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[openstack-dev] [all][tc] Proposal: Separate design summits from OpenStack conferences

0 votes

Hello all,

tl;dr
=====

I have long thought that the OpenStack Summits have become too
commercial and provide little value to the software engineers
contributing to OpenStack.

I propose the following:

1) Separate the design summits from the conferences
2) Hold only a single OpenStack conference per year
3) Return the design summit to being a low-key, low-cost working event

details
=======

The design summits originally started out as working events. Developers
got together in smallish rooms, arranged chairs in a fishbowl, and got
to work planning and designing.

With the OpenStack Summit growing more and more marketing- and
sales-focused, the contributors attending the design summit are often
unfocused. The precious little time that developers have to actually
work on the next release planning is often interrupted or cut short by
the large numbers of "suits" and salespeople at the conference event,
many of which are peddling a product or pushing a corporate agenda.

Many contributors submit talks to speak at the conference part of an
OpenStack Summit because their company says it's the only way they will
pay for them to attend the design summit. This is, IMHO, a terrible
thing. The design summit is a working event. Companies that contribute
to OpenStack projects should send their engineers to working events
because that is where work is done, not so that their engineer can go
give a talk about some vendor's agenda-item or newfangled product.

Part of the reason that companies only send engineers who are giving a
talk at the conference side is that the cost of attending the OpenStack
Summit has become ludicrously expensive. Why have the events become so
expensive? I can think of a few reasons:

a) They are held every six months. I know of no other community or open
source project that holds conference-type events every six months.

b) They are held in extremely expensive hotels and conference centers
because the number of attendees is so big.

c) Because the conferences have become sales and marketing-focused
events, companies shell out hundreds of thousands of dollars for schwag,
for rented event people, for food and beverage sponsorships, for keynote
slots, for lavish and often ridiculous parties, and more. This cost
means less money to send engineers to the design summit to do actual work.

I would love to see the OpenStack contributor community take back the
design summit to its original format and purpose and decouple it from
the OpenStack Summit's conference portion.

I believe the design summits should be organized by the OpenStack
contributor community, not the OpenStack Foundation and its marketing
and event planning staff. This will allow lower-cost venues to be chosen
that meet the needs only of the small group of active contributors, not
of huge masses of conference attendees. This will allow contributor
companies to send more engineers to more design summits, which is
something that really needs to happen if we are to grow our active
contributor pool.

Once this decoupling occurs, I think that the OpenStack Summit should be
renamed to the OpenStack Conference and Expo to better fit its purpose
and focus. This Conference and Expo event really should be held once a
year, in my opinion, and continue to be run by the OpenStack Foundation.

I, for one, would welcome events that have no conference check-in area,
no evening parties with 2000 people, no keynote and
powerpoint-as-a-service sessions, and no getting pulled into sales meetings.

OK, there, I said it.

Thoughts? Criticism? Support? Suggestions welcome.

-jay


OpenStack Development Mailing List (not for usage questions)
Unsubscribe: OpenStack-dev-request@lists.openstack.org?subject:unsubscribe
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asked Feb 7, 2016 in openstack-dev by Jay_Pipes (59,760 points)   3 11 15

54 Responses

0 votes

On 02/07/2016 12:07 PM, Jay Pipes wrote:
Hello all,

tl;dr
=====

I have long thought that the OpenStack Summits have become too
commercial and provide little value to the software engineers
contributing to OpenStack.

I propose the following:

1) Separate the design summits from the conferences
2) Hold only a single OpenStack conference per year
3) Return the design summit to being a low-key, low-cost working event

details
=======

The design summits originally started out as working events. Developers
got together in smallish rooms, arranged chairs in a fishbowl, and got
to work planning and designing.

With the OpenStack Summit growing more and more marketing- and
sales-focused, the contributors attending the design summit are often
unfocused. The precious little time that developers have to actually
work on the next release planning is often interrupted or cut short by
the large numbers of "suits" and salespeople at the conference event,
many of which are peddling a product or pushing a corporate agenda.

Many contributors submit talks to speak at the conference part of an
OpenStack Summit because their company says it's the only way they will
pay for them to attend the design summit. This is, IMHO, a terrible
thing. The design summit is a working event. Companies that contribute
to OpenStack projects should send their engineers to working events
because that is where work is done, not so that their engineer can go
give a talk about some vendor's agenda-item or newfangled product.

