As of late I have been thinking long and hard about if I can in some way contribute in a more efficient way into the OpenStack community.
Almost all of my focus today is on OpenStack, on its architecture and how to deploy certain solutions on top such an infrastructure.
What is the Technical Committee?
It is a group of 13 elected people by the OpenStack ATC’s (Active Technical contributors – a.k.a the people that are actively contributing code to the projects over the last year). There are seven spots up for election for this term, in addition to the six TC members that were chosen 6 months ago for a term of one year.
The TC’s Mission is defined as follows:
The Technical Committee (“TC”) is tasked with providing the technical leadership for OpenStack as a whole (all official projects, as defined below). It enforces OpenStack ideals (Openness, Transparency, Commonality, Integration, Quality…), decides on issues affecting multiple projects, forms an ultimate appeals board for technical decisions, and generally has technical oversight over all of OpenStack.
On Thursday I decided to take the plunge. Here is the email where I announced my candidacy.
This is not a paid job, if anything it more of a “second” part-time job – a voluntary part-time job. There are meetings, email discussions on a regular basis.
There are a number of reasons that I am running for a spot on the TC.
In my post The OpenStack Elections - Another Look, I noted that operators were not chosen to for the board. This is something that I think is lacking in the OpenStack community today. The influence that the people who are actually using and deploying the software is minimal if at all. The influence they have is mostly after the fact (at best) and not much of an input of what they would like to have put into the product.
I am hoping to bring in a new perspective to the TC, to help them understand the needs of those who actually deploy the software and have to deal with it day in and day out. There are valid pain points that they have, and in my honest opinion they feel they are not being heard or not being taken into consideration, at least not enough in their eyes.
Acceptance of others
The people who vote are only those who contribute code. Those who have committed a patch to the OpenStack code repositories. That is the definition of an ATC.
It is not easy to get a patch committed. Not at all (at least that is my opinion). You have to learn how to use the tools that the OpenStack community has in place. That takes time. I tried to ease the process with a Docker container to help you along. But even with that, it still seems (to me) that to get into this group of contributors takes time.
It is understandable. There is a standard of doing things (and rightfully so) so the chances of you getting your change accepted the first time are slim, for a number of reasons that I will not go into in this post.
I think that the definition of contributor should be expanded and not only limited to a those who write the code. There are a number of other ways to contribute.
I know that this will not be an easy “battle to win”. I am essentially asking the people to relinquish the way they have been doing things for the past 5 years and allow those who are not developers, those who do not write the code, to steer the technical direction of OpenStack.
I do think this will be in the best interest of everyone to extend the reach of OpenStack community, to branch out.
More information on the actual election that will run until April 30th can be found here. If you are one of the approximate 1,800 people who is an ATC, you should have received a ballot for voting.
It will be interesting to see the results which should be out in a few days.
As always your thoughts and comments are appreciated, please feel free to leave them below.