The Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) is seeking an RFC Series Editor (RSE). The RSE has overall responsibility for the quality, continuity, and evolution of the Request for Comments (RFC) Series, the Internet's seminal technical standards and publications series.
The IETF is an international standards organization. It is a collaborative, self-organized activity of individuals who contribute to the engineering and evolution of Internet technologies and is the principal body engaged in the development of new specifications for the Internet's infrastructure.
The Series documents technical, operational, and organizational details about the Internet. They cover many aspects of computer networking, including protocols, procedures, programs, and concepts. Protocol examples include voice over IP, email, domain security, and IPv6.
The RFC Series is the Internet technical community's official medium, through which it communicates with itself and the rest of the world. The RFC Editor functions similarly to a documentation department in other organizations: the RFC Production Center accepts documents from different content providers, called Streams, makes textual edits for clarity and formal correctness; and the RFC Publisher makes the documents available online and archives those documents as RFCs, with free access for all.
The overall leadership and supervision of the RFC Editor function is the responsibility of the RFC Series Editor. The RSE is a senior technology professional who must be skilled in leading, managing, and enhancing a critical, multi-vendor, global information service. The RSE reports to the RFC Series Oversight Committee.
The Request for Comments (RFC) series has been in operation for more than 40 years, since the earliest days of the research that created the Internet, with 6,000 documents published to date. Today, the RFC Series publishes roughly 360 new RFCs every year.
The RFC Series was created in 1969 by the research community that developed the ARPAnet and then the Internet. Documents in the series cover such topics as technical specifications, operational guidelines, comments, ideas, and meeting notes. RFCs are developed by four document Streams and then processed by a function called the RFC Editor, headed by the RSE, which edits, catalogs, numbers, and distributes RFCs, making them freely available to the entire Internet community, through the RFC Editor's web site.
For the first 28 years the RFC Editor was Jon Postel, initially operating alone, and then with a small staff. His work defined the RFC Editor function and established and maintained a consistent style as well as the editorial quality of the RFC series. In recent years, the task of the RFC Editor has grown further, and the work now requires the efforts of specialized teams, with differing publications expertise.
RFCs go through three basic stages of handling: the first produces content, the second edits and packages it, and the third makes it available. The Stream content providers are independent and present completed documents for processing by the RFC Editor. Each Stream has its own Editor, who is appointed through a community process and who is responsible for their Stream's content. Currently there are four streams, with one including documents that mark formal, community-approved standards status. Another accepts documents from outside of the immediate IETF community, for authors who expect their content will be useful to that community. The Streams are described in [RFC4844].
The RFC Editor function consists of the:
The RSE handles editorial management of the RFC Series, in accordance with defined processes. The RSE is also the community-appointed expert and prime mover in discussions about policies for editing, publishing, and archiving RFCs. The RSE reports to the RFC Series Oversight Committee (RSOC), which is a committee of the IETF's Internet Architecture Board (IAB).
The major policies of the RFC Editor are created through a community process using "rough consensus." Therefore a distinctive aspect to the work of the RFC Series Editor is the requirement for developing community support for policy decisions. Typically this is best achieved through incremental processes, varying between focused, small-group development and broader community review and enhancement.
RSE Tasks and Responsibilities
RSE responsibilities consist of operational oversight, along with leadership and coordination of policy development. Direct operational tasks are performed by the Production Center and Publisher staff.
The RSE's operations-related responsibilities that follow existing policies include:
The RSE's policy-development and community responsibilities include:
The RSE's community-based leadership should:
The RFC Series Editor is a senior professional, with the following qualifications desired:
Position Time Commitment
The job is expected initially to take, on average, half of an FTE - approximately 20 hrs per week. During the thrice-annual IETF weeks and during special projects, the workload is near full time.
Compensation for this position will be competitively commensurate with the successful applicant's qualifications and position requirements.
The candidate has flexibility in their base of operations. The current base for contracted RFC Editor operations is Fremont, CA, USA, with staff members throughout the USA. The administrative base for ISOC is near Washington D.C., USA, with another office in Geneva, Switzerland
Travel is required for week-long IETF meetings, three times per year, as well as periodic retreats and other events.
The RSE will report to the RFC Series Oversight Committee (RSOC), which is authorized by the Internet Architecture Board (IAB). Financial and contracting matters will be handled through the IETF Administrative Oversight Committee (IAOC). The IETF is an organized activity of the Internet Society (ISOC).
For further information about the organization's history, structures, and processes, see:
Expressions of Interest
Expressions of interest in the position, CV (including employment history), compensation requirements, and references should be sent to the RSOC search committee at email@example.com. Applications will be kept confidential. The application period is open until the position is filled.
Please address questions firstname.lastname@example.org.