Voting has started for the OpenStack board and I’m one of the 39 candidates. Many of the candidates have posted answers to a set of questions asked of all candidates. You can read my responses at the candidate site. Rather than reiterating those answers, I’d like to bring up some of the specific things I’d like to do as a board member.
Fight for the users
Being an OpenStack user is difficult, currently. Unless you have an OpenStack developer on your team, it’s difficult to even run OpenStack, let alone migrate between versions. Many deployments will run into bugs in the stable version of OpenStack and getting those bugs fixed and moved into the stable branch is difficult.
Even if your team has a developer, the process for getting fixes into stable is more difficult than getting fixes into master. In fact, it’s at minimum twice as hard, since a requirement of getting a fix into stable is that it it must be fixed in master first. Additionally, all fixes require tests. My complaint isn’t necessarily about the process, but about how there’s not much support wrapped around it.
It would be ideal to have a team that helps developers through the process of getting stable fixed. Additionally, the team should fix bugs on behalf of users who can’t fix the bugs themselves.
Support the support team
There’s a number of core infrastructure services that the community relies on: the blog, the wiki, Gerrit, Jenkins, etc. These services are supported by a great team sponsored by community members. Occasionally this team needs additional long-term or short-term resources, though. It’s not always easy to get a community member to sponsor contracts for development and support that don’t directly benefit them.
Additionally, we can’t fully rely on community members for core services. If a community member sponsors the majority of our core services, and later decides to leave the community, then the core services are at risk. We need to ensure we can keep the lights on, at minimum.
Provide resources to solve support issues
For both of the above issues, I’d like the foundation to reserve a portion of its budget to hire employees or contractors, and to buy hardware to help support the users and the support team.
The foundation should, of course, as a first priority encourage community members to provide needed resources, but it should also ensure that any gaps are covered, especially in regards to user engagement and ensuring the lights stay on. These must be top priorities if we want to continue to grow our community.