[openstack-dev] [all] A proposal to separate the design summit

Clint Byrum clint at fewbar.com
Tue Feb 23 17:52:58 UTC 2016

Excerpts from Sean McGinnis's message of 2016-02-22 11:48:50 -0800:
> On Mon, Feb 22, 2016 at 05:20:21PM +0000, Amrith Kumar wrote:
> > Thierry and all of those who contributed to putting together this write-up, thank you very much.
> > 
> > TL;DR: +0
> > 
> > Longer version:
> > 
> > While I definitely believe that the new proposed timing for "OpenStack Summit" which is some months after the release, is a huge improvement, I am not completely enamored of this proposal. Here is why.
> > 
> > As a result of this proposal, there will still be four events each year, two "OpenStack Summit" events and two "MidCycle" events. The material change is that the "MidCycle" event that is currently project specific will become a single event inclusive of all projects, not unlike our current "Design Summit".
> > 
> > I contrast this proposal with a mid-cycle two weeks ago for the Trove project. Thanks to the folks at Red Hat who hosted us in Raleigh, we had a dedicated room, with high bandwidth internet and the ability to have people join us remotely via audio and video (which we used mostly for screen sharing). The previous mid-cycle similarly had excellent facilities provided us by HP (in California), Rackspace (in Austin) and at MIT in Cambridge when we (Tesora) hosted the event.
> > 
> > At these "simpler, scaled-back settings", would we be able to provide the same kind of infrastructure for each project?
> > 
> > Given the number of projects, and leaving aside high bandwidth internet and remote participation, providing dedicated meeting room for the duration of the MidCycle event for each project is a considerable undertaking. I believe therefore that the consequence is that the MidCycle event will end up being of comparable scale to the current Design Summit or larger, and will likely need a similar venue.
> > 
> > I also believe that it is important that OpenStack continue to grow not only a global customer base but also a global contributor base. As others have already commented, this proposal risks the "design summit" become US based, maybe Europe once in a long while. But I find it much harder to believe that these design summits would be truly global. And this I think would be an unwelcome consequence.
> > 
> > At the current OpenStack Summit, there is an opportunity for contributors, customers and operators to interact, not just in technical meetings, but also in a social setting. I think this is valuable, even though there seems to be a number of people who believe that this is not necessarily the case.
> > 
> > Those are the three concerns I have with the proposal. 
> > 
> > Thanks again to Thierry and all who contributed to putting this proposal together.
> > 
> > -amrith
> I agree with a lot of the concerns raised here. I wonder if we're not
> just shifting some of the problems and causing others.
> While the timing of things isn't ideal right now, I'm also afraid the
> timing of these changes would also interupt our development flow and
> cause distractions when we need folks focused on getting things done.
> I'm also very concerned about losing our midcycles. At least for Cinder,
> the midcycle events have been hugely successful and well worth the time
> and travel expense, IMO. To me, the design summit event is good for
> cross-project communication and getting more operator input. But the
> midcycles have been where we've really been able to focus and figure out
> issues.

I do understand this concern, but the difference is in the way a
development-summit-only event is attended versus a conference+summit.
When you don't have keynotes every morning expending peoples' time, and
you don't have people running out of discussions to give their talks,
this immediately adds a calm focus to the discussions that feels a
lot more like a mid-cycle. When there's no booth for your company to
ask you to come by and man for a while to meet customers and partners,
suddenly every developer can spend the whole of the event talking to
other developers and operators who have come to participate directly.

I did not attend the first few summits, my first one being the Boston
event, but I did attend quite a few Ubuntu Developer Summits, which were
much more about development discussions, and almost completely devoid of
conference semantics. It always felt like a series of productive meetings,
and not like a series of rushed, agitated, nervous brain dumps, which
frankly is what a lot of Tokyo felt like.

> Even if we still have a colocated "midcycle" now, I would be afraid that
> there would be too many distractions from everything else going on for
> us to be able to really tackle some of the things we've been able to in
> our past midcycles.

I _DO_ share your concern here. The mid-cycles are productive because
they're focused. Putting one at the conference will just make it less
focused than a mid-cycle, and less effective at general communication
than the dev summit because contributor attendance will be limited.

So, for me, I like the plan, but I would say that we should call the new
version of the mid-cycle a "sprint", and keep them small and separate
unless it just can't be managed. I know that for a small percentage
of contributors this would mean going to potentially _6_ events in a
year. However, I think that is a corner case, and the general case is
well served by having all 3 options each cycle.

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