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

Jay Pipes jaypipes at gmail.com
Mon Feb 8 15:49:41 UTC 2016

On 02/08/2016 10:29 AM, Sean Dague wrote:
> 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.

I understand this. I ran the MySQL Users Conference and Expo for 2 
years. I realize the amount of effort it takes to organize a 2500+ 
person event. It's essentially a full-time job.

I suppose I should have used a different wording. What I really think 
should happen is that a *separate* team should handle organizing the 
developer-focused working events than the main team that does the 
marketing event. I recognize that it's a lot of work and that asking the 
"community" to just handle the working event organization will lead to 
undue burden on certain cross-project folks.

However, here are a couple things that do *not* need to be done by a 
separate team that handles working event organization:

1) Vendor and sponsorship stuff
2) A call for speakers and reviewing thousands of submissions (this is 
self-organized by each project's contributor team for the working events)
3) Determining keynote slots and wrangling C-level speakers -- or any 
speaker wrangling at all
4) "Check-in" and registration stands
5) Dealing with schwag, giveaways, parties, and other superfluous stuff

So, yes, while it's a lot of work, it's not the same kind of work as the 
marketing event staff.

> 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.

For the record, I *do* understand 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.

I wasn't saying anything about the effort and skill the Foundation 
expends on making the marketing events run smoothly.

I am pushing for a return to *working* events for developers.


More information about the OpenStack-dev mailing list