2019 Election Campaign: Alan Ball (vorotato)

Who am I

My name is Alan Ball and I’m from Raleigh, North Carolina. I’m the head organizer of Southern Fried F# Conference and the Triangle F# meetup. You likely know me from the F# Foundation slack where my name is Vorotato or the conference twitter account that I maintain @FriedFsharp. At my day job I’m a .NET developer and I work at a self-funded state agency that helps low and middle-income families find and afford homes. I’m warm and energetic, and I love F#.

Why I am running

I want to help facilitate community building and community contributions. I want to create a culture of contribution. A culture where new members have a clear and direct path to contributing, for both the language and libraries. Where everyone is empowered to send pull requests. A culture that includes beginners and tackles a wide variety of problems together. I hope to help bring more energy and enthusiasm into the F# foundation, and work towards building a strong backbone of community. A strong community is the foundation that secures future growth.

Why vote for me

I’m a tireless cheerleader for F# and all those who support it. I use my warm and upbeat personality to bring people together and get excited about what we can accomplish. I defend solidarity because it is part of what makes us a family, and I will have your back. If elected I will steer the foundation towards community cohesiveness, a shared responsibility of both the compiler and F# projects, and an outreach strategy that focuses on those who are underrepresented. I want to collaborate with you on improving documentation and ease of use. I have a good knowledge of F# and love sharing things I’ve learned with others. I’m excited to hear what your values and interests are so that we can do this together.

Thank you for your consideration!

(PS: Alan Barr is an entirely different person who is also great but not me.)

I have 2 questions I’m going to ask each Board candidate to begin - but first, a little background:

Historically, the programs managed by the F# Software Foundation have been managed and operated by a Board member. While it’s great to see Board members be actively involved and hands-on (something I highly encourage!), the downside to this is that sustainability of programs has suffered at times. For example, the Diversity Program has been very quiet over the last year, as none of the current Board members have “stepped up” into that role and taken it over since the previous member decided not to run in 2018. We run the risk of this again this year - Gien, who has been the core enabler of the Mentorship Program, has decided not to run for the Board this year, which will leave that program in limbo until somebody is setup to run it or a new approach is devised.

  1. Are there any programs, either existing or new that’d you’d like to see formed, where you would like to take an active role in helping coordinate or enable?
  2. Given the sustainability concern mentioned above, do you have any ideas for ways to try to keep more consistency in programs moving forward, particularly as Board members come and go?

I think the mentorship program and the diversity program are fundamental to what we are trying to achieve. I will try to expand the mentorship program and diversity program and find ways to encourage it to spread beyond the initial mentor. We need community ownership of our tools and language so I will try to find ways to build that up. Diversity is critical to a healthy f/oss ecosystem as it helps prevent blind spots.