[openstack-dev] TC Candidacy
john.griffith8 at gmail.com
Fri Oct 10 05:22:28 UTC 2014
I'd like to announce my candidacy for the OpenStack Technical Committee
Fall 2014 elections.
I've been contributing to OpenStack for almost three years now (this months
my anniversary) and up until this election cycle have served as PTL for the
Cinder Project. Over the years I've had the opportunity to be on the TC
both as a result of PTL (back when PTL's were reserved seats) as well as by
election. Last spring however I chose not to run for a seat, for a number
of reasons. For one I didn't feel as though I had the bandwidth to really
dedicate as much as I should but more importantly I didn't necessarily feel
that what I was doing was really that worthwhile.
Since then there's been a number of ideas proposed about changing some of
our models including the role of the TC. I really believe that this is
something that we need to do and am excited about the potential
opportunity. I think there's a lot that needs to be done here, I also
think it's going to be a learning experience and something that's needed is
an open mind.
After the Juno cycle I decided not to seek another term as PTL partly
because I didn't feel that I would be able to effectively fulfill the role
of PTL and serve as a member of the TC. So I decided that for me, I'd like
the opportunity (if elected) to focus on contributing more broadly to
OpenStack with a focus on service on the Technical Committee.
Answers to the candidacy questions are below.
Topic: OpenStack Mission
How do you feel the technical community is doing in meeting the OpenStack
Just as a refresh: "To produce the ubiquitous OpenSource Cloud Computing
platform that will meet the needs of public and private clouds regardless
of size, by being simple to implement and massively scalable."
So I always find this one a bit challenging to digest to be honest. I
think the "ubiquitous" part is coming along and is becoming a reality and I
also think that there's a decent balance between public and private clouds
and that the relative term "size" could be interpreted as something that's
being addressed fairly well thus far.
Those are the good.... now for the not so good; "simple to implement"; I
don't think deployment is quite as bad as it's made out to be at times,
but it certainly leaves a bit to be desired. One thing that's always
bothered me here is that it's always been "left to the distros" to provide
their custom deployment tools and we've never been able to even provide a
common deployment foundation as a community. I really think that's too
bad, you can build the greatest software project there is, but if people
can't comprehend all the pieces let alone install and configure it fairly
easily it's really not living up to it's potential.
>From the perspective of the TC, I'm really not sure what role the TC is
playing in the overall mission to be honest. In my opinion the TC has
really become mostly a committee relegated to voting on project incubation
and proposals for things like project mission statements. It's really not
very technical in my opinion and it's also not overly effective either.
In my opinion the TC needs to undergo some changes, it would be great as
others mentioned to move away from just voting on incubation motions and
mission statements or gap analysis efforts and actually focus more on
technical decisions that impact OpenStack as a whole. For example I think
it would be great for the TC to take a more active role in really having a
deep understanding of how all of the various OpenStack projects are
actually coming together, what they're doing that works, what they're doing
that's not and perhaps provide some guidance and input as well as technical
leadership and direction. I'm certainly not saying they should be an all
powerful oversight group, but I do think the focus as it stands currently
Topic: Technical Committee Mission
How do you feel the technical committee is doing in meeting the technical
(Reading from the Mission Statement here: )
I'm not sure that given the current state of OpenStack and the number of
projects and proposed projects the TC can be faulted for anything here.
The fact is that it's become a full time job to just try and keep up to
date on all the constantly changing projects in the ecosystem, not to
mention all the newly proposed projects. I do think that it would be
helpful if the TC was able to be adjusted and tweaked a bit such that it
had a more active engagement in technical direction of the project; say for
example driving things like making installation more of a community effort,
providing HA options that really work and most of all pushing every project
in OpenStack to be responsible for making the upgrade process better. I
also think that the TC needs to make some really hard decisions about
things; like projects that have been started, approved for incubation but
maybe aren't really turning out as was hoped. In my opinion there are a
number of projects like Neutron, TripleO and some others that I think we
really need to figure out a way to get them to a point where they can
graduate and be solid for use or revisit what their current status is. It
just doesn't seem right to let the process go on for years in some cases.
