"Any person or organisation can be a member, except organisations whose primary function is to provide commercial LMS services."
Which as an independent developer who gets paid to write Moodle plugin code (amongst other things) seems to preclude my company (all 2 of us) from joining as an Organisation (at Bronze level), although I'm thinking I could still join as a private individual with my membership paid for by the company. Would this be considered acceptable?
I would also like to understand why commercial developers have been excluded. I can appreciate that you might want such companies to join as a different grade of member (perhaps non-voting, in order to avoid the association being controlled by commercial interests), but the total lack of a suitable membership grade is inexplicable to me. Prior to the publishing of the membership grades it had seemed to me that joining the association would be an ideal route for developers who were unable to become Moodle Partners to gain some form of "association" with Moodle, so I'm disappointed to discover that this has been excluded.
I appreciate that Moodle Partnership is the preferred route for commercial companies, but this is very difficult to obtain since there are (understandably) limits on the numbers of partners accepted for any given country.
You can join as an individual member. If your company chooses to reimburse you for the individual contribution level that is up to your employer.
The reason that I understand that clause was added was so that businesses large or small who provide services for Moodle could not use membership in the association to market themselves in the same way that a Moodle Partner could. There was the idea that without that clause a business could say that they were helping to manage the Moodle Roadmap by being a member of the Moodle association without having to go through the rigorous process of becoming a Moodle partner. And without the clause this would be valid and legal marketing but would cause confusion in the market about what it means to be a Moodle partner and what it means to be a Moodle association member.
Martin might be able to provide a more exact reason.
Wow. That's very interesting Jason. Who told you this? I have never seen it anywhere.
I asked questions here: https://moodle.org/mod/forum/discuss.php?d=313217#p1273496 and in the comments to the association when it was available on Google docs, and in the other threads about the MA, but really got no response.
I've been very puzzled by the reluctance to run "give a little" to independent developers, reluctance to have links in the plugin database and the questions around the roadmap and future development - plus the argy bargy about POET. If your comments are true, maybe this sheds some light on things. I had not thought of it like this. This could explain why some of the questions to Samantha and others at HQ just went unanswered.
A bit sad I guess.
From where I stand, we are tending back to one model of development which is still HQ centric. Even with the Association. Also, the in house conversations that occur at HQ and Moots now have a third place: MA, but still constrained and not truly open. It's like there is still a veto hanging around there, or worse, just ignoring. Such is life as Moodle has grown. it has become more of a pocket battleship with the loss of agility that a small PTB has. And with maturity comes other problems of age.
Jason, I guess I'm astounded at this statement:
And without the clause this would be valid and legal marketing but would cause confusion in the market about what it means to be a Moodle partner and what it means to be a Moodle association member.
Need it be like this?
I tend to favour openness. If you think something is confusing, just clarify it. The trouble is we have created a for profit ecosystem that now has to drive all our business and activit, all our policies and procedures, all our approaches to anything. As is shown by Tim's post. I guess I'd have liked a proper open and full discussion around these issues, but that time has gone.
I'm probably just a bit too optimistic.
@Tim: yes, you can join up as an individual. No idea if you will be able to do anything or not.
The intention of that rule is to stop companies claiming that being a member of the Moodle Users Association gives them some sort of special certification which people may confuse with Moodle Partners. This in fact already started to happen with Remote Learner and some other companies before MUA even got launched.
Note that employees of those companies are totally welcome to join as individuals, and as full members they have all the same perks within the MUA. so it's not people being excluded here, just brands.
Jason: My employer is me (I'm a partner in the business and there's only 2 of us), so getting a reimbursement decision is not a problem, it's already been made (by me...). My application will be going in shortly.
As a developer this page is a pretty good display of your skills https://moodle.org/plugins/browse.php?list=contributor&id=10165
I'm sure this page can improve a lot more too to make it clearer for non-developers what your ratings/reviews/activity is like, and it should also be linked from the profiles etc.