One of the first signs that this year’s AST board was going to work well together was unanimous agreement that we would not try to do everything ourselves, and that there is more to do than 7 people with families and jobs can handle. We agreed to ask our membership for help, and at the same time, we were hearing that our membership wanted to get involved.

#engagedmembership is only part of the reason we are asking for volunteers. We also need help. We had a short outage recently due to a DNS issue caused by a combination of stalled hosting provider migration, amateur administration, and a still opaque root cause. With more proactive planning, it may have been avoided.

As a volunteer-run organization, we want to keep our operations running smoothly when board members are coming and going. Even when a board has sufficient expertise in a particular area, that doesn’t mean the expertise is always readily available. People have families, jobs, and lives that must be attended to. Levels of involvement wax and wane, and vacations, life events, and busy periods interfere.

Our first – but definitely not last – Call for Volunteers is for the AST Technology Team (AST3). We’re looking for 3-5 people to form the core of this team. The AST3 will manage the technologies AST uses day-to-day and help improve them. Here is a partial list of those technologies:

  • Website development
  • Hosting
  • Email and forwarders
  • Wikis
  • E-learning systems
  • Mailing lists
  • Membership and enrollment system

The AST3 will work with the board to operate, document, improve, and iterate on our technology systems to keep them secure, available, reliable, and durable. You might learn something to help your career, but we’re not looking for cutting-edge tech implementations. We’re looking for systems we can count on.

We’re looking for accountable and discreet team players who will collaborate, communicate, and document what they do. The team will grow to the size it needs for redundancy in skills and knowledge, so that it can survive *any* team member getting busy or leaving. It will report to the Board, have regular status calls, and organize itself otherwise. Budgets are small, and there is no compensation offered besides personal satisfaction and a little gratitude.

There are other volunteer opportunities coming soon. If this one doesn’t match your skills and desires, don’t worry, more are coming soon.

Are you interested in volunteering for the AST3? Please email technology at ast dot org and let us know how you are interested in participating.