[ghc-steering-committee] How I pick shepherds

Joachim Breitner mail at joachim-breitner.de
Fri Jul 29 20:24:32 UTC 2022

Hi committee,

I’m back, and I _think_ I have caught up on committee work. If you
expected me to do something when back and I have not done it yet, I
probably forgot and will appreciate a nudge.

Richard writes

> While I'm happy to take over some of his responsibilities, I don't 
> have access to the proposal-assigning algorithm. (I can view the 
> current state of who has open proposals, but I don't have easy access
> to e.g. the recent history to accomplish load-balancing.)

and I have to disappoint you: there isn’t much of an algorithm there.
It’s all manual and very subjective. Here is what I do to assign a

I open these three links (all linked from the beginning of the README)
to remind myself of who is actually on the committee, and who is
already shepherding a proposal:

This way I see who is currently not shepherding.

I recently added the profile pictures to the Who-is-the-committee
section to make that part easier.

Then I just pick someone, keeping in mind what I believe is the
person’s interest and strength. If someone has already commented on a
proposal, they are more likely to become shepherd. I avoid assigning to
Chairs unless I have a good reason to. Intuitively, some members are
more, well, efficient, others are particularly thorough; I try to keep
that in mind as I assign small, large, deep, superficial proposals. And
that’s it.

I once wrote some code¹ to run statistics on the proposal project to
help me pick shepherds, but it is very slow and I haven't been using it
in a long time.

It’s not a great way to assign shepherds. Here is a better way: All
committee members tend to have an eye on incoming proposals and engage
early with those that they care about, and voluntarily say that they
_want_ to shepherd a particular proposal, so when it is submitted, I
don't have to make any more arbitrary choices :-)


¹ https://github.com/nomeata/ghc-proposals-stats

Joachim Breitner
  mail at joachim-breitner.de

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