Contact Info

Rick Spencer
rickspencer3 on freenode
https://edge.launchpad.net/~rick-rickspencer3<<BR>> Based in Seattle, WA, USA

Technical Board Application

I would like to be considered for membership on the Technical Board for the 12.04 release.

Currently, I believe the TB typically plays the role of adjudicator when there are technical conflicts or difficulties with decisions to be made. I would like to see the TB behave more as the role is defined on the wiki page. That is transparently and pro-actively shaping Ubuntu technical policy and direction to anticipate the future, rather than only responding to problems when they arrise.

According to the TechnicalBoard page on the wiki, there are 3 main areas of responsibility for the Technical Board. I beleive that I can help the Technical Board with each part of their mission.

In terms of defining packaging policy, I believe that I can facilitate evolving the way we approach packages and repositories to be more consistent with current trends in software development. A lot has been going on in this area, and I believe the TB should take an active role in setting policies that make sense, and that application developers work within, intead of work around.

I would also like to facilitate the TB in addressing policies and permissions related to packaging credentials. For instance, ensuring that Ubuntu is appropriately evolving the process for things like Per Package Upload rights.

The second mission of the TB is to set and track release goals each release. As Director of Engineering for Ubuntu, I typically put a lot of work into setting product direction for Ubuntu each release. As a TB member, I would be in a good position to help the TB engage the community and Canonical in setting these goals in a more transparent and participitory manner.

The third responsibility is package selection. My experience as Engineering Manager for the Desktop and now Director of Engineering allows me to have a nuanced view of the core packages necessary for each release, and to facilitate good decision making in those areas.

Launchpad Profile



As the Engineering Manager for the desktop team, I have had the privilege of contributing to Ubuntu in many ways, such as being the direct manager for the 10 or so Canonical folks hired to work on the desktop, working with other Canonical teams to help them properly land code on a FOSS desktop, etc... I'd like to highlight my community contributions ore though ...

Desktop Track Lead for Jaunty, Karmic, Lucid UDS

My first UDS was Jaunty UDS. As track lead I arrange blueprints, approve blueprints, schedule sessions, facilitate sessions, document sessions, etc... Lots of work to help the community coordinate and communicate at UDS.

Deliver of Jaunty and Karmic

I handled tracking work items and other commitments from Canonical desktop team members, as well community contributors.

Hosted desktop team meetings

Hosted the desktop team irc meeting weekly and (mostly) sent the summary of the meeting to the ubuntu-desktop list. I have kept the desktop team meeting totally open and transparent.


I started the bughugger project (used to be bug-zapper) to create a desktop way to search for and sort bug tasks. Currently being maintained by the bughugger team in that team's PPA.


I started the Quickly project to help make it easy and fun to develop for Ubuntu. In fairness, didrocks did all the really hard work, but still, I got the project started with my code, and also wrote the ubuntu-project template. I also promote the project when I get the chance.


I added code to desktopcouch.records to make it easy to bind pygtk to a desktopcouch database.


Martin Pitt

In the past year, Rick really rocked Ubuntu. He does amazing work on coordinating the integration of other team's work. He has a precise idea what is appropriate to put into Ubuntu and what not, and ensures that the former happens, and firmly says "no" to the latter (a great skill to have, too!) On the technical contributions side, quickly is a practical and impressive contribution which has found its way into Ubuntu and got a lot of fans. Together these make very valuable Ubuntu contributions which should be reflected in him getting the "Member" badge now.

Jono Bacon

Rick has brought a tremendous amount to Ubuntu. He not only understands the ethos and drive of Ubuntu, but has managed his team effectively, and built a great reputation in the community as desktop manager, proven by his great track record. He is practical, honest and engaging with the community and I heartily support his application for membership.

Sebastien Bacher

Rick is leading the Canonical desktop team for a year now and did amazing work there. He has been working with the desktop team, other teams and the community to set realistic goals each cycle which improve the desktop experience and benefit Ubuntu users and made his best to make sure the team can deliver on those. He has a good vision of what Ubuntu needs to get done and his work on quickly shows that's not only he has good ideas but that he also know how to get things moving forward to start solving those issues. I recommend him as an Ubuntu member without any doubt!


I've found Rick to be a good member of the Ubuntu community. He has worked closely with the Kubuntu development community to help us get issues resolved. I particularly recommend him based on his work on Quickly. He saw an important gap in our offerings and has moved to fill it (like any good community member would). I definitely support his application to be an Ubuntu member.

Amber Graner

I met Rick for the 1st time during Karmic release week, he was tireless in his effort to work with the platform team and get Karmic released on time. I then got a chance to meet him and interview him in person at UDS. His work with Quickly is amazing! He even makes me (an NTEU) want to write an application. His energy, excitement and sense of humor make Rick a very welcoming part of the Ubuntu Community. He never lets his position as Canonical desktop manager make a community member feel small. He includes community in discussions surrounding the desktop and if he doesn't have the answer has always found out who to ask. Amazing Community team player and would be an awesome addition to the Ubuntu membership roles. -- akgraner 2009-12-07 23:29:39

RickSpencer (last edited 2011-09-09 07:24:22 by 194)