[Openstack-sigs] [first-contact] Forum summary on recommendations for contributing organizations

Jeremy Stanley fungi at yuggoth.org
Tue Jun 12 19:53:25 UTC 2018

The First Contact SIG met at the Forum in Vancouver to discuss ways
in which we can better communicate a set of recommendations to
(particularly management at) the organizations employing many of
OpenStack's contributors on how they can best ensure the success of
their employees within our community. As we're probably all aware,
our tooling and processes/workflows present a variety of challenges
dependent on the situation of each individual contributor, and it's
up to us as a community to help organizations donating their
engineering time understand how they can loosen or remove
impediments for which they might be directly responsible. As usual,
the notes for this session are available in an Etherpad[1].

To open, we mentioned that this discussion evolved out of a set of
notes[2] we'd accumulated for creation of a Contributing
Organization Guide. It was suggested that this guide should ideally
manifest as a one-sheet document under the top level table of
contents for The OpenStack Contributor Guide[3]. The idea is that
when a contributing organization assigns one of their staff to work
upstream with the OpenStack community on some task, that individual
can easily provide their manager(s) with a link to this simple
document describing things they may need to take into consideration
to help make the engagement fruitful and rewarding for everyone

We talked about how to carefully frame the voice of the document as
a recommendation to improve fidelity of contributors and their
organizations with the community, rather than as a proscriptive set
of requirements. As engineers we may find it easy to design a
specification for the ideal contributor environment, but when the
target audience is general management who are themselves used to
being the ones directing and setting requirements they're likely to
respond far more favorably to explanations for how their
organization may best benefit from meeting this set of
recommendations. Put another way, a primary goal of this guide is to
give new contributors help in "managing upward."

We also talked about how it would be good for the OSF business
management/ecosystem team to be able to keep this in their (virtual)
"back pocket" when talking to representatives of new member
companies who are interested in effectively interfacing some of
their staff with our community. They're often the point of first
contact for organizations who want to get involved in OpenStack, so
helping them out means the First Contact SIG gets to further its
mission as early as possible in that process.

We spent a while getting down into the weeds rehashing different
kinds of challenges and their associated mitigations, and sorting
them into categories: technical (e.g. developers need access to
Gerrit, many kinds of contributors need access to Freenode's IRC
network, almost everyone needs to be able to send to and receive
from our mailing lists), non-technical (legal agreements, permission
to work from home/off hours, travel budget), and educational (notes
on actual implications of elected positions/titles, linking to
further reading on how performance metrics are challenging and why
maintaining forks of our software is counter-productive).

Finally, we came up with a handful of action items. One was me
sending this summary (only a couple weeks late!), another was
Matthew Oliver submitting a patch to the contributor guide repo with
our initial stub text. Beyond that, we agreed that we should "soon"
plan some follow-up discussions. If you're interested in getting
involved with this or any of the First Contact SIG's other work,
feel free to reach out through this mailing list or the
#openstack-dev channel on the Freenode IRC network, or join in the
weekly IRC meeting[4] Wednesdays at 08:00 UTC in #openstack-meeting.

[1] https://etherpad.openstack.org/p/Reqs-for-Organisations-Contributing-to-OpenStack
[2] https://etherpad.openstack.org/p/Contributing_Organization_Guide
[3] https://docs.openstack.org/contributors/
[4] http://eavesdrop.openstack.org/#First_Contact_SIG_Meeting

Jeremy Stanley
-------------- next part --------------
A non-text attachment was scrubbed...
Name: signature.asc
Type: application/pgp-signature
Size: 963 bytes
Desc: not available
URL: <http://lists.openstack.org/pipermail/openstack-sigs/attachments/20180612/c88dcad1/attachment.sig>

More information about the openstack-sigs mailing list