Scott Dier

Statement

I'm Scott Dier. I live in Coon Rapids, Minnesota in the United States near Minneapolis, Minnesota. I'm a full time Systems Administrator at the University of Minnesota, Computer Science Department. I've been working with computers and teaching myself since I was in the 5th grade starting with a 286/12. Since then, I happened to become a Linux user and a Free Software advocate. I've had experience assisting in administrating educational computing environments since 1997, beginning with volunteering my time to assist the high school I attended at the time, Maple Grove Sr. High. Since graduating I've been part of a staff that supports a research and educational computing environment at the Computer Science Department.

I've been using Linux since 1998. I am also a Debian Developer, now managing a few small packages. However, I currently do some work on Progeny's autoinstall package and do plan on releasing patches as soon as I've found some time at work to test them properly. I've helped Debian host a mirror server at the University and keep it running. I do use Linux 'full time' on my personal computing devices. I've been maintaining destiny.ringworld.org with some of my best friends for the past few years.

I understand the largest issue is that some people are unable to attend the meetings. I'm a married man, so that does mean that family issues trump everything, I hope any organization understands this. However, we currently do not have any children, nor do we currently have plans for any in the near future. Otherwise, I do have a few hobbies on the side, mostly concerning maintaining a colocated server (destiny.ringworld.org) and more recently I received an amateur radio license. However, even with these other interests, I strongly feel that the future of SPI can only be moved forward by responsive board members that are available for routine functions. I will be available for these functions.

I've learned a bit the last few years on how to work with others in group environments on technical issues. I think those experiences have helped me build skills in debating civilly over multiple options. I've also spent the last couple years in particular observing the social and political workings multiple free software projects. I've constantly been interested in not only the code, but in the people and actions behind the code. I'm very interested in working on the SPI board to help make decisions to forward the prevalence of free computing environments.

Involving the membership, for me, would probably be best by making sure the membership is informed. A newsletter every quarter distilling the current happenings outside of the minutes might be useful to help catalyze projects. I don't think SPI should change drastically and start creating projects before they have a reason to attach themselves to a legal body, however. I think that SPI should remain as an open door for projects and help them with some of their legal needs. I do think the recent additions of GNU TeXmacs and OFTC illustrate that the community is aware of SPI and will ask for support when required. My view is that SPI does exist to help further catalyze projects when they reach the barrier of requiring a legal entity.

I feel that I am a good candidate for the SPI board. I am willing to dedicate the time to show up for meetings and participate in votes. My knowledge of the free software community is enough to have a grasp on issues ahead. My experience in group administration environments have built my skills for working with others and coming up with the best solutions available while keeping an open mind.