I think that there are a number of folks on the TC currently that are in
fact driving some of these initiatives pretty well, but I don't see that
it's being driven from their roles on the TC but instead it's mostly just a
result of a lot of hard work and dedication on their part and the fact that
they've stepped up and proven themselves as leaders.
Topic: Contributor Motivation
How would you characterize the various facets of contributor motivation?
I believe this question is asking "what I think is the motivation for the
people actually committing to OpenStack" so that's how I'll address it.
It's interesting, there's most certainly a number of companies with what
might be considered "armies" of folks working and contributing. The
important part however when asking about motivation is what's motivating
the contributors themselves; of course I think many of us our motivated by
our employers and a pay check and there's no doubt that some of that
influences our day to day decision making. That being said, at the end of
the day most people I talk to just love working as a part of the community
and having the opportunity to be an Open Source Professional. Regardless
of how they end up there, it seems to me that most of the folks I work with
regularly are motivated by OpenStack itself and the opportunity to be a
part of something "big".
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?
There is indeed no arguing that the growth has been phenomenal. There's
also no arguing that there are consequences. My statements earlier about
the current role and function of the TC (more precisely my criticism) is a
direct result of that phenomenal growth. The model that we started with
just flat out does not scale to the level we've grown to.
I think that things start to break down, starting with effectiveness of our
current governance model; but worse I think we discourage the "casual"
contributor. Personally when I first contributed to OpenStack three years
ago it was very discouraging for me when a patch update I submitted sat
idle for two whole days without somebody reviewing it. Currently two days
would be considered by most a rapid turn around. The point is there are
people with good ideas and good contributions that get lost in the shuffle,
and they don't come back.
Topic: New Contributor Experience
How would you characterize the experience new contributors have currently?
I sort of touched on this in the previous question, but there's certainly
more I think that can be added here. I think the experience for most new
contributors just plane sucks! What's worse is I've taken part in
discussions where this topic was discussed and some honestly state "I don't
care, that's not my problem". Over the years I've heard OpenStack called
things like "The Ego Stack" and have had quite a few people point out to me
that it's not a very welcoming environment. I think that many of us that
have been around for a bit sometimes take for granted that not only is
OpenStack a rather large and fairly complex collection of moving parts, but
we also have some very specific ways of doing things. We also tend to be
pretty hard on reviews sometimes (not saying that's good or bad, just
saying sometimes when I read through review comments I kinda feel bad for
people on the other end).
I think we'd all do well to take on a bit more of a mentorship role. One
other thing that often comes up on this topic is the CLA, there's a lot of
buzz about it on the ML and in some peoples blog posts. I should probably
share my opinion here as it seems relevant; I've never understood why it
was such a big deal, and I've never had anybody tell me that they wouldn't
contribute to Cinder because of it or that it caused them any undue
burden. I'm certainly not saying those sorts of claims are not real or
justified, I'm just saying that if you're looking for a TC candidate to
fight the CLA fight, I'm most certainly going to disappoint you on that. I
really don't understand why it's such a hot item for some and I'd rather
just come out and be up front about it than ignore it.
How would you describe our current state of communication in the OpenStack
So the good thing here is I think we communicate well considering the
challenge we have. I think that most people are currently very open via
public discussions on IRC and raising issues and concerns on the mailing
list. The only problem is that it's become increasingly difficult to
actually keep up. So in terms of the community being open and
communicating, I think we're doing great. In terms of the volume of
communication and the effort required to keep up to date, it's a bit
overwhelming. You certainly need to focus on certain areas/items that are
most interesting or applicable to yourself in my opinion.
Topic: Relationship with the Foundation Board
The technical committee interacts with the foundation board on several
different fronts. How would you describe these interactions?
Hmmm.... well, I'm really not sure. While I was on the TC in the past
there really hadn't been much interaction or communication between the
Board and the TC, and one of the few experiences that I did have frankly
was less than what I would call enjoyable or productive. So I don't really
have much insight here, and the experiences that I have had (which are very
very limited) were not good experiences.
That being said, I believe there have been efforts over the last few months
to improve this and increase the interaction and communication in a
productive way, which I think is great and much needed.
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