Part of the reason that companies only send engineers who are giving a
talk at the conference side is that the cost of attending the OpenStack
Summit has become ludicrously expensive. Why have the events become so
expensive? I can think of a few reasons:

a) They are held every six months. I know of no other community or open
source project that holds conference-type events every six months.

b) They are held in extremely expensive hotels and conference centers
because the number of attendees is so big.

c) Because the conferences have become sales and marketing-focused
events, companies shell out hundreds of thousands of dollars for schwag,
for rented event people, for food and beverage sponsorships, for keynote
slots, for lavish and often ridiculous parties, and more. This cost
means less money to send engineers to the design summit to do actual work.

I would love to see the OpenStack contributor community take back the
design summit to its original format and purpose and decouple it from
the OpenStack Summit's conference portion.

+1 in a way it seems like midcycles are starting to become... aka the
'original format' and the every 6-month summits are just the other 'big'
thing developers need to get more approval to go to.

I believe the design summits should be organized by the OpenStack
contributor community, not the OpenStack Foundation and its marketing
and event planning staff. This will allow lower-cost venues to be chosen
that meet the needs only of the small group of active contributors, not
of huge masses of conference attendees. This will allow contributor
companies to send more engineers to more design summits, which is
something that really needs to happen if we are to grow our active
contributor pool.

Once this decoupling occurs, I think that the OpenStack Summit should be
renamed to the OpenStack Conference and Expo to better fit its purpose
and focus. This Conference and Expo event really should be held once a
year, in my opinion, and continue to be run by the OpenStack Foundation.

I, for one, would welcome events that have no conference check-in area,
no evening parties with 2000 people, no keynote and
powerpoint-as-a-service sessions, and no getting pulled into sales
meetings.

Me to.

OK, there, I said it.

Thoughts? Criticism? Support? Suggestions welcome.

-jay


OpenStack Development Mailing List (not for usage questions)
Unsubscribe: OpenStack-dev-request@lists.openstack.org?subject:unsubscribe
http://lists.openstack.org/cgi-bin/mailman/listinfo/openstack-dev


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Unsubscribe: OpenStack-dev-request@lists.openstack.org?subject:unsubscribe
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responded Feb 7, 2016 by harlowja_at_fastmail (16,200 points)   2 7 8
0 votes

On Sun, Feb 7, 2016 at 12:07 PM, Jay Pipes jaypipes@gmail.com wrote:

Hello all,

tl;dr
=====

I have long thought that the OpenStack Summits have become too commercial
and provide little value to the software engineers contributing to
OpenStack.

I propose the following:

1) Separate the design summits from the conferences
2) Hold only a single OpenStack conference per year
3) Return the design summit to being a low-key, low-cost working event

details
=======

The design summits originally started out as working events. Developers
got together in smallish rooms, arranged chairs in a fishbowl, and got to
work planning and designing.

With the OpenStack Summit growing more and more marketing- and
sales-focused, the contributors attending the design summit are often
unfocused. The precious little time that developers have to actually work
on the next release planning is often interrupted or cut short by the large
numbers of "suits" and salespeople at the conference event, many of which
are peddling a product or pushing a corporate agenda.

I've had this discussion with a number of developers with mixed views, but
generally speaking it's been positively received. I would like to see this
split occur. It would allow the dev work be more focused and be less
overwhelming by also needing to deal with the Conference and Expo.

Many contributors submit talks to speak at the conference part of an
OpenStack Summit because their company says it's the only way they will pay
for them to attend the design summit. This is, IMHO, a terrible thing. The
design summit is a working event. Companies that contribute to OpenStack
projects should send their engineers to working events because that is
where work is done, not so that their engineer can go give a talk about
some vendor's agenda-item or newfangled product.

++ 100% agree, I would hope this is in-fact the case. If it isn't, we need
to work to change that.

Part of the reason that companies only send engineers who are giving a
talk at the conference side is that the cost of attending the OpenStack
Summit has become ludicrously expensive. Why have the events become so
expensive? I can think of a few reasons:

a) They are held every six months. I know of no other community or open
source project that holds conference-type events every six months.

b) They are held in extremely expensive hotels and conference centers
because the number of attendees is so big.

c) Because the conferences have become sales and marketing-focused events,
companies shell out hundreds of thousands of dollars for schwag, for rented
event people, for food and beverage sponsorships, for keynote slots, for
lavish and often ridiculous parties, and more. This cost means less money
to send engineers to the design summit to do actual work.

