CSM: Passing The Torch


As a new CSM steps in and the old retires the field I think it is right to point out a few things, to pass on what little I have learned over the past three years on the Council Of Stellar Management. I honestly don’t expect to be listened to (or even heard) but I still try. Passing on the torch to the next group to represent the players is the last of the council’s duties.

First off, some of CSMX will hang about for a while to ease the transition although, with two incumbents still on the council, that may not be absolutely necessary. Steve and Gorski both are back and will help show the ropes to the new boys. So let’s begin.

If you bring an agenda and petty politics into the Council I hope they kick you so fast you doppler red

1) This is NOT a game. It is about a game. If you bring an agenda and petty politics into the Council I hope they kick you so fast you doppler red. It is about making the game better, not just for you and your tribe but for everybody. Sometimes that will benefit your people, other times it will not. This is a livelihood for a few hundred people and they and their families should be part of your consideration as well. So leave the machiavellian bullshit at the door and roll up your sleeves.

2) You are dealing with real people. If you go to the summits then you will be dealing with them face to face. Don’t burn bridges if you plan on getting anything done and don’t keep dragging up old mistakes as a way to make your ideas seem better by comparison. It doesn’t work and good ideas that you bring may get lost as a result. This has happened in the past (a lot).

3) You will be ignored, yelled at, told you are worse than useless (and this is from your friends and allies). There will be days and even weeks where you might wonder if they are right. Summer doldrums can cause depression when nobody at CCP answers your calls, and all of Iceland seems to be off on vacation. You volunteered for this and may even have worked at getting the seat. Hopefully nobody told you it would be easy.

4) Comms, find out who listens to what and how to best talk to EACH individual dev. They are not all the same and they don’t all pay attention to the same input. Customize message and medium for what you want to get done and with whom. Pay attention to vacation schedules.

5) Accept losses and keep trying. I have opposed more than a few features that made it through. That does not mean I threw my hands up and walked away. If I could not stop something then I tried to lessen the damage, guide the fall. If that didn’t work I picked the next battle and moved on. This is a marathon, not a sprint.

6) I hate having to say this, but don’t leak. News gets out anyway and someone else might already have plans to discuss everything with their organizations but don’t be that guy. The damage you do can ruin an entire term for the CSM and the short term benefits (as far as I have ever seen) are negligible. Not because you violate some questionable NDA but because you volunteered to help and are now screwing those you promised to aid. Not cool, bro, not cool.

But it is not all warnings. There are causes to take forward, ideas to develop. Once you are signed into the comms you will see discussions and ideas covered, over the past year. Maybe you like them, maybe you want some of them changed, advanced, or removed with extreme prejudice. It will be part of your job to make those calls. There are things I dearly regret not having finished and I hope you take some of the ideas to a satisfactory conclusion.

New devs, new teams – you will have opportunities to do things previous councils never did.

Don’t screw it up


Tags: csm, mike azariah

About the author

Mike Azariah

CSM 8, 9 and 10, driver of the Magic School Bus, destroyer of podcasts and all around awesome dude.