The Stan org currently spends annually
TWG Director: $50,000
Various dev ops contractors: $40,000
YouTube manager: $10,000
Discourse manager: $10,000 (still being hired for)
It came up after the Thursday meeting that there are many more areas where a small stipend makes sense and might allow people to contribute where they can’t really afford to volunteer. This also helps with diversity–one does not have to be rich enough to volunteer.
Right now the $10,000 positions report to the exec director, me. This doesn’t have to be the case but I feel strongly that the paid positions have a manager responsible for them, hiring/firing and refining the job. The TWG director manages the contractors for example.
We have ample budget to do this, approx $500k in the bank.
Andrew, Lauren and Dan Simpson contributed heavily to the list. From Andrew’s notes:
We came up with the following positions, in no particular order:
Newsletter/mailing list coordinator
Community development director (meetups, short courses, etc.)
Discourse maintainer (including maintaining a Newbie category)
Social media (twitter, blog, facebook, etc.) director
Stan website director
Case Studies director
Some other considerations:
A couple other things that came up were plans for each position and
- Each position would report to some clearly defined person, probably but
not necessarily in the SGB. The point is that the person who holds each
position would be empowered to do stuff, say no to people, etc., and at
some point there could be questions, so it’s good for the officers to not
be standing solely on their own.
- Once the plan is set, we’d post job descriptions and expectations on
Discourse and post elsewhere to get a wide range of applicants.
- We want a general code of conduct (some people said that the Numfocus
code of conduct would be a good start), tailored as necessary for the
specific position. One thing that came up is that the code of conduct
should include treating people equally and always respectfully.
- We want to give credit to the people holding these positions (i.e., put
this on the Stan website) and also retroactive credit for the people who’ve
been doing this work for free in the past.
- Someone said that Stancon director is probably something that people
would want to do just once because it’s so much work! More generally we’ll
have to have a plan for how long each position lasts, is it renewable, etc.
General goals (in no particular order):
- Facilitating useful technical developments
- Communication: to power users, developers, beginning users, and
non-users (including people who don’t even use statistics at all but we
still want them to know what Stan is)
- Diversity (in various dimensions)
- Promotion of Stan and Bayes
- Making Stan community feel “like a good thing” (this was my translation
of something Dan S. said about people feeling that Stan is a welcoming,
warm and fuzzy community, kind of the way R feels with Hadley as its public
I’m super-excited about this, for three reasons:
These are things we need to do: the Stan newsletter, coordination and
promotion of meetups, making the Discourse conversations more helpful to
users at all levels, promoting Stan developments more widely, etc.
By bringing in people from the Stan community to do these things, we
can get more people involved, which should serve both to diversify the
contributions to Stan and to take some of the load off the
Bob/Breck/Jonah/etc. axis of people who are already doing so much.
These coordinators will be in position to share credit with others.
For example, the community development director can have a list of all the
Stan and Stan-related meetups around the world, and also have a list of the
leaders and Stan presenters at all these meetups. The Case Studies
director can compile a list of everyone who’s contributed a case study
that’s on our website. The Stancon director can compile of a list of
everyone who’s helped in planning and running a Stancon, etc. Lauren
pointed out lots of people in the Stan community who are not in the
“developers” category contribute a lot but without credit. This will be a
way to do this, also avoiding the problem of having a centralized “credit
What do people think? I’ll add this to the agenda for Thursday’s meeting.