Calling AD candidates

Martin Duke <martin.h.duke@gmail.com> Thu, 06 August 2020 23:35 UTC

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From: Martin Duke <martin.h.duke@gmail.com>
Date: Thu, 6 Aug 2020 16:34:59 -0700
Message-ID: <CAM4esxR4hXC5S8z_L9Ej+L=ZWsq1QF3=3_mLBx4AEoT2B3K9+Q@mail.gmail.com>
Subject: Calling AD candidates
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As so often happens, Transport AD candidates are thin on the ground. I'll
share some thoughts as someone who stepped into the role role with very
little idea of IETF beyond the 2 or 3 working groups I was active in at the
time.

*TL;DR* being an AD is a professionally enriching and socially
rewarding experience. It takes time but it usually doesn't hurt to ask your
employer for that time. The procedural stuff is not hard at all. The most
challenging thing is getting up to speed on unfamiliar subjects, which also
probably has the biggest benefits.

Others can judge if I've been successful, but at no point have I been
overwhelmed or left without great advice and exceptional documentation on
how to do things.

Nominations happen here: https://datatracker.ietf.org/nomcom/2020/nominate/
.

*What's great about being an AD*:
- Having an important say in shaping the area and the IETF as a whole,
particularly by chartering groups and participating in IESG initiatives
that interest you
- Everyone has their examples of nonsense at the IETF but ADs are in a
position to do something about it.
- Working with some great WG chairs, and building our TSV community
- Learning much more about what's going on in other areas, to become a more
complete internet professional
- There's a lot of freedom to focus on what you find most interesting
- Meeting people from every corner of IETF - unfortunately I haven't gotten
the full in-person version of this, but it remains true.

*Time commitment*: This the biggest reason not to pursue the position. Like
many things it depends on what you want to put into it, but it's not like a
chair position that can be done in the margins of your day job. I would
definitely arrange with your employer to lose no less than 1/4, and
probably half, of your current responsibilities.

This is a huge mental obstacle for many people, but if your boss can be
persuaded of the advantages for your organization, and that it will help
you be a satisfied employee, you may be able to jettison the less appealing
bits of your current work. That's how it turned out for me.

*What's the work*? There's an official job description here:
https://trac.ietf.org/trac/iesg/wiki/TransportExpertise

 In roughly declining order of time commitment:

1. IESG review: you should review a healthy majority of documents that pass
IETF Last Call. This can take a long time if you provide detailed reviews
of everything, or not as much if you focus on the transport aspects of
documents that have transport implications and lean on the area review team
to do their usual good job.

2. Weekly meetings: No more than 3 hours unless you volunteer for more.
Obviously, ramps up around IETF week.

3. AD Review: you really should take a close look at the document output of
your WGLCs.

4. WG management: Chairs don't need to be micromanaged, but they'll
sometimes ask your opinion. You're also deeply involved in chartering,
finding chairs, and BOFs in your area but these are not terribly frequent
events.

5. IESG projects. This is purely optional, but you can take on a special
project. For example, I was deeply involved in figuring out the remote
meeting plan, and, well, you saw the result.

6. Miscellaneous: you will get random email about RFC errata, etc, and have
to deal with it. It's not a huge time sink.

I hope some of you will overcome the concern that you're "not ready" for
this position, and/or the hesitation to ask your employer to explore an
interesting opportunity.

I happy to discuss further with interested people, either via email or
using the chat or meeting technology of your choice.

Thanks
Martin