Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Stepping down from the TC

Yesterday was the last meeting of the OpenStack Kilo Technical Committee -- and the last meeting for me as a member of that committee [for now]. I must admit, I gots the feels at the close of that meeting... some things IRC doesn't convey well.

20:51:47 <ttx> Last words before we close ?
20:52:39 <dhellmann> to the committee members who decided not to run and so won't be coming back, thank you for your service!
20:52:46 <david-lyle> ++
20:52:48 <russellb> ++
20:52:49 <sdague> ++
20:52:50 <Rockyg> ++
20:52:52 <zaneb> ++
20:52:53 <jogo> with just over a day left, get out the vote!
20:53:04 <mestery> ++
20:53:27 <edleafe> +++
20:53:33 <dims> ++
20:53:46 <ttx> alright! Let's close this. Thanks everyone
20:53:49 <ttx> #endmeeting

It was a hard decision for me to not run this cycle, and I wrote about it in a "non-candidacy" email in which I outline what I believe this committee needs to step up and do to shepherd OpenStack through the next phase of its evolution. I've pasted it below, and you can find the original here: http://lists.openstack.org/pipermail/openstack-dev/2015-April/062364.html


Background
=========

I ran for a seat on the Technical Committee twelve months ago, on a platform that consisted of two points:
- OpenStack is complex and hard to install. Let's make it easier.
- accepting new projects into OpenStack is hard. Let's make it easier.

I half-succeeded.

I learned a lot through participating in the integration and graduation review processes during Icehouse and Juno, and believe my contributions to the "big tent" discussions during Kilo helped to shape it. It is now much easier for the OpenStack community to grow new projects. Unfortunately, this also makes OpenStack *more* complex, not less. 

It has also become apparent that bare-metal-as-a-service is a desired cloud use-case, separate from its use within any installation framework such as TripleO. Ironic is now integrated with OpenStack -- and also capable of being used alone outside of OpenStack -- and I will continue to drive this work forward. 

I would still like to see OpenStack be easier to install, but I don't think this will happen soon. The vendor and distributor ecosystem has positioned "easy install" as one of their primary value-adds, and we have not seen as much upstream investment into this as I had expected a year ago. 
Maybe that's OK, for now.

Non-Platform
==========

Now, I'd like to ask you all to go read Thierry's blog post on what he'd like to see in TC candidates at this time, if you haven't already. You can find it here: http://ttx.re/tech-committee-candidates.html.
I'd also like to thank Thierry for writing that up - he said it much better than I would have, and besides, I haven't made the time to write a real blog post in a while. 

Next, please see Jay's list of reasons not to vote for someone to be on the TC, which you can find here: http://lists.openstack.org/pipermail/openstack-dev/2015-April/062234.html

Once you've read both of those, you'll understand why I am not running for the TC this cycle. As the PTL for Ironic, I simply don't have the time. 

Being a member of the technical committee is not merely a commitment of a few hours a week; it is not just a forum for resolving differences between two or three projects; and it's definitely not a social club or popularity contest.
First and foremost, it is an elected body of representatives. I believe the members should *represent* OpenStack's technical constituency -- both internally and externally. On the one hand, that means listening to the technical community, understanding the issues within and between projects, being both willing and capable to jump in and address them when necessary; and on the other hand, representing that constituency to the broader community. 

Secondly, it is a policy-setting body. We create social and technical structures to guide the community. Some times we've gone too far, and sometimes in the wrong direction, and I would like to call upon members of the community with experience in shepherding open source communities to raise their voices to the TC and be heard. 

The size of our community exceeds Dunbar's number by two orders of magnitude, and it's still growing rapidly. Clearly, we need some structure to ensure our efforts coalesce into a sustainable ecosystem, but what exactly does that look like? I'm not sure, but I know it's going to take both skill and effort to lead OpenStack into the next year. 

I still believe, as I did when I joined OpenStack more than three years ago, that this is an amazing community of people with a lot of promise and a long journey ahead, who are solving some fascinating problems both social and technical. I still want to - and plan to - play a part in shaping that, and I will continue to voice my opinions and concerns, just as loudly and in all the wrong places as I did before my time on the Technical Committee. I'll be putting in just as much time and effort to discussions of community building and project policy whether or not I'm on the TC.
Which is to say, not enough.

So, this cycle, I have chosen not to run for a seat on the TC.

Thanks for reading!

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