I would love to see the OpenStack contributor community take back the
design summit to its original format and purpose and decouple it from the
OpenStack Summit's conference portion.

I believe the design summits should be organized by the OpenStack
contributor community, not the OpenStack Foundation and its marketing and
event planning staff. This will allow lower-cost venues to be chosen that
meet the needs only of the small group of active contributors, not of huge
masses of conference attendees. This will allow contributor companies to
send more engineers to more design summits, which is something that
really needs to happen if we are to grow our active contributor pool.

So this is more akin to the midcycles? I am in support of this as long as
we have enough support from the Foundation (also for things such as visa
letters, etc) to ensure we have large-enough-ish venues for the required
cross-project working, if this supplanted the mid-cycles as well I could
see it being a win. Reducing the travel for contributors to 1 or 2 venues
[especially for those cross-project], would be fantastic.

Once this decoupling occurs, I think that the OpenStack Summit should be
renamed to the OpenStack Conference and Expo to better fit its purpose and
focus. This Conference and Expo event really should be held once a year, in
my opinion, and continue to be run by the OpenStack Foundation.

I, for one, would welcome events that have no conference check-in area, no
evening parties with 2000 people, no keynote and powerpoint-as-a-service
sessions, and no getting pulled into sales meetings.

OK, there, I said it.

Thoughts? Criticism? Support? Suggestions welcome.

-jay

I, for one, am happy to see this discussion start on the ML.

--Morgan


OpenStack Development Mailing List (not for usage questions)
Unsubscribe: OpenStack-dev-request@lists.openstack.org?subject:unsubscribe
http://lists.openstack.org/cgi-bin/mailman/listinfo/openstack-dev
responded Feb 7, 2016 by Morgan_Fainberg (17,320 points)   2 6 9
0 votes

Jay and others,

I’m not able to understand how the decoupled events will produce the desired outcome. Here’s why. There will still be a limit on expenditure that companies will be willing to undertake. If you were to decouple the two events, it isn’t as though companies won’t do the “Conference and Expo”. That is a business focused event which they will still likely attend.

When it comes time for design summit, won’t the same budget constraints be in place? And this time it is for a developer meeting.

Jay writes, “This cost means less money to send engineers to the design summit to do actual work”. I very much doubt that the economics are going to be “Hey look, we saved X by NOT having two Conference and Expo’s a year, let’s spend that X on sending developers to the design summit”.

Given that OpenStack is now large enough, and there are enough projects around, one would have to get a rather sizeable venue even for the design summit. And a large venue would likely end up being a large event. I’m not able to see how you’d get away with two events being less expensive than one.

I fear that the consequence of this proposal will be that we’ll be forced to project based mid-cycle style events. A great thing about the single event is that you get to attend sessions from a number of projects that are of interest and relevant, and with project-focused events that would be lost entirely.

-amrith

From: Morgan Fainberg [mailto:morgan.fainberg@gmail.com]
Sent: Sunday, February 07, 2016 4:17 PM
To: OpenStack Development Mailing List (not for usage questions) openstack-dev@lists.openstack.org
Subject: Re: [openstack-dev] [all][tc] Proposal: Separate design summits from OpenStack conferences

On Sun, Feb 7, 2016 at 12:07 PM, Jay Pipes jaypipes@gmail.com wrote:
Hello all,

tl;dr
=====

I have long thought that the OpenStack Summits have become too commercial and provide little value to the software engineers contributing to OpenStack.

I propose the following:

1) Separate the design summits from the conferences
2) Hold only a single OpenStack conference per year
3) Return the design summit to being a low-key, low-cost working event

details
=======

The design summits originally started out as working events. Developers got together in smallish rooms, arranged chairs in a fishbowl, and got to work planning and designing.

With the OpenStack Summit growing more and more marketing- and sales-focused, the contributors attending the design summit are often unfocused. The precious little time that developers have to actually work on the next release planning is often interrupted or cut short by the large numbers of "suits" and salespeople at the conference event, many of which are peddling a product or pushing a corporate agenda.

I've had this discussion with a number of developers with mixed views, but generally speaking it's been positively received. I would like to see this split occur. It would allow the dev work be more focused and be less overwhelming by also needing to deal with the Conference and Expo.

Many contributors submit talks to speak at the conference part of an OpenStack Summit because their company says it's the only way they will pay for them to attend the design summit. This is, IMHO, a terrible thing. The design summit is a working event. Companies that contribute to OpenStack projects should send their engineers to working events because that is where work is done, not so that their engineer can go give a talk about some vendor's agenda-item or newfangled product.

