Linaro's engineers are actively participating in upstream engineering communities. As a result of their work they will often be, or become maintainers, and thus become responsible for keeping a code base in good health beyond just delivering new features.
Engaging with the Linaro Maintainer pool
Linaro maintainers have the latitude to dedicate a portion of their working week to supporting the community they are engaged in.
There are a number of additional mechanisms available to Linaro members to discuss their use cases beyond the fundamental approach of starting a mail thread. Such threads often then require waiting for a "hallway track" at an event to really flesh out a proposal and gain traction. Linaro tries to provide complimentary discussion tracks.
This is an open forum that uses its mailing list to coordinate open face to face meetings to allow Linaro members to accelerate their common understanding of a proposal in an upstream community. Anyone may attend these calls and join the list.
Linaro Technical Liaison (TLE)
The members of LInaro have a TLE to represent them in the day to day operation of Linaro, they are well placed to bring members discussion points to the attention of others who have similar interests to help facilitate progress.
Direct contact with community leaders
Linaro is a very open organisation and many members will find that they establish a rapport with others in the communities they have an interest in. This is often via events such a Linaro Connect. It is often a simple matter of contacting a known player as a colleague rather than as a cold call.
Part of the collaborative efforts in Linaro
The daily work of Linaro constantly spawns discussions between members, TLEs, Directors, Engineers in a rich diffusion, this will often result in connections being made and support being found to progress work of common interest in an upstream community.
The most formal mechanism available is LDTS. Whilst this service does help the community with technical topics on a best effort basis it is primarily for the specific purpose of helping members engineers with problems. Those problems may be bug or specific technical support, but also including helping them find alliances in upstream communities to resolve thorny technical issues.