Friday, April 3, 2009

March 2009 Eclipse Board Meeting

While most EclipseCon attendees were enjoying the excellent tutorials or participating in the annual Members Meeting, the Eclipse Board was quietly having our quarterly face to face board meeting. As usual, here is a brief summary of our meeting.

Elections. We said goodbye to elected Board Members stepping down at the end of their terms: Robert Day, Mik Kersten, Jeff McAffer, Emma McGrattan and Tracy Ragan. The committer reps would especially like to recognize our fellow reps, Mik and Jeff. Jeff has been on the Board for several years and has contributed extensively to the direction of Eclipse, both in his project leadership and participation and at the Board level. I have personally worked with Mik over the past year on committer issues, and he is a strong community advocate, in addition to leading one of the coolest projects at Eclipse, Mylyn. To this year's re-elected Committer Reps, Chris Aniszczyk, myself (Doug Gaff) and Ed Merks, we welcome newly-elected Boris Bokowski to our ranks. Boris has a long history with Eclipse and will serve the committer population well.

Key Performance Indicators. At every Board meeting, we review a large deck of slides called KPI's. These slides summarize progress on the Strategic Initiatives for the Foundation, membership statistics, and other vitality metrics such as site traffic, download stats, project activity, EPIC stats, etc. While some of the information is Board confidential, much of it can and should be shared with the public. Doug and Mike agreed to work on publishing some of the KPI's to the community for better visibility. Stay tuned.

EclipseCon. We reviewed the statistics on EclipseCon registration and expenses. While attendance was down this year, anecdotally because of attendee travel restrictions, the conference was still very well attended. Bjorn and the EclipseCon staff worked diligently to keep expenses in check with income while not affecting the quality of the conference. You probably didn't even notice the cost-savings measures, as most were completely hidden. The food, beverages, receptions, and wifi were all on par with past years. The Board formally recognized Bjorn for his incredible commitment to making EclipseCon a great conference.

Git. Yes, we discussed git, too, although my other post has much more current information on the topic.

Automotive Industry Working Group. Ralph Mueller, Director of Ecosystem in Europe, presented an update to the Board on the Automotive Industry Working Group currently under discussion with industry participants. This will be the second IWG created at Eclipse. (Pulsar, the Mobile Working Group, is the first.) In short, things are progressing nicely and Ralph hopes the group will form later this year. The Board feels very strongly that Industry Working Groups are a critical future direction for the Foundation and Ecosystem, and we're excited by the progress.

Membership and Finances. It is no secret that the entire world is in a massive economic recession. The Eclipse Foundation and Eclipse Member companies are not immune to this reality, and Foundation has experienced a net drop in membership. The Executive Director (Mike Milinkovich) and the Financial Officer (Chris Larocque) presented a very detailed revised 2009 budget that cut expenses in several areas while still preserving the level of service and staffing that the community has come to rely upon from the Foundation. The board was very impressed with the detail and thoroughness of the analysis, and we want to remind the community that the Eclipse Foundation is in excellent managerial hands. On an additional positive note, we'd like to welcome our first Enterprise level member, Research in Motion (RIM).

Finally, as is apparently a tradition for March Board Meetings, we had a guest speaker. (Think "tutorial envy".) John Hagel from the Deloitte Center for Edge Innovation spoke to us about "Shaping Strategies". While I don't expect to do this topic justice in a single sentence, Shaping Strategies are proactive market strategies that leverage disruptive technology and allow a company to instantly grab market share in a new space. Think of Google's foray into the telecom space as one example. Check out John's paper for a much better explanation.