++ 100% agree, I would hope this is in-fact the case. If it isn't, we need to work to change that.

Part of the reason that companies only send engineers who are giving a talk at the conference side is that the cost of attending the OpenStack Summit has become ludicrously expensive. Why have the events become so expensive? I can think of a few reasons:

a) They are held every six months. I know of no other community or open source project that holds conference-type events every six months.

b) They are held in extremely expensive hotels and conference centers because the number of attendees is so big.

c) Because the conferences have become sales and marketing-focused events, companies shell out hundreds of thousands of dollars for schwag, for rented event people, for food and beverage sponsorships, for keynote slots, for lavish and often ridiculous parties, and more. This cost means less money to send engineers to the design summit to do actual work.

I would love to see the OpenStack contributor community take back the design summit to its original format and purpose and decouple it from the OpenStack Summit's conference portion.

I believe the design summits should be organized by the OpenStack contributor community, not the OpenStack Foundation and its marketing and event planning staff. This will allow lower-cost venues to be chosen that meet the needs only of the small group of active contributors, not of huge masses of conference attendees. This will allow contributor companies to send more engineers to more design summits, which is something that really needs to happen if we are to grow our active contributor pool.

So this is more akin to the midcycles? I am in support of this as long as we have enough support from the Foundation (also for things such as visa letters, etc) to ensure we have large-enough-ish venues for the required cross-project working, if this supplanted the mid-cycles as well I could see it being a win. Reducing the travel for contributors to 1 or 2 venues [especially for those cross-project], would be fantastic.

Once this decoupling occurs, I think that the OpenStack Summit should be renamed to the OpenStack Conference and Expo to better fit its purpose and focus. This Conference and Expo event really should be held once a year, in my opinion, and continue to be run by the OpenStack Foundation.

I, for one, would welcome events that have no conference check-in area, no evening parties with 2000 people, no keynote and powerpoint-as-a-service sessions, and no getting pulled into sales meetings.

OK, there, I said it.

Thoughts? Criticism? Support? Suggestions welcome.

-jay

I, for one, am happy to see this discussion start on the ML.
--Morgan


OpenStack Development Mailing List (not for usage questions)
Unsubscribe: OpenStack-dev-request@lists.openstack.org?subject:unsubscribe
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responded Feb 7, 2016 by Amrith_Kumar (10,500 points)   2 4 4
0 votes

Colleagues,

I agree with this proposal: of course it's fun to receive some free
tee-shirts/magnets, but my main interest as a developer is to take part in
design summit.
It will be awesome if contributors working together will also work togeter
on design summits as those increase developers involvement in the
development process.

And companies can make some special design summit things (t-shirts for ex.)
only available for the participants :) That would be great!

On Mon, Feb 8, 2016 at 1:40 AM, Amrith Kumar amrith@tesora.com wrote:

Jay and others,

I’m not able to understand how the decoupled events will produce the
desired outcome. Here’s why. There will still be a limit on expenditure
that companies will be willing to undertake. If you were to decouple the
two events, it isn’t as though companies won’t do the “Conference and
Expo”. That is a business focused event which they will still likely attend.

When it comes time for design summit, won’t the same budget constraints be
in place? And this time it is for a developer meeting.

Jay writes, “This cost means less money to send engineers to the design
summit to do actual work”. I very much doubt that the economics are going
to be “Hey look, we saved X by NOT having two Conference and Expo’s a year,
let’s spend that X on sending developers to the design summit”.

Given that OpenStack is now large enough, and there are enough projects
around, one would have to get a rather sizeable venue even for the design
summit. And a large venue would likely end up being a large event. I’m not
able to see how you’d get away with two events being less expensive than
one.

I fear that the consequence of this proposal will be that we’ll be forced
to project based mid-cycle style events. A great thing about the single
event is that you get to attend sessions from a number of projects that are
of interest and relevant, and with project-focused events that would be
lost entirely.

-amrith

From: Morgan Fainberg [mailto:morgan.fainberg@gmail.com]
Sent: Sunday, February 07, 2016 4:17 PM
To: OpenStack Development Mailing List (not for usage questions) <
openstack-dev@lists.openstack.org>
Subject: Re: [openstack-dev] [all][tc] Proposal: Separate design
summits from OpenStack conferences

On Sun, Feb 7, 2016 at 12:07 PM, Jay Pipes jaypipes@gmail.com wrote:

Hello all,

tl;dr
=====

I have long thought that the OpenStack Summits have become too commercial
and provide little value to the software engineers contributing to
OpenStack.

