[openstack-dev] TC candidacy

Anne Gentle anne at openstack.org
Tue Oct 7 13:19:49 UTC 2014

I'm Anne Gentle (hi, Anne!) and I'm writing to announce my candidacy for
the technical committee.

I've served on the technical committee for two years and have been working
on OpenStack since September 2010. I'm currently the Documentation PTL. I'd
be honored to continue to represent the cross-project needs as well as the
needs of the users, operators, and admins who keep an OpenStack cloud
running every day. I've responded to the questions below so you can get to
know me a little better. You can also see my review comments on the
governance repo

Please feel free to ask me questions and challenge my assumptions. I
believe good leaders can take on the tough work and we all know there is
plenty of hard work to go around.

Topic: OpenStack Mission
How do you feel the technical community is doing in meeting the OpenStack
The technical community consists of a huge blend of people now, thank
goodness, because the mission is a grand sweeping one for private and
public clouds. Plus it has the word ubiquitous in it which makes it even
more wide-reaching. We're making clouds for the planet and I feel we're
tackling, blocking, clearing, and fighting hard to meet the Mission. We're
struggling with the "simple to implement" but we have come a very long way.

Topic: Technical Committee Mission
How do you feel the technical committee is doing in meeting the technical
committee mission?
I feel the TC is supportive of the technical contributors to all the
projects that make up OpenStack. We're constantly seeking ways to improve
and challenge programs. We began to hold programs accountable for their
integration. We pushed the limits of the definition of OpenStack by
defining all code that a project maintains as part of OpenStack (defined
sections). Yes, it was a defense on the side of our Active Technical
Contributor community base, but it was a statement about our ideals -
Openness, Transparency, Commonality, Integration, Quality.

Topic: Contributor Motivation
How would you characterize the various facets of contributor motivation?
Contributors are motivated in different ways, but we're all humans and
behave like humans do. In Peter Kollock's study of online communities, he
found these motivating factors for participating: reciprocity, reputation,
sense of belonging, efficacy, and need. All of these make sense to me when
put in the docs context, "why would anyone contribute to upstream
documentation?" and I can also draw maps and correlations to the overall
reasons why contributors work on upstream. We need to be aware of what
happens when the "need" stems from corporate motivation, but I know that
OpenStack is a great community to work within and that I can do my part to
demonstrate which motivations I want to encourage in our community.

Topic: Rate of Growth
There is no argument the OpenStack technical community has a substantial
rate of growth. What are some of the consequences of this rate?
Hopefully by now you've seen me represent the cross-project ramifications
of this growth rate over the years I've served on the TC. The docs program
has had to adjust the expectations and educate incoming programs about how
OpenStack documentation is not just project-by-project but an umbrella
effort. People come to docs.openstack.org for OpenStack docs, not just nova
or glance docs. I hope I have shown bravery in the face of the rate of
growth and also pragmatism.

Topic: New Contributor Experience
How would you characterize the experience new contributors have currently?
As an admin for the GNOME Outreach Program for Women for the last two
years, I have helped with on-boarding new interns who have to have a patch
in order to complete their application. Really, though, the previous
interns do a lion's share of the work in on-boarding newcomers to our
community. I think this is because their eyes are freshest to the
difficulties you'll encounter while figuring out our unique processes. I'm
also amazed at how a wonderful small community has grown up out of helping
others learn, and that's been the best part about seeing new contributors
coming in. We've done a lot to make installing git review easier and
specifically setting up the gerrit remote. So the very first on-boarding
experiences can get better. Now, the experience of those of us a few years
in isn't great either as reviews are harder and harder to get through and
our gate is stuffed full with patches wanting in. I think we can work on
both experiences at the same time to make it better for all contributors.

Topic: Communication
How would you describe our current state of communication in the OpenStack
Communication with such a wide, growing population can be difficult but I
think we have the channels available with opt-in policies that make sense
for our community. The TC listens on many channels, I know I'm subscribed
to all the mailing lists without filters still, and we made a concentrated
effort to write summary blog posts to let everyone (not just ATC listers)
know what we're up to. We understand its importance and we have a lot of
good writers and communicators on the TC who make communication a priority.

Topic: Relationship with the Foundation Board
The technical committee interacts with the foundation board on several
different fronts. How would you describe these interactions?
Our interactions with the Board include conference calls, in-person
meetings, and IRC meetings. I personally find the in-person meetings
valuable as it's easier to communicate in person with more rich feedback so
you can get a sense of how the interaction is going. On IRC, there's a
trade off in richness of input/output but there is also a precision in the
typed phrasing, the ability to read back later while you have more thinking
time, and an openness since anyone can read the interaction at any time.
Our board has been quite solid and changed little over the years which has
been helpful for building relationships over time. I know I can reach out
to members and I have had members help me when I've asked for it. I sense
we're all struggling with the growth rate and feeling like we can't be as
agile as we used to. But we're all dedicated to an open cloud for all and I
think that shared mission enhances our interactions.
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