2019 Election Campaign: Édgar Sánchez Gordón

Who am I

I’m a business application developer from Quito, Ecuador. Ever since a teacher had the curious idea of making us use LISP I’ve been in love with the functional paradigm. During some 15 years, I’ve been a Microsoft Regional Director a team of 175 individuals from around the world who provide Microsoft leaders with customer insights and real-world voices. I think I am reasonably good at giving presentations, which I do on a regular basis, as I tend to talk about F# as much as possible (you can follow me in twitter @edgarsanchez) people in the Latin American region tend to greet me with a “Hey Edgar, are you going to talk about F#” :grin:.

Why am I running

Although I’ve got a good command of functional programming and F#, I have to admit I’m not the strongest tech member of the community, not even close, on the other hand, I’m pretty good at explaining the basics to newcomers. I also cater to the business applications developers -the so-called dark-matter developers, pretty well, I think this is a huge growth opportunity for F#, and I think I will be distinctly useful in this area.

Why Vote for Me?

I am convinced that functional programming boosts developer productivity, enhances software quality, and above all is plain fun to work with, so I am in a quest to help the software world adopt this paradigm. I am dedicated to doing, and encourage others to do, as many posts, videos, presentations, meetings, etc. on FP topics in general, and F# in particular, as possible. If you choose me as a member of the Board of Trustees, I will make the adoption of F#, the growth of the F# developer community my main concern. I see three venues in which we should work: 1) Technical decision makers, so that they use F# in new projects; 2) Academia, so that F# is used in regular courses; 3) Influencing developers from other languages, so that they start using F# themselves. Let’s do this!


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?
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  1. I’d be interested in the diversity program with a twist: STEM young people, especially women. You wouldn’t believe the number and potential of young people in regions like Latin America -and I’m sure there are similar scenarios in Africa and Asia. I’d love to help young people get into a software development career using F# -or any other functional programming language if that fails- I envision activities in schools for the 14-17 years range, both for students and teachers showing them the joys of functional programming with F#. For young, poor people in countries like mine jumping from a blue-collar family to a developer job is a life-changing event, let’s use F# to help this happen!

  2. How about this: when a trustee volunteers for a program, she/he actually commits to a 2 year work, the first one as a “proper” program manager, the second year as a mentor for the new trustee taking the baton.

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Hi Edgar!
Follow up questions/comments:

  1. I like the idea of trying to focus on younger crowds, and addressing new territory, so to speak. Practically, how would you see that happen? The main issue I see is, it’s probably not going to be feasible to easily send trainers. Do you envision something like “pre-packaged workshops/training material”, or to put in place something to actually make sending someone locally possible? Or something else?
  2. Committing to stay available after managing a program sounds like a good idea. On one side, it makes the commitment a bit scarier, because 2-years is a long time. On the other side, it could make it less scary, because you know there is someone around to help. It will also probably require working out a clean mechanism, to manage who has access to what in programs over time, as people come and leave.

For the younger crowds / new territory initiative, I think we should start with materials for:

  • A two-hour intro to programming for total beginners
  • A one day -or two afternoons- that assume a little functional programming knowledge and present interesting topics, e.g. facial recognition, physics/chemistry problems, sentiment analysis

Try and refine these materials in US / Europe. Then start discussing the materials with potential trainers in the “new territories”, the trainers should be already members of the F# community and at ease with the language. Help them prepare and deploy the local trainings.

For the 1 year + 1 year commitment to a Foundation program I’m thinking that for the second year, the former manager should work more like a mentor or a consigleri if you like. The decisions and execution should be in hands of the new manager. What do you think?