I propose the following:

1) Separate the design summits from the conferences
2) Hold only a single OpenStack conference per year
3) Return the design summit to being a low-key, low-cost working event

details
=======

The design summits originally started out as working events. Developers
got together in smallish rooms, arranged chairs in a fishbowl, and got to
work planning and designing.

With the OpenStack Summit growing more and more marketing- and
sales-focused, the contributors attending the design summit are often
unfocused. The precious little time that developers have to actually work
on the next release planning is often interrupted or cut short by the large
numbers of "suits" and salespeople at the conference event, many of which
are peddling a product or pushing a corporate agenda.

I've had this discussion with a number of developers with mixed views, but
generally speaking it's been positively received. I would like to see this
split occur. It would allow the dev work be more focused and be less
overwhelming by also needing to deal with the Conference and Expo.

Many contributors submit talks to speak at the conference part of an
OpenStack Summit because their company says it's the only way they will pay
for them to attend the design summit. This is, IMHO, a terrible thing. The
design summit is a working event. Companies that contribute to OpenStack
projects should send their engineers to working events because that is
where work is done, not so that their engineer can go give a talk about
some vendor's agenda-item or newfangled product.

++ 100% agree, I would hope this is in-fact the case. If it isn't, we need
to work to change that.

Part of the reason that companies only send engineers who are giving a
talk at the conference side is that the cost of attending the OpenStack
Summit has become ludicrously expensive. Why have the events become so
expensive? I can think of a few reasons:

a) They are held every six months. I know of no other community or open
source project that holds conference-type events every six months.

b) They are held in extremely expensive hotels and conference centers
because the number of attendees is so big.

c) Because the conferences have become sales and marketing-focused events,
companies shell out hundreds of thousands of dollars for schwag, for rented
event people, for food and beverage sponsorships, for keynote slots, for
lavish and often ridiculous parties, and more. This cost means less money
to send engineers to the design summit to do actual work.

I would love to see the OpenStack contributor community take back the
design summit to its original format and purpose and decouple it from the
OpenStack Summit's conference portion.

I believe the design summits should be organized by the OpenStack
contributor community, not the OpenStack Foundation and its marketing and
event planning staff. This will allow lower-cost venues to be chosen that
meet the needs only of the small group of active contributors, not of huge
masses of conference attendees. This will allow contributor companies to
send more engineers to more design summits, which is something that
really needs to happen if we are to grow our active contributor pool.

So this is more akin to the midcycles? I am in support of this as long as
we have enough support from the Foundation (also for things such as visa
letters, etc) to ensure we have large-enough-ish venues for the required
cross-project working, if this supplanted the mid-cycles as well I could
see it being a win. Reducing the travel for contributors to 1 or 2 venues
[especially for those cross-project], would be fantastic.

Once this decoupling occurs, I think that the OpenStack Summit should be
renamed to the OpenStack Conference and Expo to better fit its purpose and
focus. This Conference and Expo event really should be held once a year, in
my opinion, and continue to be run by the OpenStack Foundation.

I, for one, would welcome events that have no conference check-in area, no
evening parties with 2000 people, no keynote and powerpoint-as-a-service
sessions, and no getting pulled into sales meetings.

OK, there, I said it.

Thoughts? Criticism? Support? Suggestions welcome.

-jay

I, for one, am happy to see this discussion start on the ML.

--Morgan


OpenStack Development Mailing List (not for usage questions)
Unsubscribe: OpenStack-dev-request@lists.openstack.org?subject:unsubscribe
http://lists.openstack.org/cgi-bin/mailman/listinfo/openstack-dev

--
Kind Regards,
Alexander Makarov,
Senior Software Developer,

Mirantis, Inc.
35b/3, Vorontsovskaya St., 109147, Moscow, Russia

Tel.: +7 (495) 640-49-04
Tel.: +7 (926) 204-50-60

Skype: MAKAPOB.AJIEKCAHDP


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responded Feb 7, 2016 by Alexander_V_Makarov (900 points)   1 2
0 votes

On Sun, 2016-02-07 at 15:07 -0500, Jay Pipes wrote:
Hello all,

tl;dr
=====

I have long thought that the OpenStack Summits have become too
commercial and provide little value to the software engineers
contributing to OpenStack.

