[openstack-dev] TC Candidacy

John Garbutt john at johngarbutt.com
Thu Oct 9 13:07:03 UTC 2014


I would like to run for a seat on the Technical Committee, to help
serve the whole OpenStack community during this time of change.

I am employed by Rackspace, working on their public cloud. I am
currently focus mostly on Nova. I am nova-core, and currently nova's
blueprint czar. I am johnthetubaguy on IRC.

I started contributing to OpenStack, working as a researcher at Citrix
in December 2010. I helped create Citrix's Project Olympus packaging
of OpenStack (nova, swift and glance). After "a change in strategy" I
started working more on making OpenStack work with XenServer, setting
up one of the first Nova sub groups. After my move to Rackspace in
February 2013, I was able to work on all parts of Nova, and quickly
got more involved with a wider range of upstream activities.

I find the work of building a consensus really rewarding. I don't
claim to have all the answers, but I know we need change, so we can
scale out the community, while at the same time we preserving the true
nature of this awesome community.

** Topic: OpenStack Mission
** How do you feel the technical community is doing in meeting the
OpenStack Mission?

Its a bold mission, and I think it is still the right one.

"serve developers, users, and the entire ecosystem"
I think we need to be better at the serving the entire ecosystem.

Look at Vi vs Emacs. StachTach vs Celiometer? We are a big community,
we should learn to embrace the diversity, where goals don't quite
align. But we still want it to be easy for anyone to join in with any
exiting effort people are working on. People invest in competing

On the other side of the coin, its hard for our users to know what
combinations of drivers give you are working system, and a system that
solves the problems the user wants to solve. Distros and consultants
are helping fix that. But I am not sure the Vendors always know what
they need to participate in the most useful ways.

We need to better understand what "interoperability" means with this
broader scope. But making it easy for people to use multiple different
OpenStack implementations is important. Nova API should always behave
like Nova API, Cinder API should always behave like Cinder API, etc.

** Topic: Technical Committee Mission
** How do you feel the technical committee is doing in meeting the
technical committee mission?

TC is clearly aways striving to do better, and trying out new ideas,
which is great.

Evolving the concept of the integrated release is clearly key to
making the system scale. There seems to have been much friction over
the incubation process.

Helping share what has worked well between all the projects, seems key
to providing technical leadership at large scale. Thats starting to
happen, which is cool.

Should the TC reduce its scope to some small number of projects? I am
not sure. Maybe there needs to be a different group setup to deal with
the specifics related to that group of projects? Maybe ttx's cross
project meeting is already the beginnings of that group?

** Topic: Contributor Motivation
** How would you characterise the various facets of contributor motivation?

I feel we are a community of problem solvers, and wanting to
collaborate and make an impact.

Many of us do this work as (some or all) for our full time jobs. That
leads to people being put into a position where the problems they are
able to work on can be constrained by their employer.

We need to get better at educating those who employ people working on
OpenStack, on how they can get the best out of their investment. For
example, not testing things upstream, is really going to hurt.

** 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

Yes, its hurting, and it touches everything. But thats fun, and brings
new ideas, and challenges, which keeps us evolving and adapting. We
need to take care to unlearn things that get in the way too.

** Topic: New Contributor Experience
** How would you characterize the experience new contributors have currently?

I enjoyed how I was welcomed into the OpenStack community. But it was
scary then, and it has to be worse now. We all need to do our part to
be open and welcoming to people.

But we should probably look at who is leaving our community. I
certainly see people step back due to frustrated with the contribution
process. Sometimes burning out after feeling like their ideas are
"torn to shreds" or feel like the are battling pointless bureaucracy.
The solutions are hard, but it feels like getting better at
documenting the "intent" of a process, would help, better setting of
expectations around how debates will work, would help. I find rather
than trying to "merge my patch", its better to collaborate in "solving
my problem".

** Topic: Communication
** How would you describe our current state of communication in the
OpenStack community?

Its not terrible. I think we could do better at on boarding people
without previous open source community experience. There is a lot of
email, but the tagging seems to make filtering some of it possible.

Cross project discussions seem to have improved with the mid cycle
meet ups. Certainly need to keep track of what was decided, and share
with those who couldn't make it. I do hope, one day, we can come up
remote participation that works.

** Topic: Relationship with the Foundation Board
** The technical committee interacts with the foundation board on
several different fronts. How would you describe these interactions?

Not having been on the TC before, its hard to comment. Seems like they
are talking to each other, which is good news.

** "Open development model, Open design process, Open community"

I want to make sure we keep these principles alive. Its easy to be too
inward looking, and stop being open to new people and ideas. We can
scale by continuing to be Open.

Thank you for reading!


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