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Re: Is the IETF aging?

One response below [MB].

On Fri, Apr 27, 2012 at 1:53 PM, SM <sm@xxxxxxxxxxxx> wrote:
At 07:41 27-04-2012, Yoav Nir wrote:
After each meeting, Ray sends out a survey to all participants. The results from the latest one:

When were you born?

 Before 1950    2.9%
 1950 - 1960   16.6%
 1961 - 1970   33.7%
 1971 - 1980   32.8%
 After 1980    14.0%

These are the results from 2006:

 Before 1950    6.8%
  1950 - 1960   24.0%
  1961 - 1970   33.9%
  1971 - 1980   33.6%
  After 1980     1.8%

And 2010:

 Before 1950    3.8%
  1950 - 1960   21.0%
  1961 - 1970   30.7%
  1971 - 1980   37.0%
  After 1980     7.6%

I think an earlier survey had the 1971-1980 crowd inch past the 1961-1970 one, but it does seem like the 30-50 age groups dominate. I don't believe you really are among the youngest, and


At 07:59 27-04-2012, Dave Cridland wrote:
I think in general, the way to ensure the IETF is at the centre of
internet developments is to ensure it is a developer's organization,
as well as an SDO, and unfortunately it's lost this connection - if


you want to get some advice for that mail client you're writing, the
IETF probably wouldn't help if you asked, and certainly wouldn't
spring to mind as the place to ask.

The IETF likes having a bad reputation.

At 08:05 27-04-2012, Carsten Bormann wrote:
Many of the people doing the real work in CoRE are in their 20s, or have left that age

 Age       = 100 - port_num

 HTTP/CoRE  20
 DNS         47

PS.: Please, don't take any of this seriously.  Except for the CoRE age statistics.
Dave Cridland's observations also definitely don't apply to CoRE, except that we do have the stunning range of experience that makes the IETF so valuable.

I would say that new protocols in one area tends to attract younger folks.  For existing protocols, there is the aging factor shunning the younger folks away.

At 08:08 27-04-2012, Mary Barnes wrote:
Personally, I think IETF has far more of an issue when it comes to cultural and gender diversity than it does with not having enough younger folks.  This is particularly visible in the leadership.

 IAB  12 M / 1 F
 IESG 15 M
 IAOC  8 M / 1 F
 RSOC  9 M

 RTG WGs -  4 F
 INT WGs -  2 F
 OPS WGs -  2 F
 RAI WGs -  2 F
 SEC WGs -  1 F
 TSV WGs -  1 F
 APP WGs - all M

Mary Barnes is the only participant who mentions the gender problem.  As such, I gather that the IETF does not have a gender problem. :-)
[MB] Yet again my point is being proven.   The reason others don't mention it is because they don't want to become the target of this sort of attitude AND they likely feel they have worked too hard to risk not being taken seriously. You might also consider this isn't the first time this issue has been raised.  I raised it in my Nomcom report in March 2010 and it was in the slides at the plenary. But, again, we are a very small minority here, so it really is hard to get recognition of this issue. [/MB]

At 08:57 27-04-2012, Worley, Dale R (Dale) wrote:
the politics or underlying needs of the "customer" population.  The
federal government of the United States was dominated by the clique of
its revolutionary leaders for 40 years, and hasn't had much trouble
recruiting enough new blood to maintain its power (if not its

Based on the above, it could be said that the IETF will keep aging for the next 10 years.

At 10:13 27-04-2012, Melinda Shore wrote:
I didn't go to meetings for some number of years and when I
started going again I saw a *lot* of new faces, not all of
whom are young.  It seems to me that a static participant

base would clearly be more of an issue than age, per se.


A static participant base encourages the privatization of working groups.  Instead of age, one could look at the number of meetings attended:

In 2005:

 1         6.6%
 2 - 5    18.2%
 6 - 10   16.8%
 > 10     58.4%

In 2010:

 1         8.8%
 2 - 5    20.0%
 6 - 10   16.3%
 > 10     55.0%

If over 50% of the attendees is static, there is an aging process.  Newcomers may be around 15%.  Someone mentioned that there is a feeling of exclusion instead of inclusion.

At 07:06 27-04-2012, Phillip Hallam-Baker wrote:
People can argue about process, RFC formats and governance but it
should be beyond argument that any institution that cannot recruit
younger members is going to die.

An institution that cannot recruit younger members is called a retirement home.

Some time back, a saying was posted to this mailing list:

 "Please be patient with the old folks"


P.S. Phillip made a second comment.  There are some parallels with Operation Legacy.  

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