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

James Bottomley James.Bottomley at HansenPartnership.com
Fri Feb 26 16:55:52 UTC 2016

On Fri, 2016-02-26 at 16:03 +0000, Daniel P. Berrange wrote:
> On Fri, Feb 26, 2016 at 10:39:08AM -0500, Rich Bowen wrote:
> > 
> > 
> > On 02/22/2016 10:14 AM, Thierry Carrez wrote:
> > > Hi everyone,
> > > 
> > > TL;DR: Let's split the events, starting after Barcelona.
> > > 
> > > ....
> > > 
> > > Comments, thoughts ?
> > 
> > Thierry (and Jay, who wrote a similar note much earlier in 
> > February, and Lauren, who added more clarity over on the marketing 
> > list, and the many, many of you who have spoken up in this thread
> > ...),
> > 
> > as a community guy, I have grave concerns about what the long-term
> > effect of this move would be. I agree with your reasons, and the
> > problems, but I worry that this is not the way to solve it.
> > 
> > Summit is one time when we have an opportunity to hold community up 
> > to the folks that think only product - to show them how critical it 
> > is that the people that are on this mailing list are doing the 
> > awesome things that they're doing, in the upstream, in cooperation 
> > and collaboration with their competitors.
> > 
> > I worry that splitting the two events would remove the community 
> > aspect from the conference. The conference would become more 
> > corporate, more product, and less project.
> > 
> > My initial response was "crap, now I have to go to four events 
> > instead of two", but as I thought about it, it became clear that 
> > that wouldn't happen. I, and everyone else, would end up picking 
> > one event or the other, and the division between product and
> > project would deepen.
> > 
> > Summit, for me specifically, has frequently been at least as much 
> > about showing the community to the sales/marketing folks in my own
> > company, as showing our wares to the customer.
> I think what you describe is a prime reason for why separating the
> events would be *beneficial* for the community contributors. The
> conference has long ago become so corporate focused that its session
> offers little to no value to me as a project contributor. What you
> describe as a benefit of being able to put community people infront
> of business people is in fact a significant negative for the design
> summit productivity. It causes key community contributors to be 
> pulled out of important design sessions to go talk to business 
> people, making the design sessions significantly less productive.

It's Naïve to think that something is so sacrosanct that it will be
protected come what may.  Everything eventually has to justify itself
to the funders.  Providing quid pro quo to sales and marketing helps
enormously with that justification and it can be managed so it's not a
huge drain on productive time.  OpenStack may be the new shiny now, but
one day it won't be and then you'll need the support of the people
you're currently disdaining.

I've said this before in the abstract, but let me try to make it
specific and personal: once the kernel was the new shiny and money was
poured all over us; we were pure and banned management types from the
kernel summit and other events, but that all changed when the dot com
bust came.  You're from Red Hat, if you ask the old timers about the
Ottawa Linux Symposium and allied Kernel Summit I believe they'll
recall that in 2005(or 6) the Red Hat answer to a plea to fund travel
was here's $25 a head, go and find a floor to crash on.  As the
wrangler for the new Linux Plumbers Conference I had to come up with
all sorts of convoluted schemes for getting Red Hat to fund developer
travel most of which involved embarrassing Brian Stevens into approving
it over the objections of his managers.  I don't want to go into detail
about how Red Hat reached this situation; I just want to remind you
that it happened before and it could happen again.

I really suggest you listen to what your community manager says because
he's the one who is actually looking out for your interests.  I
guarantee (and history shows) there will come a time when you'll regret
ignoring him.


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