Membership of the Samman Society
This page sets out:
- Benefits available to both members and non-members
- Benefits available only to members
- Requirements before people will be offered membership
- Additional benefits available to members in certain roles within the society
In short, membership is offered to competent technical coaches who existing members recommend and who are able to contribute to the society’s mission. Benefits to the member are the chance to influence what Samman Coaching is and develops to be, as well as access to the society’s resources. These include a website, brand, funds and contact list. The executive board of the society is elected from among the members and decides how to use the society’s resources.
Benefits that the society provides to all, not only members
The mission of the society is to support all technical coaches, not only members. You don’t need to be a member to:
- Use materials from the website in your work
- Join most discussion groups on Discord and post about any topics relevant to technical coaching
- Attend open space discussions and other such meetings organised by the society
- Contribute materials to the website, if a member is willing to collaborate with you to publish them there.
Note there is a code of conduct for public forums and events hosted by the society, which applies to both members and non-members.
Benefits available only to members
The Samman Technical Coaching Society has a mission and would like to gain members who are able to support this mission. Members can for example:
- Safely use the name “Samman coaching” to describe their work.
- Publish materials to the website, including their own profile page.
- Join the members-only channels on the Discord group.
- Host Samman Society events.
- Influence the kinds of materials and activities that we invest in.
- Influence what sponsorship we accept.
The primary benefit of joining the society is to get a say in how the practice of Samman coaching develops in the future. You can use the name “Samman Coaching” to describe your work and help define what that means in practice. You can influence the kinds of materials and activities that we invest in, and the sponsorship that we accept. You can publish materials to the website and have your name listed on the website as a member.
The Samman society owns the brand “Samman Coaching” and all members can use the brand to describe their work. People outside the society may also use the brand in this way, but it’s a risk for them. If we feel they are not using it appropriately, we can ask them to stop, and if necessary the society can use legal means to do so. Only members actually have rights to the name.
There are members-only channels on the Discord discussion forum, and members have additional rights and privileges in Discord. Members can organise and host events in the name of the society and advertise them on the website and newsletter.
In future the society may decide to make other benefits available to members only. The society has money, sponsors and a contact list of people who have signed up for a newsletter and/or events. If members want to take advantage of these things and have concrete proposals, the board will of course consider them.
Requirements on prospective members
The society’s statutes set out who is eligible, and membership is by invitation only. In practice, before membership will be offered to someone they will need to demonstrate they can:
- Do incremental and iterative software development, e.g can use TDD to complete a code kata
- Lead a learning hour for a group of software developers
- Facilitate a software development team working as an ensemble
The usual way to demonstrate these skills is through pair-coaching with existing members.
In addition, the kind of people we will invite to join are the kind of people who will also contribute to the mission of the society by sharing their coaching materials. Prospective members are expected to contribute learning hours or similar materials to the website, in collaboration with an existing member.
New members should have the recommendation of at least two existing members. Those members should agree that the prospective member:
- Is someone they regard as a competent technical coach
- Will contribute positively to the mission of the society
- Will not tarnish the Samman coaching brand by using it to describe their work
The executive board will make the final decision whether to offer membership to an individual, although they may delegate this power to a committee.
Other roles within the society
The society’s statutes set out these roles: member of the executive board and member of the nomination committee. The executive board is elected from among members, and the position as chair of the board is also elected by the members. This happens at the Annual General Meeting. The nomination committee decides who will be put forward for election at this meeting. It is up to the executive board to decide on any other roles.
Board members have these responsibilities according to the statutes:
- Ensure the society follows all relevant laws and regulations
- Attend board meetings
- Plan, lead and distribute the work of running the society
- Decide how to spend the society’s funds and other resources
- Prepare the annual general meeting
- Ensure that decisions made at the annual general meeting are implemented
- Decide who should be offered membership of the society
In practice the biggest job is deciding how to use the society’s funds and other resources. These decisions are made at board meetings.