Learn about Exercism's Administrators

At Exercism, we aim to prioritize, in order of priority, the following:

  • The mental wellbeing of our staff
  • The mental wellbeing of our maintainers and mentors
  • The needs and best interests of our students
  • The experience of our contributors and community

We also place a high degree of faith in pragmatism - not always seeking the most "correct" or "perfect" outcome, but making decisions that make positive steps in the right directions, even if sometimes they come with some downsides.

The role of our administrators (or "admins") is to ensure that in discussions and interactions around Exercism these aims are met and that decisions are made pragmatically.

From time to time an admin may come into a conversation and announce they are acting in that role, for example starting a post with "Wearing my admin hat...". They will normally link back to this post to explain what that means. While wearing that hat, they will often bring resolutions to conversations that do not seem to be coming to a natural consensus. For example, determining whether a code sample should be written using one idiom or another, or deciding whether to follow one style or another.

Then generally try and resolve discussions by adhering to the following guidance:

  • Is there a clearly correct outcome that one side is refusing to accept?
  • If not, is there a sensible compromise or middle ground that would be appropriate?
  • If not, is there one of the people in the discussion more senior within the context the others (e.g. a track maintainer discussing with a contributor)? If so, that senior person's opinion will be respected.
  • If not, they will make a decision as they feel best - often attempting to find the path that involves the least ongoing changes/disruption.

Our perfect situation would be to never interfere in contributions and let everything come to a natural conclusion. However, we have discovered (the hard way) that drawn-out discussions are often a huge drain on the mental health of our staff and maintainers, and often results in a worse outcome for the student, where someone "gives in", rather than a true consensus being reached. If an administrator enters your conversation wearing their "administrator hat", please understand that their intentions are to protect our contributors and students, and move things forward. Please treat them with respect, and take any decisions they make as final. Do not take them entering a conversation to be a sign of disrespect - when an administrator acts in that role it does not necessarily mean that they think the conversation has become negative, but they want to protect everyone involved before that happens. They will (attempt to) wield this power pragmatically.

If you feel a conversation is becoming draining and unproductive, or could move that way, please feel free to tag @exercism/maintainers-admin in a post to ask for guidance.

Exercism's current administrators are:

  • Jeremy Walker (@iHiD on GitHub and the forum)
  • Erik Schierboom (@ErikSchierboom on GitHub and the forum)