- Roll call
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- Gab: welcome to the first two ESCo Advisors in the group! I look at the ESCo as the highest technical arm of the board of directors when it comes to any technical decision that needs to be taken in the community. While every one of us ultimately reports to the board, the ESCo acts with a high degree of independence in terms of aligning and defining the technical aspects of the foundation, including projects, working groups, and resolving any conflicts between these bodies. I'll let the other ESCo members add more colour, but one fundamental tenet that's been successful in other communities is steer the foundation (as the name suggests) without micro managing or having too heavy a touch. We see the ESCo playing a role in admitting new projects and working groups in the Foundation, but also steering those groups - align and ensure that there's a unified vision in the Foundation, while not stifling the organic growth of the community. As the project portfolio has grown (from both LLC, members, and the community at large) the technical debates at ESCo level have been increasingly interesting, and I'm really excited to have more representatives from the Platinum and Gold members. For procedural issues Peter is your contact. So a heartfelt welcome to Venkata and Nick - I look forward to your contribution here, and seeing you help drive your firms' contributions!
- Frank: I head architecture for financial markets at IHS Markit. Very active in the community, especially the
Github link macro link https://github.com/symphonyoss/symphony-java-client/
- LaurenceLawrence: from Symphony LLC - most of you know me already. Joined Symphony from Blackrock. Welcome on board.
- Peter: employed by the Foundation and secretary of the ESCo (a non-voting / non-representative role). Background in software engineering and product management, primarily in open source, content & collaboration. FinServ is a return to my first job out of university, 20-odd years ago.
- Nick: Director of Ecosystem at OpenFin. I've met all of you but Venkat. My role at OpenFin is to drive interoperability.
- Venkat: Run sales & research for Citi Velocity, part of Citi Capital Markets. We have been very involved with Symphony from the beginning. We are using the Symphony container and want to make it the standard for our entire markets organisation.
- Peter: thanks everyone - as Gab mentioned, please feel free to ping me on Symphony chat or email if you have any procedural questions. In the spirit of transparency, if using email please cc the (private) ESCo mailing list.
- BoD status reporting refinements:
- Peter: now that ESCo has taken over reporting responsibilities (starting with the January 18th BoD meeting), is anything we could do better? Better metrics, better format, ...?
- Frank: the session fostered some good conversation, though I would like to make it easier for the BoD to consume this information beforehand. I would love to boil up the first slide, and have the BoD better understand the metrics going in, which should translate to better conversations. So beyond what we're currently reporting on, the WG health metrics need a little more work to identify the specific measurements the board would be able to consume, and also summarise the issues the working groups are facing that the board could comment on.
- Gab: first off - thanks Frank & ESCo - it was beautiful to see engagement from the different parties during your update. When the message comes from someone who's engaged, it resonates much better - we've seen more active engagement from the board. Couple of comments:
- Over H1 I'd love to see more definition of high level metrics or measures of health for a project. This is a cornerstone of our strategy for the year - better reporting of metrics on projects and working groups in H1 ,then in H2 we can optimise based on those metrics.
- Next time is going to be a board call, rather than a board meeting. So while I love the lively conversation last week, we can't afford 45 minutes. We might want to think about two different types of updates for board meetings - perhaps 30 minutes for board meeting, but below 15 for board call. For March we have a need to be a bit more concise there.
- We've reported on projects and working group health, but one element I haven't seen is ESCo performance, as a technical body that reports to the board. The board hasn't expressed any specific metrics there, but as we report the state of technology to the board, I think it's important to report not only the health of projects and working groups, but also of the ESCo itself.
- Frank: let me comment on length. That was a good opportunity to bring the board into what's happening, and to help reduce this, I think we can deliver "canned" reporting to the BoD ahead of time.
- Gab: don't get me wrong - it was a super good conversation. But for a board call it can't be 45 minutes.
- Lawrence: couple of observations: I though the presentation was effective - we conveyed the right colour. I agree with the overall comment on the length, but to be fair there was an active conversation going on. On the one hand we don't have that much time for this agenda item going forward, but we should acknowledge the topics that were being discussed - I think that represents pent up demand for these topics. It wasn't just Frank talking - people were jumping in on the topics and joining in, and if we could incorporate more of those interactive sessions into the BoD meeting. Two things we should consider:
- when talking about metrics, ensure there's consistency between reporting - we don't want to completely change metrics each meeting.
- Also keep metrics simple, rather than some hybrid metric that's a combination of 15 different factors that people don't understand.
