[openstack-dev] TC Candidacy

Michael Still mikal at stillhq.com
Sun Oct 6 08:04:37 UTC 2013

Greetings! I am currently a member of the TC, and I would like to
continue to serve.

I'm going to write this email backwards because I am aware it is quite
long. I have put what I hope to achieve on the TC at the top, but
provide background detail afterwards for those who want to dig deeper.
I am of course happy to answer questions.

== Executive summary ==

* I am a Nova and Oslo core reviewer, who works full time on upstream OpenStack
* Provide geographic diversity to the TC, doing my best to represent
the APAC region
* Continue to incubate new projects so long as they form a logical
part of a cloud deployment, regardless of whether they will graduate
within a single release
* We need to work on improving documentation, and I'd like to see the
TC work on this in Icehouse
* Assist the Foundation Board in defining "what is core" and placing
high quality technical evangelists at conferences around the world
* Also, I have a cool accent

== What I want to get done on the TC in Icehouse ==

First off, the TC has incubated a number of projects in the Havana
release, and I'd like to see that continue. I think its important that
we build a platform that includes the services that a deployer would
need to build a cloud and that those platform elements work well
together. Now, its clear that not everyone will deploy all of the
projects we are incubating, but I think its still important that they
play well together and have a consistent look and feel.

I suspect that ultimately we'll need to work out how to handle this
growth differently -- we have a lot of PTLs now and the summit is
going to be super busy, but these are both good problems to have and I
am confident that we can solve them as a community. I also do not
believe that an incubated project needs to graduate within one
release. I'd rather take a less mature project if we think it has a
good chance of getting to graduation in the forseeable future and work
with them, than ignore them and then be surprised that they never
became a well integrated project.

We need to get better at documentation, and the TC needs to do more in
this area. Having high quality documentation is very important to the
continued success of OpenStack. Anne Gentle and the docs team are
doing a fantastic job, but I am personally of the belief that the docs
team simply isn't big enough to keep up with the work load we impose
on them. I'd like to see the community, lead by the TC, discuss how we
can grow that team and produce the documentation the project deserves.
I've seen proposals that we block code reviews which don't have an
associated doc patch for example, and while I think that's too blunt a
metric we need to do _something_. Could we do something with reporting
the number of undocumented features are landing? Could we be better at
approaching corporate contributors and asking for more documentation

The TC needs to also provide more assistance to the Foundation Board.
The reality is that the Board and TC don't solve isolated problems --
they both work on different aspects of the same problem. The Board has
been doing really good work, but the TC should be helping what defines
"core" OpenStack. While this discussion might be framed as being about
trademarks, it ultimately affects how users see our software and I
think that matters a lot to the technical people as well.

I'd also like the TC to be helping the Foundation place technical
talks at conferences around the world. We have a limited window to
drive OpenStack deployment, and having solid technical talks at as
many technical conferences around the world as possible is one of the
ways we can achieve that. While I'm lucky enough to work somewhere
with good support for these activities internally, that's not true of
all of our developers. The TC and Board should be working together to
identify high quality technical evangelists, and then helping them get
accepted at conferences. Perhaps the Board can also allocated some
travel support for this sort of activity -- I'd love to see that

Overall I think the TC should be helping the Board more. The TC has
unique insights into what projects and events matter to the technical
deployers of OpenStack, and we should be helping the Foundation make
good decisions. During the Havana release there was one meeting
between the TC and the Board (the day before the Havana summit opened)
that I am aware of, and I think we need to be talking more than that.

== Background ==

I first started hacking on Nova during the Diablo release, with my
first code contributions appearing in the Essex release. Since then
I've hacked mostly on Nova and Oslo, although I have also contributed
to many other projects as my travels have required. For example, I've
tried hard to keep various projects in sync with their imports of
parts of Oslo I maintain.

I work full time on OpenStack at Rackspace, leading a team of
developers who work solely on upstream open source OpenStack. I am a
Nova and Oslo core reviewer. I am in fact one of the most active code
reviewers for Nova. I have been serving on the TC for the last six

== Current goals ==

While I am still personally focussed on Nova, I have also spent much
of the last release getting others involved in the community. This has
included proposing an OpenStack mini-conference at linux.conf.au 2014,
which has been accepted. I have also spoken about OpenStack at a
variety of Australian conferences and meetups. I want to spend the
next release continuing to try and bring new people into the

I went along to the recent docs bootcamp hosted by Mirantis to try and
work out how Nova developers can make life easier for the docs team.
There are some obvious things we can do there, such as being more
consistent with requiring DocImpact comments and what content they
should contain. I even ended up writing some doc patches to see how
the other half lives. Its much harder than it looks.

I run a team of OpenStack developers in Australia which has hired
three people in the last couple of months, and which will continue to
grow. I've been trying hard with this team to not just hire smart
people, but to also hire people new to the community as I believe that
we ultimately need to grow the pool of contributors instead of just
poaching off each other. That's not to say that people shouldn't move
between OpenStack companies (I have), but that its not sufficient by
itself to meet our future needs.

I am still focused on operations as well, as that's the background I
come from. Most of my contributions to Nova in Havana were attempts to
make Nova easier to operate, and that will continue in Icehouse.
Better console support, deferred instance file delete, continuing to
make periodic tasks work better and CI tests for database migrations
are all problems I want to attack in the next release.

Finally, I believe the TC has taken some interesting steps in the last
six months that put us a good direction -- not assuming PTLs will
serve on the TC, and introducing programmes for example. The TC fills
an important role in trying to keep our overall offering coherent, and
I'd like to continue to work on that problem.


Rackspace Australia

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