I propose the following:

1) Separate the design summits from the conferences
2) Hold only a single OpenStack conference per year
3) Return the design summit to being a low-key, low-cost working
event
[...]

So having seen the other side from the Linux Foundation, here's the
problem with this (note I hate 2000+ people parties and huge queues to
get badges and I really appreciate smaller events but ...).

First, I don't actually think there's a problem: The design summits are
usually well separated from the big conference (I mean, in Vancouver it
was even in a separate building). If you don't want to see the
powerpoint sessions, you really don't have to go to them. I like this
setup because I often speak at the OpenStack summit, so the design
summit provides a nice quiet space to meet more like minded people and
to escape from the huge press of the OpenStack summit itself.

Secondly, someone has to pay for a separated design summit. OpenStack
is awash with cash at the moment, so perhaps this is less of an issue
now, but if we have a sudden IT economic crisis, it will become much
more of one. Planning ahead is always useful.

Thirdly, one of the draws to the OpenStack summit is the ability to
interact with the people who build it. Not only for the sales and
marketing meetings you hate, but also for outreach: people unsure if
OpenStack is the thing for them to get involved in also come and talk
to developers (their employers often pay because the summit OpenStack
is a big thing and the potential developers can often quietly sneak off
to the design summit). If you take that away, you'll damage both the
OpenStack summit and some of the outreach communications efforts.

Just by way of comparison, our two big Linux Summits, the Kernel Summit
and LSF/MM, generate enough cash to stand on their own, but we usually
co-locate them with other Linux Foundation events for precisely the
reasons above.

James


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responded Feb 7, 2016 by James_Bottomley (2,940 points)   2 2
0 votes

On 02/07/2016 02:07 PM, Jay Pipes wrote:
Hello all,

tl;dr
=====

I have long thought that the OpenStack Summits have become too
commercial and provide little value to the software engineers
contributing to OpenStack.

I propose the following:

1) Separate the design summits from the conferences
2) Hold only a single OpenStack conference per year
3) Return the design summit to being a low-key, low-cost working event

details
=======

The design summits originally started out as working events. Developers
got together in smallish rooms, arranged chairs in a fishbowl, and got
to work planning and designing.

With the OpenStack Summit growing more and more marketing- and
sales-focused, the contributors attending the design summit are often
unfocused. The precious little time that developers have to actually
work on the next release planning is often interrupted or cut short by
the large numbers of "suits" and salespeople at the conference event,
many of which are peddling a product or pushing a corporate agenda.

Many contributors submit talks to speak at the conference part of an
OpenStack Summit because their company says it's the only way they will
pay for them to attend the design summit. This is, IMHO, a terrible
thing. The design summit is a working event. Companies that contribute
to OpenStack projects should send their engineers to working events
because that is where work is done, not so that their engineer can go
give a talk about some vendor's agenda-item or newfangled product.

Part of the reason that companies only send engineers who are giving a
talk at the conference side is that the cost of attending the OpenStack
Summit has become ludicrously expensive. Why have the events become so
expensive? I can think of a few reasons:

a) They are held every six months. I know of no other community or open
source project that holds conference-type events every six months.

b) They are held in extremely expensive hotels and conference centers
because the number of attendees is so big.

c) Because the conferences have become sales and marketing-focused
events, companies shell out hundreds of thousands of dollars for schwag,
for rented event people, for food and beverage sponsorships, for keynote
slots, for lavish and often ridiculous parties, and more. This cost
means less money to send engineers to the design summit to do actual work.

I would love to see the OpenStack contributor community take back the
design summit to its original format and purpose and decouple it from
the OpenStack Summit's conference portion.

I believe the design summits should be organized by the OpenStack
contributor community, not the OpenStack Foundation and its marketing
and event planning staff. This will allow lower-cost venues to be chosen
that meet the needs only of the small group of active contributors, not
of huge masses of conference attendees. This will allow contributor
companies to send more engineers to more design summits, which is
something that really needs to happen if we are to grow our active
contributor pool.

Once this decoupling occurs, I think that the OpenStack Summit should be
renamed to the OpenStack Conference and Expo to better fit its purpose
and focus. This Conference and Expo event really should be held once a
year, in my opinion, and continue to be run by the OpenStack Foundation.

