[openstack-dev] Grizzly's out - let the numbers begin...

Stefano Maffulli stefano at openstack.org
Fri Apr 5 16:21:59 UTC 2013

On 04/05/2013 06:08 AM, Sean Dague wrote:
> Maybe we just need public mocking when any organization puts out
> metric based numbers like that. Treat it as a back end problem. :)

Wonderful, this is what I've been thinking reading the thread so far. I
don't see any real incentive for gaming the system but I see clearly a
dis-incentive on gaming the system.

Let's avoid getting too excited about this: numbers don't tell stories
by themselves, lines of code are not a meaningful metric, number of bugs
closed/opened have no inner value. But when you look at all these dots
from a distance you can use these numbers to tell a story and understand 
the enviroment you're in. If you look at the blog post by Bitergia 
you'll see what I mean: there is a story that has to be read with the 
numbers. And there are even more stories to tell if you look at the 
'long tail' of our community, if you beyond the "top 10".

On 04/05/2013 02:03 AM, Thierry Carrez wrote:
> On the other hand, more and more people/companies want to be able to
>  brag about their OpenStack contribution, or want to not appear too
> bad on those lists. That leads to the incentive to game the system,
> once some stats are made "official".

We'll cross that bridge when we get there: I don't think that there is a
shortcut to appear on those stats than do a lot of work and let the
facts talk. Are there lots of smaller companies whose contributions  are
dwarfed by the top 10 contributors? Sure. Would they want to build a 
story about their one developer pushing a very good patch or 100 "low 
hanging fruit" bug fixes for a petty press release? We can't be 
responsible for the behaviour of incompetent marketing managers :)

> Until now, the stats posted were mostly one-shot and ad-hoc, to
> serve as a reputational pressure encouraging people to contribute
> more,

That's not why I started the Activity board. My objective is to
understand the dynamics of the community. Think of the car's dashboard:
it is necessary to give information about the car's speed and the
engine's internals, and to give the driver information to make decisions.

Same thing for the community dashboards: we need it to get information
and take better decisions. Is somebody increasing contributions? Good,
let's go see why. Is somebody decreasing development efforts? What
happened? How can we fix that?

> The metrics themselves can be a bit unfair: we already mentioned
> the issue with "number of commits"... but others fail as well

I'll keep asking for help to understand how the numbers work and what 
they mean, how they relate to our development cycles and processes. 
We'll have a long session at the summit to discuss the Activity Board, 
its tools and meanings. The intention I have is to make this a community 
project, with gated public repository. Since evidently all companies are 
interested in getting these data, I ask all to join the session



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