Getting new Front Desk members (part of things to do at Debconf)

We need more Front Desk members. Jonathan Wiltshire has kindly put together a job description for the current status quo. Currently we'd like a person to have been an Application Manager before joining Front Desk, but FD tasks are now more diverse than they used to be, and I'd like to spend some time thinking about it, for example here.

Job Description for Front Desk Assistant

Front Desk assistants are often the first point of contact for new applicants to Debian's New Member process, and are responsible for guiding them through all stages. Front Desk collates applications, assigns them to an Application Manager, checks over the completed application and hands it off to the Account Managers.

Front Desk also handles membership of the collab-maint Alioth project. It is not currently involved with applications for Debian Maintainer status.

You will 'meet' a wide variety of applicants, some of whom are excited to be starting their journey to Debian membership, whilst others are already established and taking the next step to full developer status.

This is a mostly procedural role, but some diplomatic skills are required, particularly when applications are held up for reasons beyond your control. You must have excellent written communication, an eye for detail, and a thorough understanding of what it is to be Debian Members.

Expect to spend 2-3 hours per week on this role, divided by as many days as you can manage (to ensure mail is dealt with as soon as possible). The most time-consuming part is processing the completed application.


  1. To be the first point of contact at Front Desk
  2. To perform initial triage of applications
  3. To match each application with an appropriate Application Manager
  4. To ensure applicants are processed in a timely manner, which may require intervening with an application when it is not progressing satisfactorily
  5. To check completed applications for any missing detail and pass them on to the Account Managers
  6. To handle collab-maint membership business
  7. To answer any queries from applicants, Application Managers, and other stakeholders
  8. To monitor output from the NM routine jobs and fix or escalate any problems

Front Desk staff are not expected to make a judgement call on applicants, though some discretion can be used when appropriate.