Interview with Kris Borchers, JS Foundation Executive DirectorBy Elio Qoshi
Recently, we were lucky enough to catch up with Kris Borchers, the JS Foundation’s Executive Director. We asked Kris all about the foundation, its inner workings and how people can get involved. Enjoy!
Elio: Thank you Kris for joining us today!
Kris: My pleasure.
Elio: For those that might not know you, can you tell us a bit about yourself?
Elio: Wow. Quite a journey. Could you tell us more about how the jQuery Foundation transitioned to the JS Foundation? What role did you play in the process?
Kris: The JS Foundation was the natural evolutionary next step from the jQuery Foundation. I ran the jQuery Foundation as Executive Director for about 3 years. As we grew in terms of the number and types of projects we served, as well as the other initiatives we cared about, it became clear that an update to our name, brand and organizational structure was in order. I drove that process for about the last 1.5 – 2 years to get us fully transitioned into this new organization.
Elio: So what is the foundation attempting to do for the JS community/ecosystem?
Elio: Can you elaborate on what that means and on how do you intend to do it?
Node-RED, originally created by IBM, is a flow-based programming environment built on Node.js – commonly used in the IoT space – and aimed at creating event-driven applications that can easily integrate APIs and services.
Elio: What does it mean for projects that are adopted by the JS Foundation? Are there any projects which get prioritized?
Kris: When a project is accepted into the JS Foundation, they are provided with a mentor that helps them work toward establishing and implementing the policies and principles I mentioned earlier for growing and sustaining a large, diverse contributor base. Projects are only prioritized by their interest and commitment to growing their contributor base and maintainer core and their eagerness and ability to implement those suggestions made by the JSF to accomplish that goal.
Elio: I bet there are lots of projects that want to join the foundation. What are the plans to include more of them? Is there an open/standardized process for doing so?
Elio: Fostering collaboration in the community is an art form on its own. What approach will you take in this regard?
Kris: We have a number of plans either in motion or being finalized around fostering collaboration. From providing travel funds to getting projects together for occasional face-to-face meetings, to funding marketing campaigns around the impact and importance of our projects and their needs, to hosting and participating in developer events. Nothing is being officially announced yet but be on the lookout for more information soon.
Elio: And how do you intend to help drive adoption of Foundation projects?
This really goes hand-in-hand with your last questions about fostering collaboration. By driving awareness of our projects through marketing, events, speaking engagements and partnerships, we hope to drive further adoption of our projects while also fostering collaboration. As projects are viewed as well supported and having a thriving community and extended ecosystem, that encourages individuals and organizations to trust that project to be there for them when they need it and to bring it into their development stack.
Elio: Does the Foundation provide any help or support to non-Foundation projects?
Elio: Will there be events facilitated by the JS Foundation? Before, there were jQuery Developer Summits for example.
Elio: I notice you have a code of conduct on the website. Is this something that will be enforced across member projects? Does the foundation intend to get involved in community politics?
Kris: The JS Foundation code of conduct is applicable to and will be enforced in any interaction within our projects, working groups, committees, events, etc. Our code of conduct gives the leadership within our projects guidelines on how to handle situations on their own but if necessary, the code of conduct committee and in very rare cases, the JS Foundation board or legal team could be involved.
Also, as a project joins the JS Foundation, our guidelines stipulate that they must either adopt the JSF code of conduct or have a code of conduct that is compatible with ours and approved by the conduct committee and board. This ensures that all interactions with the JS Foundation and our projects will occur in welcoming and safe environments for everyone.
If someone has a project they would like us to consider supporting as part of the JS Foundation but would like to discuss it with someone privately before sending the public PR application, they should reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Elio: And finally, I see there are various sponsors supporting the JS Foundation? What’s the process to become one?
Kris: The best way right now is to email email@example.com which goes directly to me. I would be happy to chat with interested organizations about the different levels of membership and the benefits of each level, our projects, our initiatives and how they can maximize the value our projects receive from their membership as well as the value they receive by investing in the JS Foundation.
Elio: Kris, thank you very much for your time. Keep up the amazing work with the foundation—I’ll follow your progress with interest.