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

Sean Dague sean at dague.net
Mon Feb 8 15:29:33 UTC 2016

On 02/08/2016 10:07 AM, Thierry Carrez wrote:
> Brian Curtin wrote:
>> On Sun, Feb 7, 2016 at 3:07 PM, Jay Pipes <jaypipes at gmail.com> wrote:
>>> I would love to see the OpenStack contributor community take back the
>>> design
>>> summit to its original format and purpose and decouple it from the
>>> OpenStack
>>> Summit's conference portion.
>>> I believe the design summits should be organized by the OpenStack
>>> contributor community, not the OpenStack Foundation and its marketing
>>> and
>>> event planning staff.
>> As someone who spent years organizing PyCon as a volunteer from the
>> Python community, with four of those years in a row taking about 8
>> solid months of pre-conference effort, not to mention the on-site
>> effort to run a volunteer conference of that size [0]...I would
>> suggest even longer and harder thought before stretching a community
>> like this even more thinly. Things should change, but probably not the
>> "who's doing the work" aspect.
> Beyond stretching out the community, we would end up with the same
> problem we are trying to solve. Most of the cross-project folks that
> would end up organizing the event would be too busy organizing the event
> to be able to fully participate in it.

Right, this is a super key point. Even just organizing and running local
user groups, I know how much time is spent making sure the whole thing
seems effortless to attendees, and they can just focus on content.

Even look at the recently run Nova midcycle, with 40ish folks, it still
required some substantial logistics to pull off. The HPE team did a
great job with that. But it definitely required real time and effort.

The Foundation has done an amazing job of making everyone think this is
easy (I know how much it is not). Without their efforts organizing these
events, eliminating the distractions of wandering in a strange city to
find lunch, having a network, projectors, access to facilities,
appropriate sized spaces, double checking all those things will really
actually be there, chasing after folks when they are not, handling the
myriad of other unforseen issues that you never have to see.... we would
not be nearly as productive at the design summits.

So while I agree it's worth considering whether the Mega Conference and
Design Summit should continue to be collocated and on the same time
table, I think the idea that the Design Summit, at even only 500
attendees, could/should be run without the Foundation is just folly
based on a lack of understanding for what it takes to do events at that
scale. And massively underestimates the effort and skill the Foundation
has at making our events run as smoothly as they do.


Sean Dague

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