I, for one, would welcome events that have no conference check-in area,
no evening parties with 2000 people, no keynote and
powerpoint-as-a-service sessions, and no getting pulled into sales
meetings.

OK, there, I said it.

Thoughts? Criticism? Support? Suggestions welcome.

I agree with the overall suggestion. I have a few additional thoughts.

First - so that nobody thinks we're saying negative things- I think that
the Foundation Staff has done an amazing job in running these events so
far. That we've gotten to the point where this conversation is useful is
a testament to how well they've done their job. I'd like to make sure
that the tone of "take it back" doesn't become 'tech folks vs.
foundation staff' thing - but rather framing the problem as to being
able to distribute some of the burden so that they can focus on the big
hoopla events. I expect we'll still need their involvement even if the
design summit turned into a complete grass-roots thing. Making sure all
of the things we do are collaborations is key.

Second - what is now the Ops Mid-cycle is much better suited to be
co-located with the Conference and Expo. The people who are selling
products and the people who are running clouds are much more naturally
aligned (running a cloud? try buying our $insert-product-here which
makes your cloud awesome) than the Conference is with the Design Summit.

Third - the one thing where I disagree slightly - I think two-a-year is
fine by me given the alternating US / non-US nature of things. Having a
conference in the US every other year would be not enough, and excluding
our non-US friends from the party seems also a bit much. That said -
again to your point above, if this is an actual customer/user event then
our companies do not need to send hundreds of devs to the semi-annual
alternating event and the normal economics of event budgets can totally
come in to play. Also, the "parties" can be customer events like they
are at other events, rather than needing to feel inclusive of a sea of
2000 developers - many of whom are tired and would prefer to stop going
to parties and would rather sit around and talk about the hard technical
problems.

Fourth - I agree about having it be tech-community organized. I
specifically suggest a model similar to how DebConf, Linux Conf
Australia and PyCon operate - where teams in cities put in bids to the
community to host the event. LCA usually gets hosted on a University
campus somewhere. (guess who can easily handle 2000 developers wifi
needs? Universities who are normally filled with thousands of youngsters
with a billion wifi enabled devices, that's who)

Fifth - if we do this, the real need for the mid-cycles we currently
have probably goes away since the summit week can be a legit
wall-to-wall work week.

Sixth - there is a logistical issue of design summit tied to release
schedule which is tied to venue rentals which are planed a decent amount
out because of size. If we want to decouple, we're likely going to have
to have either a single short or a single long release cycle so that we
can shift the release calendar to be offset from the conferences. I
would personally suggest a single short cycle. Know how people keep
talking about a no-features cycle? How about if we did that, but did it
over a 3-month release? In any case, if we did this - it would also mean
that the conference could actually be a place where people could talk
about the latest release and what problems they've solved / how to use
the new features in it - rather than people mainly talking about the
previous release because it's the only thing they've had time to use.

Seventh - my biggest concern is something James Bottomley said in an
email after I started writing this long thing ... that without the
'draw' of the conference part, we lose key people from being able to
come. That said - we have people travelling to mid-cycles without
conferences currently - if the ask for devs goes from 4 events a year to
2 events a year, maybe it won't be too much of a decline - or maybe even
better.

Those are just my thoughts - take them for what they're worth.

Monty


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responded Feb 8, 2016 by Monty_Taylor (22,780 points)   2 5 8
0 votes

On Sun, Feb 7, 2016 at 8:07 PM, Jay Pipes jaypipes@gmail.com wrote:

[snip]

Many contributors submit talks to speak at the conference part of an
OpenStack Summit because their company says it's the only way they will pay
for them to attend the design summit. This is, IMHO, a terrible thing. The
design summit is a working event. Companies that contribute to OpenStack
projects should send their engineers to working events because that is
where work is done, not so that their engineer can go give a talk about
some vendor's agenda-item or newfangled product.

[snip]

I mostly agree with you on the points you make, but I want to call out this
bit specifically.

We live in a world in which we have trouble getting employers to send
people to our extremely cost conscious mid-cycles. Do we really think that
those people will be able to come to design summits if there isn't a user
conference to "drag" their attendance? The data certainly says that we get
more people at nova design summit sessions than we do at mid-cycles
currently.

I'd want concrete reassurances that the right people would be able to come
to the redesigned thing before I'd want to change.

