We have received the following Hague Grant application from Gabor Szabo.
Before the Board votes on this proposal we would like to have a period of community consultation. Please leave feedback in the comments or if you prefer send email with your comments to karen at perlfoundation.org.
Perl Ecosystem development group
Amount requested: $25,000
One of the objectives of the Ian Hague donation of 2008 was to allow The Perl Foundation to develop its own organizational capabilities that will allow The Perl Foundation to pursue additional funding opportunities.
I would like part of this donation to be used to fund me for approximately six months to devote 2/3 of my time setting up an Ecosystem Development group and enhancing the already existing Events group.
The grant is only the initial amount requested, as when considering the grant
I would like The Perl Foundation (TPF) to approve the continuation of the project until
its cancellation by either side. (See later: Beyond the grant)
Benefits to the Perl Community:
The events group will continue to participate at non-Perl events and turn it into an ongoing activity of the Perl Community. It will provide a platform for the Perl community to interact with thousands of developers who are not (yet) attending YAPCs, Perl Workshops,
or Perl Monger meetings.
Members of the Ecosystem Development group will provide ongoing financing to the activities of TPF. This should provide funding for promotional activities such as the Events group and TPF's development grants process.
While some of the deliverables are easy to identify their impact will only be felt in the long term.
During the 6 months of the grant period the Events group will participate at 15 events, which means about 5,000 people will visit the Perl stands.
By the end of the first 6 months the Ecosystem Development Group will have 18 members paying a total of 72,500 USD to the TPF in annual fees which will leave the project with about 33,000 in the bank.
During the first 6 months the group will deliver at least 6 Press Releases of various Perl related open source projects.
While these deliverables are quite easy to measure it will still be important, due to the size of the grant, to closely monitor my progress (see below in the Plans).
Project details and schedule:
The Events group, before the grant
Since the organization of the events group we have setup Perl booths at two major events in Europe FOSDEM in Brussels, Belgium in February, CeBIT in Hannover, Germany in March 2010.
and there is a third coming soon: LinuxTag in Berlin, Germany in June 2010.
For all 3 we got financial help from TPF and from YEF to cover the costs of the conference swag.
There was also serious Perl participation on the Russian DevConf 2010 but I was not involved in that.
Regardless of the approval I plan to participate at the German Perl Workshop, YAPC::NA and the Belgian Perl Workshop where I will talk about both the Perl Events group and the Perl Ecosystem group.
The Perl Ecosystem group, before the grant
Over the past few months I have had discussions with several people in the open source Perl community and several people from companies using Perl about the possibility of setting up a separate organization with the aims that now manifest in this proposal. The issue most people raised was that it would be better to do this within TPF.
While the grant is planned for a 6 month period the work on both the Ecosystem Development group and the Perl Events group must continue beyond the time frame of the grant. In order to provide better control for TPF it might be beneficial to have two project managers monitoring my progress.
In order to provide visibility and to make the financial issues transparent I am going to provide weekly reports about my activities via my blog.
This frequent feedback would allow the grant managers and active members of the community to observe whether time spent bears any relation to actual activity and results, and thus allow early flagging of any concerns.
Missing two weekly reports in a row without prior notice would be grounds for terminating the project.
During the grant period I plan to allocate about 110 hours each month to the project not including travel time to the various events. That would amount to 110 * 50 = 5500 USD / month compensation to me. In addition there will be travel expenses, costs of the conference swag and costs of participating on the various events.
In order to allow the $25,000 grant to cover 6 months and to reduce the risk of running out of money the payment will be structured differently. I will only receive 1,500 USD base compensation plus expenses I paid out of my pocket. The rest of my compensation will come in the form of a bonus up to 50% of the membership fees paid and up to 5500/month. That will ensure that I need to work very hard to find and sign up the members.
At the end of every month I'll update the budget and the financial reports and claim the fee and any expenses I paid out of my pocket.
(See separate spreadsheet for initial budget).
Plan for July-September:
There is a whole list of potential events to attend and there are many more events that are not yet listed. One of the first things to do will be to update that list and to determine the
events for October-December where we want to participate.
