[Openstack-operators] Ops Meetup, Co-Location options, and User Feedback

Matt Van Winkle mvanwink at rackspace.com
Thu Mar 22 21:54:52 UTC 2018

Hey folks,
Great discussion!  There are number of points to comment on going back through the last few emails.  I'll try to do so in line with Theirry's latest below.  From a User Committee perspective (and as a member of the Ops Meetup planning team), I am a convert to the idea of co-location, but have come to see a lot of value in it.  I'll point some of that out as I respond to specific comments, but first a couple of overarching points.

In the current model, the Forum sessions are very much about WHAT the software should do.  Keeping the discussions focused on behavior, feature and function has made it much easier for an operator to participate effectively in the conversation versus the older, design sessions, that focused largely on blueprints, coding approaches, etc.  These are HOW the developers should make things work and, now, are a large part of the focus of the PTG.  I realize it's not that cut and dry, but current model has allowed for this division of "what" and "how" in many areas, and I know several who have found it valuable.

The other contextual thing to remember is the PTG was the effective combining of all the various team mid-cycle meetups that were occurring.  The current Ops mid-cycle was born in that same period.  While it's purpose was a little different, it's spirit is the same - gather a team (in this case operators) together outside the hustle and bustle of a summit to discuss common issues, topics, etc.  I'll also point out, that they have been good vehicles in the Ops community to get new folks integrated.  For the purpose of this discussion, though, one could argue this is just bringing the last mid-cycle event in to the fold. 

´╗┐On 3/21/18, 4:40 AM, "Thierry Carrez" <thierry at openstack.org> wrote:

    Doug Hellmann wrote:
    > Excerpts from Tim Bell's message of 2018-03-20 19:48:31 +0000:
    >> Would we still need the same style of summit forum if we have the
    >> OpenStack Community Working Gathering? One thing I have found with
    >> the forum running all week throughout the summit is that it tends
    >> to draw audience away from other talks so maybe we could reduce the
    >> forum to only a subset of the summit time?
    > I support the idea of having all contributors attend the contributor
    > event (and rebranding it to reflect that change in emphasis), but
    > it's not quite clear how the result would be different from the
    > Forum. Is it just the scheduling? (Having input earlier in the cycle
    > would be convenient, for sure.)
    > Thierry's comment about "work sessions" earlier in the thread seems
    > key.
    Right, I think the key difference between the PTG and Forum is that one
    is a work event for engaged contributors that are part of a group
    spending time on making OpenStack better, while the other is a venue for
    engaging with everyone in our community.
    The PTG format is really organized around work groups (whatever their
    focus is), enabling them to set their short-term goals, assign work
    items and bootstrap the work. The fact that all those work groups are
    co-located make it easy to participate in multiple groups, or invite
    other people to join the discussion where it touches their area of
    expertise, but it's still mostly a venue for our
    geographically-distributed workgroups to get together in person and get
    work done. That's why the agenda is so flexible at the PTG, to maximize
    the productivity of attendees, even if that can confuse people who can't
    relate to any specific work group.
Exactly.  I know I way over simplified it as working on the "how", but it's very important to honor this aspect of the current PTG.  We need this time for the devs and teams to take output from the previous forum sessions (or earlier input) and turn it into plans for the N+1 version.  While some folks could drift between sessions, co-locating the Ops mid-cycle is just that - leveraging venue, sponsors, and Foundation staff support across one, larger event - it should NOT disrupt the current spirit of the sessions Theirry describes above

    The Forum format, on the other hand, is organized around specific
    discussion topics where you want to maximize feedback and input. Forum
    sessions are not attached to a specific workgroup or team, they are
    defined by their topic. They are well-advertised on the event schedule,
    and happen at a precise time. It takes advantage of the thousands of
    attendees being present to get the most relevant feedback possible. It
    allows to engage beyond the work groups, to people who can't spend much
    time getting more engaged and contribute back.
Agreed.  Again, I over simplified as the "what", but these sessions are so valuable as the bring dev and ops in a room and focus on what the software needs to do or the impact (positive or negative) that planned behaviors might have on Operators and users.  To Tim's earlier question, no I think this change doesn't reduce the need for Forum sessions.  If anything, I think it increases the need for us to get REALLY good at channeling output from the Ops mid-cycle in to session topics at the next Summit.  

    The Ops meetup under its current format is mostly work sessions, and
    those would fit pretty well in the PTG event format. Ideally I would
    limit the feedback-gathering sessions there and use the Forum (and
    regional events like OpenStack days) to collect it. That sounds like a
    better way to reach out to "all users" and take into account their
    feedback and needs...
They are largely work sessions, but independent of the co-location discussion, the UC is focused on improving the ability for tangible output to come from Ops mid-cycles, OpenStack Days and regional meetups - largely in the form of Forum sessions and ultimately changes in the software.  So we, as a committee, see a lot of similarities in what you just said.  I'm not bold enough to predict exactly how co-location might change the tone/topic of the Ops sessions, but I agree that we shouldn't expect a lot of real-time feedback time with devs at the PTG/mid-summit event (what ever we end up calling it).  We want the devs to be focused on what's already planned for the N+1 version or beyond.  The conversations/sessions at the Ops portion of the event would hopefully lead to Forum sessions on N+2 features, functions, bug fixes, etc

Overall, I still see co-location as a positive move.  There will be some tricky bits we need to figure out between to the "two sides" of the event as we want to MINIMIZE any perceived us/them between dev and ops - not add to it.  But, the work session themselves, should still honor the spirit of the PTG and Ops Mid-cycle as they are today.  We just get the added benefit of time together as a whole community - and hopefully solve a few logistic/finance/sponsorship/venue issues that trouble one event or the other today.

    Thierry Carrez (ttx)
    OpenStack-operators mailing list
    OpenStack-operators at lists.openstack.org

More information about the OpenStack-operators mailing list