- So while there may be some refinements, let's not over-engineer it too much, or diverge too much meeting to meeting. Finally, we've gotten feedback form those who've prepared & delivered the metrics, but have we gotten feedback from BoD members who weren't involved in preparing them?
- Gab: good point. Apart from high level comments, no.
- Peter: I've chatted with Matthew Gardner @ Blackrock about this a bit in the past, and showed him Bitergia. He was pretty excited by that.
- Venkat: where can I review the BoD slides?
- Gab: the ESCo mailing list was cc'ed when I sent the deck to the board - you should now have access, and if not please work with Peter.
- Nick: was there specific feedback from the BoD?
- Gab: there was general appreciation of having received 44 projects in 2016, and a lively conversation regarding the incubating open source readiness working group. The firms showed a great deal of interest and I'm working with Aaron (Foundation legal counsel) regarding how we make progress on this - this might include an event. Firms are seeing the value of being actively engaged in open source. Feedback from me, Frank and Lawrence to the board and showed projects & commits per organisation, it clearly showed how only Symphony, the Foundation and a few Gold Members (specifically Markit, FactSet) and a few community members (Brevan Howard) had done any active commit, so there was a strong call to action, reiterated by Frank, me and Lawrence, for the Platinum members to start engaging with and contributing to the Foundation. Good news is we've seen a few PRs come from Blackrock, so the ball is starting to roll.
- Frank: agree re engagement and outcome. I think they were happy to see that there were so many projects committed, then shocked when we explained what "active" meant from a lifecycle perspective, and that we don't have any contribution from them. The recent Blackrock contribution makes me super excited as an example of how projects should run within the Foundation. I think the reaction was kind of "I need to do something about this!" - Ali from Citi responded very well to this with "we need to get moving and contribute something!".
- LaurenceLawrence: she was also very active in the open source readiness discussion and clearly understood that the technologists want to contribute, but when they try they run into a legal wall.
- Frank: I think that was one of the major outcomes - focusing on the ability for the firms and community to contribute. Hopefully Ali (and others) can now start to make that happen internally, perhaps with the help of example policies from elsewhere in the industry.
- LaurenceLawrence: can't leave policies like this to the lawyers. Having the active voice of technologists driving those policies is critical.
- Nick: Absolutely! I've experienced that first hand.
- Gab: at the strategic level we seem to be seeing a convergence in the industry to the fact that engaging actively in open source is becoming a CIO level concern. We're going to keep funding and soliciting these conversations, but there's also a tactical outcome such as Goldman moving faster on elements like contributor agreements. It seems they're willing to take the lead in sharing some of their policies with the community. We might even get to the point of having a standardised agreement for all participants in financial services. We're going to keep beating this iron while it's hot.
- Peter: I'll put an item on the agenda for the early/mid February meetings to prepare the ESCo status report for the March 1st BoD call
- Email from John Stecher re
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- LaurenceLawrence: quick operational question - saw the email from John Stecher re Minuet. Are you aware of any additional steps that GS need to do before contributing? Should I ask him in email?
- Peter: I haven't heard anything, though on our side we still need to do license checks & ESCo approval vote. Asking whether there are any additional steps on their side is a good idea.
- Gab: I don't think they have any additional steps, but it would be good to double check with him directly.
- LaurenceLawrence: it's sitting in a commingled repository and while the LLC has a green light to go ahead with it, as soon as Goldman also give a green light we should be able to just transfer the repo.
- Gab: that's my understanding too.
- LaurenceLawrence: let's also setup the ESCo approval vote.
- Peter: via email?
- LaurenceLawrence: I don't think it's controversial, so sure.
- Approved 2017 Foundation objectives:
- Gab: I wonder if it's useful to share with you the approved objectives the BoD has set for us for 2017? Would it make sense to share the approved objectives framework for the year at ESCo level?
- Venkat: I think it would be helpful. I'd also like to go over the projects that have been delivered.
- LaurenceLawrence: can I suggest we provide that in writing? It would be valuable to ensure the new ESCo members have a chance to go through that, but the existing ESCo members have already been through that. Can we do that offline, then reserve our time for discussion?
- Nick: I like that idea a lot.
- Venkat: I'm good with that.
- Gab: I'd like to share with you the finalised objectives from the BoD deck, then one or two slides on the technology strategy we're pursuing to achieve those objectives. Peter owns the technology strategy, so he can fill you in on any execution questions you might have.