Michael

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responded Feb 8, 2016 by Michael_Still (16,180 points)   3 6 14
0 votes

On Mon, Feb 8, 2016 at 1:51 AM, Monty Taylor mordred@inaugust.com wrote:

[snip]

Fifth - if we do this, the real need for the mid-cycles we currently have
probably goes away since the summit week can be a legit wall-to-wall work
week.

[snip]

Another reply to a specific point...

I disagree strongly here, at least in the Nova case. I feel Nova has been
getting along much better and generally pulling in the same direction for
the last few releases. I think one of the things we did to get there is the
mid-cycles, which gave us more time to sync on the overall direction of
Nova, as well as ensuring we start being honest at this point in the
release cycle about what we're going to get done before we ship.

For Nova at least its really important to have an approximately milestone 2
check point where we can decide what to defer and what to focus on.
Otherwise we end up back in a place where we release a mish mash of half
finished features.

Michael

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responded Feb 8, 2016 by Michael_Still (16,180 points)   3 6 14
0 votes

If you compare the number of people that come to mid-cycles with the number
of people that come
to the summit and attend the design summit, i am sure (without knowing
exact numbers) that there is a big difference
in favor of the design summit.

I also think that its important that users/operators meet and discuss their
use cases and problems with the developers
this is the only chance to really do this on large open scale.

I dont think splitting the two is a good idea.

Maybe the solution is to split the design summits sessions into mini
smaller sessions and delegate responsibility,
hopefully smaller teams can achieve better more focused milestones.
(From my small 2 summits experience, usually the last day with the open
talks is the most efficient one)

Another thing we need to get better at are "virtual sprints" working
groups, i think that we still need to see
how to make these work more efficiently but i have a feeling they can be
efficient with certain responsibility
from the people attending.

Gal

On Mon, Feb 8, 2016 at 5:42 AM, Michael Still mikal@stillhq.com wrote:

On Mon, Feb 8, 2016 at 1:51 AM, Monty Taylor mordred@inaugust.com wrote:

[snip]

Fifth - if we do this, the real need for the mid-cycles we currently have
probably goes away since the summit week can be a legit wall-to-wall work
week.

[snip]

Another reply to a specific point...

I disagree strongly here, at least in the Nova case. I feel Nova has been
getting along much better and generally pulling in the same direction for
the last few releases. I think one of the things we did to get there is the
mid-cycles, which gave us more time to sync on the overall direction of
Nova, as well as ensuring we start being honest at this point in the
release cycle about what we're going to get done before we ship.

For Nova at least its really important to have an approximately milestone
2 check point where we can decide what to defer and what to focus on.
Otherwise we end up back in a place where we release a mish mash of half
finished features.

Michael

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Best Regards ,

The G.


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responded Feb 8, 2016 by gal.sagie_at_gmail.c (4,700 points)   2 4 8
0 votes

Jay Pipes wrote:
tl;dr
=====

I have long thought that the OpenStack Summits have become too
commercial and provide little value to the software engineers
contributing to OpenStack.

I propose the following:

1) Separate the design summits from the conferences
2) Hold only a single OpenStack conference per year
3) Return the design summit to being a low-key, low-cost working event
[...]

I agree with most of the things that have been said so far. I think the
upstream community can't really get its work done in the current
setting, and that it's too costly for companies to send most of their
developers to classy hotels in expensive cities. I therefore think it
would be beneficial to separate the events.

I agree that a separated design summit should be in lower-cost venues
and smaller cities. But I don't think that the "OpenStack contributor
community" can or should directly organize them. I happen to have a foot
on both sides, and I can tell you organizing those events is extremely
time consuming. I know exactly who would end up with the burden of
organizing those events in the end -- and those are the same overworked
cross-project core of developers that fill all the gaps in OpenStack.

I don't want to risk even more burnout from that group by forcing them
into the craziness of organizing such events every 6 months. I don't
think the issue with the Design Summit is that the Foundation staff and
FNTech organizes them. It's mostly my team working on it on the staff
side -- and I think Mike Perez and myself qualify as "OpenStack
contributor community". The issue is with the bundling of the two
events, and that can be fixed while still letting a specialized event
team do all the heavy lifting.

The timing of this thread is unfortunate, since after Tokyo I have
actually been working on a solution for separation myself, and the
Foundation is finalizing a strawman proposal that should soon be pushed
for comments to the community. It involves changes to the main
conference event as well.

So please stand by while we finalize that: I think you will like the end
result.

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responded Feb 8, 2016 by Thierry_Carrez (57,480 points)   3 9 16
...