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Mautic Summit 2019: A Quantum Leap

It had really been planned on short notice, this Mautic Summit. Made possible only by the positive outcome of the Mautic Community "negotiations" with Acquia. And so, Mautic enthusiasts from both sides of the Atlantic met on November 1, 2019 in Amsterdam for the first-ever event of its kind.

Spoiler: The event will probably go down in history as a decisive milestone, and surely as a great success!

Mautic Summit: What's that?

In the beginning, there was the desire to bring people together in person, and to work intensively on the project together in the same room. Not only to get a lot of things done, but also to have the personal interaction as a really good basis for everything beyond, which will then take place online again.

So when the traffic lights for starting the community were finally on green, the timing of DrupalCon in Amsterdam was very favorable, especially since several Mautic / Acquia people would be on site anyway. In addition, an open "ContributionDay" was planned for the following day anyway, and thanks to the support of Floris van Geel, our Mautic event was able to secure some space there quite pragmatically.

So the day was agreed, community manager Ruth Cheesley organized and promoted the event, and more and more participants booked their trip to the Netherlands - or signed up for online participation.

The Agenda

It quickly became clear that the participants would come to Summit with very different topics - not only with technical or non-technical focus, but also many different aspects within these areas. Some of them were clear from the beginning and well prepared in advance - such as the whole project of "Mautic 3".

Others came into being only through the fruitful interaction of many people, thus many sticky notes were written, and overall a greater view of the action fields emerged. Plus the main points were addressed directly (agile style, of course).

Technology topics: Mautic 3, Symfony Upgrade, and more

The development team, which also included many of the major Acquia actors including Alan Hartless, Don Gilbert and, of course, DB Hurley, had a predefined focus on upgrading the underlying PHP frameworks, Symfony, to a newer version (and booked the following day for that task, too). The minimum goal was Symfony 3, but as the day progressed, hope increased for upgrading directly to Symfony 4 - which would be great!

On top of that, of course, it was also about Mautic Version 3, with all its aspects from internal architecture to user features, and of course the roadmap and the release strategy. (Including a new definition: Last Tuesday of every month is release day - which can be patch or minor release, depending on timing. Does not have to have a release, but is the only time a release should be released.)

By noon, the first components were handed over for testing, and at the end of the first day, the number of completed tasks was already very impressive (and the latest status is here: github.com/orgs/mautic/projects/6)

Team structures

The non-technical side started off with serious efforts to find the actual initial team structure. This was of course based on the Governance Model proposed by Acquia, but this was jointly modified to suit the current stage:

a) "Events" is initially not a separate area by its own, but part of the community team

b) On the other hand, a new team "Education" was added, including Documentation (originally part of "Product") as well as Forums (originally part of "Community").

So we now have these teams:

  • Product
  • Marketing
  • Community
  • Education
  • Law & Finance (currently without focus)

It also quickly became clear that the many interactions (for example, Marketing <-> Product or Product -> Documentation) must be actively supported by cross-linking the teams, e.g. though liaisons.

Next, a preliminary mission descriptions was then drafted for all teams, to be debated and refined online in the days following the Summit. And he subsequent step will be to find additional people who would like to get involved in one of the teams on a permanent basis.

Procedures and cycles for team leads were also discussed in this context. It will probably initially be short-term (12 months, each team in different months) - and even shorter in the beginning. The idea is also that the team members should interact very closely, specifically: organize themselves in a biweekly call.

And, in case you wonder: The planned working groups within the teams (for example, "security" within "product") are for now basically areas of activity, rather than distinct groups of people.

Marketing and Community

Most of the (non-technical) work then took place in the areas of marketing and community - although it should be noted that a lot of though on this already went into the above-linked team task descriptions - please feel encouraged to read the original right there.

An interesting side observation was that the strong dependencies between the teams need special attention. Example: The community team wants to make the first step of getting involved as easy and tangible as possible - but that takes help from the teams; e.g. the Product team would have to come up with suitable, specific entry-level tasks, and also with a process that ensures that every prospect is well taken care of, ideally personally through a fixed "godfather". As long as this is set up, the act of reaching out to new contributors has to wait.

Here's what comes next

From the beginning of the day, one demand kept cropping up: We have to organize ourselves today so that thing will be continued after the event!

And so this aspect got a lot of attention indeed, with quite some work for community manager Ruth Cheesley, and with great expectations from all involved.

Overall, the Summit was rated so positive that the desire for a quick follow-up was unavoidable. So the plan was fixed to do a Mautic Summit every 6 months - at first, alternating between North America and Europe. As soon as it makes sense, this will then evolve into sprints of the individual teams, in combination with the MautiCon as a meeting place for all.And sooner or later events will follow in the other strong areas (currently namely Asia and Brazil).

To stress it once more: The mood among the participants unanimously went in the direction of "historical". And with this energy, we will indeed be able to achieve even more than we are already doing today!

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Agreed