s training or certification, to increase visibility, to look for donors, find new customers, invest in new training materials, new conferences, courses, or even develop technology like the VM or application frameworks based on the group’s collective choices.