[all][tc] Moving PTL role to "Maintainers"

Mohammed Naser mnaser at vexxhost.com
Wed Mar 18 13:04:00 UTC 2020

Hi everyone,

I see that the discussion has stalled out, I'd like us to seriously
explore this because I think come the PTL time, we might run into a
lot of projects who don't have folks stepping in.


On Fri, Mar 13, 2020 at 1:37 AM Renat Akhmerov <renat.akhmerov at gmail.com> wrote:
> On 5 Mar 2020, 02:57 +0700, Jay Bryant <jungleboyj at gmail.com>, wrote:
> Zane's input sums up how I feel as well.  I think that having consistent
> leadership structure across projects is important and helps keep us
> aware of the health of projects.
> Perhaps we can help return interest in the PTL role by providing
> examples of teams that share the work and have the PTL to help make
> final decisions.  I know that the Cinder team has been doing this for
> quite some time successfully.
> I really fail to understand the issue of an overwhelming PTLship. From my
> personal 5+ experience of being a PTL, I can say I’ve never tried to do all
> stuff like releases, fixing CI, back porting etc. etc. myself. Especially given
> that I really like solving technical problems, I always try to offload some of
> these duties to others and make sure I have time for development. And
> IMO it’s totally fine. As a PTL I try to make sure that everyone in the team
> (at least most active members) has this balance between problem solving
> and necessary procedures. I absolutely agree though that as the PTL I have
> to know what’s going on with the project and after all TC or someone else
> can ask me about its current state and progress.
> Of course, I realise that my project is somewhat not really typical for
> OpenStack: it is relatively small and has not so many connections with other
> projects. But I believe this principle is universal enough.
> As far as the PTL role, I think for PTLs it’s important to focus on the big
> picture, ideas and directions and keep reminding everyone about that.
> All team members, even active ones, often can’t afford thinking about this
> too much. This contradicts with lots of what I heard before from my former
> managers and colleagues, and also some PTLs I know. They claimed:
> “PTLs just need to maintain Launchpad (or Storyboard), keep an eye
> on the release process and that’s basically it. Plus reviewing a little bit.”
> I’ve always shrugged when hearing this.. If so, let’s remove “L” from “PTL”
> and replace it with “A”, so that it’s “PTA” - Project Technical Administrator.
> Something that can legally exist, no issue. And it’s more honest.
> What I’m going to is, from my perspective, it probably doesn’t make any
> difference if a project leader is an official role or not. I guess there will
> always be someone who naturally gains trust of others and influences
> the direction of a project. As far as “having a final word on a deadlocked
> issue” I thought this is something really important but, in fact, it’s a
> very rare thing and may not be needed at all. Usually, we have to make
> a decision anyway, since “not making a decision is more expensive than
> making even bad decision”.
> So I believe some leadership is always needed. The most high quality
> techs I’ve ever seen have been all made with a very strong leadership,
> I don’t believe it works the other way. Whether it’s official or not, I think
> is not important at all. But “administrative duties” that often assign to
> PTLs can be easily split between people.
> Thanks
> Renat Akhmerov
> @Nokia

Mohammed Naser — vexxhost
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D. 800-910-1726 ext. 200
E. mnaser at vexxhost.com
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