- How do people move to positions of power and influence?
Large part of the project forward movement is starting in the Forums, when end users (teachers and system administrators) ask question, raise issues, look for solutions and propose discussions on new features. Most of those discussions turn into TRACKER ISSUES which are prioritized by the Moodle HQ team and can also be voted by the community (anyone is free to open an account and join the community). Then, it is either implemented by the Moodle HQ team or any developer that wishes to propose a fix/solution to the Issue. For the fix/patch/improvement to get integrated in any of the Moodle version it must go through the development process which includes several cycles. Eventually, the fix/improvement gets integrated and the Moodle projects "grows" a little bit more. (And everyone is Happy)
Many ideas for improvement also come from MOOTs - Moodle meetings (virtual meetings / webinars).
– What are the processes for becoming members and specializing?
You can become a member by opening a new account, freely, on any of the Moodle systems: the Forums, the Wiki (documentation), the Tracker (development), Translation team (ex. help translate Moodle the Hebrew). There is guidance to help you get involved on each. Please see the Moodle Documentation (wiki).
To get specialized, you'd have to get involved in any of the above systems, depending on you own interest and skills and WORK your way deeper into the community.
Checkout Moodle PLANET blog aggregator to read developers and community members blogs on day to day life of a Moodle community member.
– How do members become leaders (or ‘owners’)?
Moodle HQ elevate your "capabilities" or "permissions" in each system according to quality work you have done. (submitted translation, proper updating to documentation, submitted code patches/fixes/improvements to the Tracker, giving useful advice on forums ...)
– Once in leadership positions, what tactics can they use to influence others’ behavior?
I will let one of the "leaders" answer that one
I would LOVE to see you final work published publicly on the internet.
When it is all done, do come back here and post a link, if at all possible.