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Each year, the Hydra Steering Group convenes a meeting that has become known as “Power Steering”. This event serves as a forum for strategic planning and action, and coordinating across the increasingly broad front of Hydra initiatives and stakeholders. Past meetings have focused on a landscape review (2014) and cohesion of the Hydra product & community (2015). For 2016, the focus of Power Steering will be on strengthening the project's financial, social, and technical foundations.


Participation in the meeting will be capped at 24 community leaders, drawing on Partners and invited experts. This is to keep the meeting at a manageable size, to provide sufficient input, to enroll IG/WG leaders and participants, and to respect the Hydra Community framework (which defines Partner responsibilities as “determining Project strategy” and “collaborative roadmapping” for both technical and community matters).

If you would like to participate, or see a particular leader in the community participate, in Power Steering this year, please nominate yourself or a colleague on the Hydra Power Steering 2016 Participants page by Thursday, February 11, 2016. The Hydra Steering Group will issue invitations to participants from among the Partners based on individual expertise, establishing diverse representation, engagement in Hydra IG & WGs, and willingness and ability to take follow-on action. 

Dates & Location

The 2016 Hydra Power Steering will take place 8 AM Thursday through 5 PM Friday, March 24-25 at Stanford University, in 298 Lathrop Library. Note that a Hydra Developer Congress will be running in parallel at Stanford on March 24-25, and many participants at both events may also be participating in the annual LDCX unconference for technologists in libraries, archives, and museums at Stanford the beginning of the same week (M-W, March 21-23, 2016). 

Meeting Topics

Structure for Power Steering 2016 will be a mix of plenary session, parallel tracks, and heads-down working time, with individual tracks focused on specific topics and outcomes. Output of Power Steering 2016 is envisioned to comprise 1) strategy documents and actionable plans for critical aspects of community topics, and 2) identification of specific action items and tasks, including those delegated to individuals and named Working Groups. Critical topics for discussion include: 

  • Hydra Financial Vision 2016As Hydra grows, plotting its financial plans has become more critical. Hydra Steering Group would like to air a draft financial vision with the Power Steering group before it moves to community-wide discussion. Included in this will be identifying critical areas where spot investments could substantially help advance Hydra. 
  • Technology Synthesis & Roadmapping. As Hydra's technology base continues to evolve, Power Steering will be an opportune time to organize a cross-codebase comparison & roadmapping for where major development efforts (such as Hydra-in-a-Box, Sufia, Avalon, Plum, & DCE efforts) intertwine and overlap. A key issue will be seeing both how core gems can best be advanced, as well as how application-level contributions might be organized more from the community at large. This session might also look at mapping the key functions needed across the HydraSphere, such as supporting linked data and associated services (terminologies, vocabulary hosting, and other corollary services). 
  • Community Activity Synthesis & Roadmapping. A health check on the state of Hydra's community integration will look at both the IG/WG construct (hugely successful–any fine tuning?) and how to give newcomers the community on-ramps to find the right affinity groups, information, and technical solutions. With the potentially large new user base coming from Hydra-in-a-Box, developing a Hydra-wide strategy in advance will be hugely valuable. 
  • Hydra Training. Training has been essential to Hydra's growth and success to date. At this stage of Hydra's evolution, what are the community's training needs, and are we on the right track? This session will explore the needed curriculum (technical and social), structure, tie-ins with Fedora, channels, and offerings. 
  • Hydra Events. With the growth of the community has come a growth in meetings and those interested in hosting and running them. What are the recipes for starting, structuring, & running Hydra events? Also, what would a "virtual Hydra Connect" look like, and what steps can be taken to pilot a first one in spring 2016? 
  • Change Management: One asset of Hydra's approach has been continuous evolution of code and services. But this also raises challenges of technological stability and managing change for adopters. This discussion will explore deliberate migration paths and technological continuity as a Hydra design objective and part of the project's ethos. 
  • Strategic Review: Hydra in the Ecosystem (w/ focus on research data management). In many ways, the ecosystem of repository technologies and solutions has evolved tremendously since Hydra's conception–especially with regard to research data management. What is Hydra's position in the emerging environment, and what functions, integrations, and services should we be cultivating to realize the best role? 
  • Hydra Partnership: What we should expect of Partners? This session will provide a health check on the current state of Hydra Partnership. What is the best role of the partners in the project? Are partners doing everything they can or should? What should be expected of them? What, if anything, should we do differently? How can Hydra Partner calls be reformatted to be more useful?

Detailed Agenda

A Agenda for Hydra Power Steering 2016 for the event is still forthcoming, and will appear on this page as it develops. 


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