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TC Report 18-24

Here's TC Report 24. The last one was 4 weeks ago, itself following a gap. In the intervening time new TC members (Graham Hayes, Mohammed Naser, and Zane Bitter) and a new Chair (Doug Hellman) have found their feet very well, we had a successful and moderately dramatic OpenStack Summit in Vancouver, and there have been some tweaks to how the TC reports its actions and engages with the community.

There's a refreshed commitment to using email to give regular updates to in-progress TC activity, including a somewhat more detailed official weekly status, as well as increased use of StoryBoard to track goverance changes.

The Technical Committee Tracker wiki page now includes expanded information on in-progress initiatives and there's a health tracker page listing liaisons for working groups, SIGs, and project teams and outstanding issues those groups are facing.

The thrice-weekly office hours are now logged by meetbot to make them easier to find. Here, for example, is today's.

All of these things are designed to increase the visibility and accessibility of the work being done by the TC and many other people.

This is all great. Since becoming aware of the TC, enhancing visibility and engagement has been one of my main goals so this is something like success.

But it does present a bit of a problem for what to do with these reports; there's a lot of other reporting going on.

My intention was always to provide a subjective insight into the activity of the TC and by reflection the entire OpenStack community. Over the course of the year of my first term the subjectivity ebbed and flowed as the value of simply pointing at stuff was made clear.

Things are different, lots of people are pointing to lots of things, so perhaps now is a good time to restate my assumptions.

  1. An important, if not the most important, job of the TC is to represent and improve the situation of the people who elected them, the so-called "technical" contributors.

  2. Representing people means listening to, observing, and engaging with people. Improving things means change.

  3. In either activity, with any group of any size, the possibilities for different understandings of meaning of events, actions and terms are legion. Resolving those differences to some kind of consensual reality, a shared understanding, is what the TC must do with much of its time. It is why we (or any group) chat so much.

  4. It is exceptionally easy to believe that a group has reached a shared understanding and for that not to be the case. Earlier today four TC members were struggling to agree on what "cloud" means despite working to build it for several years.

  5. The differences of understanding can be incredibly nuanced, but remarkably important.

  6. Resolving those differences leads to better representation and better action so highlighting them, though often contentious, can lead to better results.

With those in mind, where I imagine these reports can continue to provide some value is subjectively interpreting the meaning emerging from the various TC-related discussions (in all media) to provide a focal point (one of many, I hope) for me and anyone else to speculate on where those meanings fall short, collide or woot, nailed it. We can do a little recursive dance of feedback and refinement.

I'm not fully back in the loop, and this is long enough already, so look for something of substance next week. In the meantime, here are a few links to discussions in progress where there's been some emerging understanding:

Acknowledgement: Thanks to persia for helping to crystallize some of these thoughts.

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