[openstack-dev] [all][tc] Proposal: Separate design summits from OpenStack conferences

James Bottomley James.Bottomley at HansenPartnership.com
Sun Feb 7 23:28:59 UTC 2016

On Sun, 2016-02-07 at 15:07 -0500, Jay Pipes wrote:
> Hello all,
> tl;dr
> =====
> I have long thought that the OpenStack Summits have become too 
> commercial and provide little value to the software engineers 
> contributing to OpenStack.
> I propose the following:
> 1) Separate the design summits from the conferences
> 2) Hold only a single OpenStack conference per year
> 3) Return the design summit to being a low-key, low-cost working 
> event

So having seen the other side from the Linux Foundation, here's the
problem with this (note I hate 2000+ people parties and huge queues to
get badges and I really appreciate smaller events but ...).

First, I don't actually think there's a problem: The design summits are
usually well separated from the big conference (I mean, in Vancouver it
was even in a separate building).  If you don't want to see the
powerpoint sessions, you really don't have to go to them.  I like this
setup because I often speak at the OpenStack summit, so the design
summit provides a nice quiet space to meet more like minded people and
to escape from the huge press of the OpenStack summit itself.

Secondly, someone has to pay for a separated design summit.  OpenStack
is awash with cash at the moment, so perhaps this is less of an issue
now, but if we have a sudden IT economic crisis, it will become much
more of one.  Planning ahead is always useful.

Thirdly, one of the draws to the OpenStack summit is the ability to
interact with the people who build it.  Not only for the sales and
marketing meetings you hate, but also for outreach: people unsure if
OpenStack is the thing for them to get involved in also come and talk
to developers (their employers often pay because the summit OpenStack
is a big thing and the potential developers can often quietly sneak off
to the design summit).  If you take that away, you'll damage both the
OpenStack summit and some of the outreach communications efforts.

Just by way of comparison, our two big Linux Summits, the Kernel Summit
and LSF/MM, generate enough cash to stand on their own, but we usually
co-locate them with other Linux Foundation events for precisely the
reasons above.


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