Building a sustainable infrastructure for the Mautic Community

By Ruth Cheesley · PUBLISHED August 10, 2020 · UPDATED August 10, 2020

Looking back over the past year we have made some huge progress in many areas of the community and it is great to see all the energy and enthusiasm growing across all teams.

Mautic and the Open Source community was very much built as a bootstrapped startup, and as a result there are some areas where things were put together quickly and are starting to hold us back as we grow and scale. Other areas simply weren’t addressed as they were not needed at the time.

Earlier in the year we addressed some of the urgent concerns by migrating the mautic.org website over to Drupal and deploying a new documentation portal.

Today I am excited to share two areas that we have been working on behind the scenes and are now ready to share with the wider community.

Getting stuff done!

In any Open Source project there will always be tasks that need to be completed and projects that range in duration from a few months to several years.

When I started as Community Manager back in August 2019, as a short term fix we set up a Trello team, with each team having its own public board. This enabled us to get started quickly, work together transparently, and certainly served us well over the past year.

More recently we started to struggle with missing features and having to work creatively around the maximum number of boards available. We also wanted a way to link up meeting notes, sprint reviews and documentation with the project tools.

The community carried out some research into the tools that were available and after an extended trial by the Community and Product teams we have now migrated to Jira/Confluence at mautic.atlassian.net.

Most of our boards have public read access by default, and any existing members are able to invite new members. If you had previously participated on Trello you should already have received an invitation to join Jira - if you need an invite please drop a message in #community on Slack (get an invite at mautic.org/slack).

All teams will now be using their Jira projects to manage workflows and tasks, so take a look and see if any open tasks take your interest.

Managing community finances

To date, Acquia has been managing any financial obligations on behalf of the Mautic Community and covering the cost for many expenses that we incur.

As part of the work we are doing to organise Mauticon in November it quickly became apparent that we need a way to manage the finances of the community that is transparent, and makes it easy for us to accept contributions and to spend the money that we have available according to a budget.

We need to have a process that is transparent to all, and that is very difficult to do within Acquia’s financial management processes.

I am happy to share that - with the agreement of Acquia’s CFO Chris Andersen and the Community Leadership Team - we have created a collective on Open Collective through which we plan to manage all the finances of the community. If you are not aware of Open Collective, it is specifically aimed at Open Source projects who need a way of managing the tax and financial side of running a project.

Acquia will now become a contributor to that Open Collective, so that the funds they have allocated in the budget will ultimately be demonstrated through their contributions and the expenses that they pay on our behalf (for example using a corporate credit card) will be more transparent. Other companies and individuals may also decide to become contributors to the project either on a regular basis, as a fixed donation for each Mautic project they deploy, or to support specific initiatives.

We are currently finalising the governance required around this, including policies about what can and can’t be covered, who can sign off expenses and how team leads will manage budgets (if you would like to help with this, do join the Legal & Finance team on Slack!).  In the interim I will manage this directly until we have those processes in place.

In the meantime you can take a look here: https://opencollective.com/mautic - note that we are currently showing some default options for donations and we will be expanding this over time.  It will take us time to transition all the expenses over to Open Collective and transfer the currently budgeted funds, so please bear with us!

I am really excited about this step, as I feel like this gives the Mautic Community an opportunity to grow and take control of our own finances, raise revenue for projects that we may want to work on, and of course allows us to easily manage the funds from sponsors and ticket sales related to the upcoming Mauticon event.

Establishing Working Groups

As we continue to grow there are areas where we need community contributors to help manage specific projects. Here are three Working Groups who are looking for members:

Infrastructure Working Group

As a community we have multiple servers that power our web-based resources.

We are currently recruiting interested community contributors who would like to help as part of the newly forming Infrastructure Working Group.

You must have a solid understanding and demonstrable experience of working with Linux servers and be able to commit at least 1-2 hours a week.

If you are interested please drop me an email at ruth.cheesley@mautic.org.

Website Working Group

We are looking for folk with experience working with Drupal to help us manage the mautic.org website on a day-to-day basis.

We also need content writers and editors to help us with reviewing, updating and creating more content for the community blog.

You should have a good background in Drupal and/or content writing depending on how you want to be involved, and 1-2 hours a week that you can commit to working on these tasks.

If you are interested please drop a message in #website on Slack (get an invite at mautic.org/slack).

Mauticon Working Group

If you are interested in helping us to plan, organise, host and manage Mauticon on 17th November, now is the time to raise your hand!

We have a wide range of ways that you can contribute with differing time commitments - if you’re interested please drop us a message in #mauticon on Slack (get an invite at mautic.org/slack).