Big Changes for Orlando Devs, Announcing New Board Members

Orlando Devs is undergoing some big changes and we wanted to take some time to go through them and explain what they mean for our group and what you can expect as we move into 2018 and look further into the future.

We are pleased to announce that Orlando Devs is working towards becoming a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization under the name Orlando Devs, Inc. As many of you may know, this is a lengthy process and part of that process includes establishing a Board of Directors as well as a Board of Advisors. We expect that this new organizational structure will position us for for long-term growth and increase our ability to serve the needs of Greater Orlando's developer community. An up-to-date list of board members can be found on the ODevs About page but I've also included them here.

Orlando Devs Board of Directors

Sergio Cruz
President Software Engineer, Instructor, Community Organizer & Consultant focusing on JavaScript.

Jacques Fu
Treasurer Developer and tech entrepreneur, co-founder of several funded tech startups in Orlando creating hundreds of jobs. Resident for 15 years, attended UCF, and married with two kids. Seeking to lift up other developers in the community.

Susanna Miller, Secretary MBA with expertise in operations and project management in tech. Focused on helping the tech community in Orlando grow sustainably and inclusively, and helps O-devs with organization and business management.

Orlando Devs Board of Advisors

Matt Burgess Java/Groovy developer for Hortonworks. Working to support and enhance the communities around software development in Orlando.

Jorge Hernandez Software Developer mainly focused on web and native mobile development. Committed to growing the Orlando Devs community by asking every developer he comes across (“are you familiar with Orlando Devs”). Also encouraging all age groups to get excited about the world of tech.

Jenell Pizarro Software developer at IZEA and co-organizer of some pretty spiffy Meetups in the area.

Cassandra Wilcox JavaScript developer and instructor who runs the Orlando LadyDevs Meetup and Girl Develop It Orlando. Works to promote diversity in Orlando’s developer community, and especially to empower women and minorities.

How were board members chosen?

We want to make sure we have well-rounded representation on our Advisory Board, so the ODevs Board of Directors reached out to several individuals who we believe represent some of the many facets of our community in order to be as inclusive possible. The Advisory Board is not fixed. Members have terms and new members may be added.

What prompted these changes?

Orlando Devs has grown significantly in just a few years. Our first Salary Survey in 2015 (which demonstrates our very first effort to organize toward a common goal) had 20-something respondents. Our most recent 2017 Salary Survey two years later, had about 10 times that with 277 respondents. At the time of writing this, Orlando Devs has nearly 3,000 members on Meetup and more than 2,000 active members in our Slack group.

Read more about our origin story here.

As organizations grow, they inevitably face new challenges and require greater structure. We’ve grown beyond what a single person can do effectively and we need accountable leadership and formal processes to ensure that our growth doesn't stagnate.

How do these changes benefit Orlando Devs community members?

Orlando Devs will now be governed by clear-cut rules about delegation of authority and how we get things done. This means we will be able to take on bigger initiatives and trust that community leaders have the guidance they need to see things through to successful fruition. You can also expect better oversight and enforcement of our Code of Conduct resulting in a friendlier and more constructive Slack community. This, among other things will be the responsibility of a committee of volunteers that will be organized in the near future.

ODevs members can expect more organization and accountability from ODevs as a whole. We now have in our Board of Directors and Board of Advisors a committed and accountable leadership team. Members of both Boards have already agreed that transparency is of great importance and so all meeting minutes, financials, and relevant happenings within Orlando Devs will be made public.

As we grow, we require more resources to operate. Over time we've found it increasingly difficult to raise the funds needed to put on quality events and to even consider pursuing other initiatives that would benefit our community. As a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, ODevs will be able to solicit charitable donations from the public much more easily and will become eligible to receive federal grants which will allow us to operate more effectively.

How can community members learn more, ask questions, provide feedback or get involved?

Many of you likely have or will have questions about these changes and some of you may want to know how you can get involved. Please feel free to contact us if you have any questions, concerns or feedback. Also, we will be hosting an event in the new year at which we will introduce our board members and gather feedback from community members like you!

We are excited about these changes, and we hope that you are as well. Thank you all for all that you contribute to our community. I look forward to working with all of you to serve the ODevs mission together.

The Orlando Devs Team

Cassandra Wilcox

Cassandra is an JavaScript developer & instructor in Orlando, FL. She runs an app development company called Code Hangar and is a founding chapter leader of Girl Develop It Orlando. She likes to play music & write songs and recently developed a hot sauce addiction.
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