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

Thierry Carrez thierry at openstack.org
Fri Feb 26 17:08:14 UTC 2016

Thierry Carrez wrote:
> 1. "Two trips instead of one"
> There is a section of attendees which benefited from a single event:
> in-between people who do not generally go to any midcycle events and
> successfully split their attention between the design summit and the
> main conference when they were overlapping. Those people fear that in
> order to keep the same benefits they will have to travel to two events
> per cycle instead of one.
> 2. Community split
> There is fear that the contributor-specific event will separate the
> community into two groups, with developers skipping the main event and
> non-developers not providing any feedback to the contributor-specific
> event.

For those two objections, it's worth noting that there will still be a 
lot of strategic discussions at the main event. That is where we look at 
the N-1 release and start drawing plans and cross-project themes for the 
N+1 release. We don't need every developer there, but we still need a 
significant chunk of them, with every team represented, so that we can 
have those strategic and cross-project discussions.

Therefore I'd expect someone who wants to keep touch with development 
could still make only one trip, and I wouldn't expect the communities to 
be split. We'd still all be represented in the main event.

> 3. Losing the main summit as an excuse to fund devs travel
> Some developers are sent to the Design Summit only because the main
> summit is happening at the same time and wouldn't get funding to attend
> a specific event.

If you have to pretend to attend the Summit to be able to attend the 
Design Summit instead, there is deception involved. I'd suggest to have 
a frank talk with your employer on where the most value lies for you in 
attending which event. We also have the Travel support program to cover 
the gaps.

> 4. The fear of US-centricity
> A lot of people translated "closer to the centers of mass of
> contributors" as meaning "happening in the US all the time". That would
> indeed reduce the total travel costs, but at the expense of making it a
> lot more costly for non-US parts of our community to participate.

That is a real concern. The goal is to "minimize and balance travel 
costs for existing contributors"... notice the word "balance": there 
would still be some continent rotation involved. The trick will be to 
strike the right balance between cost and fairness.

> 5. The loss of the midcycle spirit
> Last but not least, some people really like the midcycles as they stand:
> separated small events where only your small team is around. The split
> appears to reduce the likelihood, the need, or the funding for such
> events. Even if we keep the midcycle laid-back format in the new event,
> co-locating them would turn it into a large event and we'd lose some of
> the focus or some of the "only us around" aspect.

While I hope the proposed format will let us fulfill all our team 
socialization needs, it's true that there will be other people around, 
and it will feel a lot less exclusive and special. The trade-off is that 
having people all together encourages cross-project work and breaks 
silos. Hopefully we'll strike the right balance there that will let us 
all get most of the productivity of the current midcycles. It's also 
worth noting that the proposal doesn't prevent team-specific events from 
happening. So if for any reason people don't get what they need from the 
new event, I suspect we'll still have midcycles around and that will be 
a strong signal that we need to tweak the whole thing again.

Thierry Carrez (ttx)

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