[openstack-dev] The Evolution of core developer to maintainer?

Anita Kuno anteaya at anteaya.info
Wed Apr 1 01:12:59 UTC 2015

On 03/31/2015 08:46 PM, Dean Troyer wrote:
> On Tue, Mar 31, 2015 at 5:30 PM, Joe Gordon <joe.gordon0 at gmail.com> wrote:
>> Do you feel like a core deveper/reviewer (we initially called them core
>> developers) [1]:
>> In OpenStack a core developer is a developer who has submitted enough high
>> quality code and done enough code reviews that we trust their code reviews
>> for merging into the base source tree. It is important that we have a
>> process for active developers to be added to the core developer team.
>> Or a maintainer [1]:
>> 1. They share responsibility in the project’s success.
>> 2. They have made a long-term, recurring time investment to improve the
>> project.
>> 3. They spend that time doing whatever needs to be done, not necessarily
>> what is the most interesting or fun.
> First, I don't think these two things are mutually exclusive, that's a
> false dichotomy.  They sound like two groups of attributes (or roles), both
> of which must be earned in the eyes of the rest of the project team.
> Frankly, being a PTL is your maintainer list on steroids for some projects,
> except that the PTL is directly elected.
>> Maintainers are often under-appreciated, because their work is harder to
>> appreciate. It’s easy to appreciate a really cool and technically advanced
>> feature. It’s harder to appreciate the absence of bugs, the slow but steady
>> improvement in stability, or the reliability of a release process. But
>> those things distinguish a good project from a great one.
> The best maintainers appear to be invisible because stuff Just Works(TM).
> It feels to me like a couple of things are being conflated here and need to
> be explicitly stated to break the conversation down into meaningful parts
> that can be discussed without getting side-tracked:
> a) How do we scale?  How do we spread the project management load?  How do
> we maintain consistency in subteams/subsystems?
> b) How do we avoid the 'aristoctacy'?
> c) what did I miss?
> Taking b) first, the problem being solved needs to be stated.  Is it to
> avoid 'cliques'?  Are feelings being hurt because some are 'more-core' than
> others?  Is it to remove being a core team member as a job-review checkbox
> for some companies?  This seems to be bigger than just increasing core
> reviewer numbers, and tied to some developers being slighted in some way.
> A) is an organization structure problem.  We're seeing the boundaries of
> startup-style flat organization, and I think we all know we don't want
>  traditional enterprise layers of managers.
> It seems like there is a progression of advancement for team members:
>  prove yourself and become a core team member/reviewer/whatever.  The next
> step is what I think you want to formalize Joe, and that is those who again
> prove themselves in some manner to unlock the 'maintainer' achievements.
> The idea of taking the current becoming-core-team process and repeating it
> based on existing cores and PTL recommendations doesn't seem like too far
> of a stretch.  I mean really, is any project holding back people who want
> to do the maintainer role on more than just one pet part of a project? (I
> know those exist)
> FWIW, I have not been deeply involved in any of the highly
> political/vendor-driven projects so this may appear totally ignorant to
> those realities, but I think that is a clue that those projects are
> drifting away from the ideals that OpenStack was started with.
> dt
I agree with a lot of what both John and Doug have said so far in their
replies to this post but I'll add my thoughts to Dean's post because it
happens to be open.

I am really having a problem with a lack of common vision. Now this may
just be my problem here, and if it is, that is fine, I'll own that.

I had a long talk with Monty today about vision and whether or not
OpenStack had a common vision once and either lost it or is drifting
away from it or never had one in the first place. I won't put words into
other people's mouths, so I'll just stick to my own perspective here.

I have been operating with the belief that OpenStack did have a common
vision, and stated or not stated, it was clear enough to me that I took
from it a sense of direction in my activities, what to work on, what was
important, what furthered and supported OpenStack.

I'm really feeling lost here because I don't feel that anymore. It is
possible that it never existed in the first place and I was operating
within my own bubble and this actually is the reality. Okay fine, if
that is the way it is, that is my problem to deal with.

But other folks, as Dean mentions above, do indicate in their language
that they feel something was present at one point and is either gone now
or is in danger of going.

I don't know exactly what to call it but it goes along with the
unanswered question Anne Gentle posed to the TC a month or so back which
paraphrased was along the line of 'How do we create trust?'. I think I
felt trust before and I recognize that on a daily basis I don't now,
that makes me sad and unhappy because I still would like to find an
answer to Anne's question and I don't know how. I also would like to
feel trust again, I liked it a lot.

This doesn't really answer your question about what to name things, but
I think the question is missing the forest for the trees.

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