Despite its name, the Technical Committee has become the part of the OpenStack contributor community that enshrines, defines, and — in some rare cases — enforces what it means to be “OpenStack”. Meanwhile, the community has seen a great deal of growth and change.
Some of these changes have led to progress and clarity, others have left people confused about how they can best make a contribution and what constraints their contributions must meet (for example, do we all know what it means to be an “official” project?).
Much of the confusion, I think, can be traced to two things:
Information is not always clear nor clearly available, despite valiant efforts to maintain a transparent environment for the discussion of policy and process. There is more that can be done to improve engagement and communication. Maybe the TC needs release notes?
Agreements are made without the full meaning and implications of those agreements being collectively shared. Most involved think they agree, but there is limited shared understanding, so there is limited effective collaboration. We see this, for example, in the ongoing discussions on “What is OpenStack?”. Agreement is claimed without actually existing.
We can fix this, but we need a TC that has a diversity of ideas and experiences. Other candidates will have dramatically different opinions from me. This is good because we must rigorously and vigorously question the status quo and our assumptions. Not to tear things down, but to ensure our ideas are based on present day truths and clear visions of the future. And we must do this, always, where it can be seen and joined and later discovered; gerrit and IRC are not enough.
To have legitimate representation on the Technical Committee we must have voices that bring new ideas, are well informed about history, that protect the needs of existing users and developers, encourage new users and developers, that want to know how, that want to know why. No single person can speak with all these voices.
Several people have encouraged me to run for the TC, wanting my willingness to ask questions, to challenge the status quo and to drive discourse. What I want is to use my voice to bring about frequent and positive reevaluation.
We have a lot of challenges ahead. We want to remain a pleasant, progressive and relevant place to participate. That will require discovering ways to build bridges with other communities and within our own. We need to make greater use of technologies which were not invented here and be more willing to think about the future users, developers and use cases we don’t yet have (as there will always be more of those). We need to keep looking and pushing forward.
To that end I’m nominating myself to be a member of the Technical Committee.
If you have specific questions about my goals, my background or anything else, please feel free to ask. I’m on IRC as cdent or send some email. Thank you for your consideration.