Index ¦ Archives ¦ Atom

OpenStack Pike TC Candidacy

This is my candidacy statement for the OpenStack Technical Committee, sent as email to the developers list.

I'm once again nominating myself to be your representative on the Technical Committee. I've been around OpenStack for about three years, most recently visible as the guy who writes those weekly updates about the placement API service and talks about the API-WG.

In the past several months we've seen the TC starting to take a more active role in describing and shaping the technical and cultural environment of OpenStack. Initiatives like release goals, TC and OpenStack vision exercises, discussions on how to reasonably constrain growth and increased attention to writing things down are all positives.

Meanwhile the economic environment for cloud technology and for technical contributors has been a roller coaster. Lots of things are changing in the world of OpenStack.

OpenStack must adapt. Doing so without losing the progress that's been made will be hard and requires input from a diversity of voices; people who are willing and able to critique and investigate the status quo but also understand the importance of consensus and value of compromise.

Voting for the TC is weird: people nominate themselves and then a small segment of the electorate places their votes based on some combination of "have I heard of this person before", "have I witnessed some of their work and liked it", and, sometimes, discussion that happens as a result of these candidacy statements. I hope you'll ask me some questions in the week before the election, but in an effort to illustrate the biases and concerns I would bring to the TC here are some opinions I have related to governance:

  • Telling stories that explain what and why are more useful in the long run than listing rules of how because they lead to a more complete understanding.

  • It is always better to over communicate than under communicate and it is best to do so in a written and discoverable fashion. Not just because this helps to keep everyone already involved up to date but because it also enables connections with new people and other communities.

  • The OpenStack ecosystem needs to open up to allow and encourage those connections. Open ecosystems can evolve and benefit from exchange of ideas. So yes, of course, we should use some golang. Of course we should party with kubernetes and trade ideas with them.

  • OpenStack is better when its people and its projects have opinions about lots of things, share those opinions widely, and use them to make better stuff and make better decisions.

  • There are too many boundaries (some real, some perceived) between developers of OpenStack, developers using OpenStack, users, and operators. We're all in this together. All of those people should be encouraged and able to be contributors and all of those people should be users.

  • OpenStack can and should do a lot of complicated stuff for big enterprises (things like NFV and high performance VMs) but the changes required to satisfy those use cases must always be balanced and measured against providing a useful and usable cloud for individual humans.

  • As we move forward on the idea of OpenStack as one platform made with many pieces, we have an opportunity to re-evaluate and refactor our architecture and project structure to make it easier for improvement to happen. We need to ask ourselves if the boundaries we currently maintain, technical and social, are the right ones, and change the ones that are not.

  • For a lot of people, contributing to OpenStack is a job. Working on OpenStack should be a good experience for everyone. I think of being a TC member as something akin to a union representative: striving to keep things sane and positive for the individual contributor in the face of change and conflict.

With the TC positioning itself to take a more active role, these elections could be more important than you've come to expect. The people you choose, the attitudes they have, will shape that new activism. If you feel like I'm talking some sense above, I'd appreciate your vote. If you need some clarification, please ask me some questions. After that, if you're still not convinced, please vote for someone else. But please vote.

© Chris Dent. Built using Pelican. Theme by Giulio Fidente on github.