Random musings from a retiring release manager

As most of you probably know, to the great pleasure of my wife and family, the release of 3.6.0 on October 22 will be my last release as release manager for Koha.  I will undoubtedly do another post after the release doing more introspection and thank yous, but I had a few thoughts in my head now that I wanted to get down before  I forgot them.

My goals as RM

These are totally my own goals, and I have no delusions of grandeur that they are ‘the’ goals or anything like that. Just my own ones.

I think I can sum it up in one short phrase

The release is for the users

What I mean by this, is I saw my role as working for the users who install and use Koha without support. My role was to provide stable and solid releases so that those without support companies, or inhouse developers could use Koha. If this happened to make life easier for developers and/or support companies/organisations then that is a very happy byproduct, but not the goal.

I was (and am) exceedingly lucky that the company I work for (Catalyst IT) understand this. They gave me the freedom and support to pursue this goal, even when by doing so I made things harder (in some instances) for Catalyst. Catalyst are a company of 130+ people spread over 3 countries, working on free and open source software. From mission critical systems like the NZ electoral role and software that runs the general elections, down to small libraries running Koha. With an organisation of that size, it is easy for people to lose sight of the big picture, but to their credit the directors haven’t.

They understand my role as RM was to better the project, and if that betters Catalyst too then that was a happy bonus. They understood it is up to us at Catalyst to work out how we can serve our own needs and our clients needs while still being good citizens of the project.

This has turned into a bit of a thank you to Catalyst, which wasn’t how it started, but I think it is how I will leave it.