Planned participation at the following events:
2010.07.19-23 OSCON, Portland, USA, Oregon at the TPF booth (Gabor Szabo)
2010.07.21-24 FISL, Porto Alegre, Brazil, RS (Nelson Ferraz)
2010.08.4-6 YAPC::EU, Pisa, Italy (Gabor on personal expense)
2010.08.21-22 FrOSCon, St. Augustin, Germany (Renee Baecker)
2010.09.2-3 WebGUI Users Conference, Madison, USA, Wisconsin (Gabor Szabo)
2010.09.10-12 Ohio LinuxFest Columbus, USA, Ohio (local Perl mongers)
2010.09.17-18 FrOSCamp, Zurich, Switzerland (Renee Baecker)
Before the events, in addition to planning the event, finding people to be at the booth and preparing the materials, I plan to contact companies that are going to be present at the event. I would invite them to our booth and try to setup meeting at CTO/CIO/VP RnD or CEO level to introduce the work of The Perl Foundation and the Perl Ecosystem group. In some cases this will lead to signing them up to the group.
While not at the conferences I'll use the contacts of the Perl community to find companies that could be interested in joining the Ecosystem Development group.
Proposed annual fee levels:
Individual or SMB member (1-4 employees): $1,250
Small Companies (5-50 employees): $6,000
Large Companies (51- employees): $12,000
A few words about why companies will want to become members:
1) They will mentioned on the web site of the Ecosystem group on the web site of TPF
2) They will be mentioned (up to one A4 page) in the materials we hand out during the various events
3) They will show the appreciation to Perl and in general help the Perl community
4) They will be provided an exclusive forum where they can raise suggestions on how to spend the money collected from the members. (e.g. suggestions for grants for the development of Perl 5, Perl 6, CPAN, etc.)
5) They will be provided with a platform to reach the Perl community that will make it easier for them to find new employees
( in addition to jobs.perl.org )
6) They will have an exclusive forum for their managers to discuss their successes and issues with Perl development.
Beyond the grant:
Both the Ecosystem Development group and the Events group need long term committed work. Preparations for events need to be started several months before the event so I'll have to be sure I can continue the effort even after successfully finishing of the grant.
Therefore the effort will continue until either side cancels the arrangement. After the initial 6 months grant phase the payment structure will change. For the second 6 months I will receive $3,000 base compensation and the other 2,500 will come as bonus from the payments of members in excess of the first $72,500. After the first year the base compensation will be $5,500 and we will work out a bonus mechanism.
The objectives for these periods will be decided together with the board of TPF but to give ballpark numbers: In the second 6 months I'd like to get additional members with annual fee between $70,000-$100,000 bringing the total annual income of TPF to $140,000-170,000. A part of that money can already go to finance development grants as well.
In the second year I'd like reach a total budget of $240,000.
During the period of the grant the membership fees will automatically become part of the budget of the Ecosystem and Events groups.
After the grant period, in consultation with the member companies, the TPF board will decide a new allocation of the funds to allow the group to grow further but allowing any additional income to be part of the general budget of TPF. The same process will be repeated after completing the first year and then annually.
I was born in Hungary and currently live in Israel.
I have been using Perl since 1995, teaching Perl since 2000 and have been involved in the Perl community since 2001.
I've (re)organized the Israeli Perl community and was the main organizer of YAPC::Israel::2003, 2004, 2005, OSDC::Israel::2006 and the Israeli Perl Workshop in 2007. I've attended and spoke at numerous YAPCs, Perl Workshops
and QA Hackathons. I was also the co-organizer of the three Hungarian Perl Workshops between 2003-2005.
In the development area I started Padre, the Perl IDE, and have participated in a number of Perl projects in both Perl 5 and Perl 6.
For my community involvement I received the White Camel Award in 2008. In 2009 I received the community award of HaMakor, the Israeli NPO for the advancement of Free and Open Source Software.
In the last year I've been one of the advocates of the "marketing" of Perl and organized the Perl events group.