OpenStack Technical Committee candidates
The election process to renew half of the OpenStack Technical Committee will start tomorrow with candidates self-nominating to run for election. As the chair of the existing Technical Committee (and running for reelection) I would like to share some thoughts on what would make in my opinion good TC members for the upcoming cycle.
A few words on the OpenStack Technical Committee role first. The role of the TC is to lead the "OpenStack" software development in general. Each individual project is lead by its project team and its PTL, but the TC leads "OpenStack" development. That includes defining the limits of what is considered "an OpenStack project": during the Kilo cycle we introduced new rules to handle that question, mostly based on alignment with the OpenStack Mission and determining if the new project team shares the common values OpenStack has been built on, behaves like an OpenStack project and therefore should be considered part of the OpenStack community. The role of the TC also includes providing guidance and advice to OpenStack projects, as well as driving horizontal efforts and solving cross-project issues.
The Technical Committee also serves as an ultimate appeals board to solve conflicts in our open source community. Its members are elected by all the OpenStack contributors and are trusted to make the right call should an issue escalate to them.
With all this said, what makes a good Technical Committee member ? I'd say the first attribute of a good candidate is how skilled they are and how respected their opinion is on the above topics. Do you trust them to make the right call as to what should be considered part of the OpenStack community ? Do you trust them to place "OpenStack" interest above specific projects (or specific companies) interest ? Do you trust their open source community experience to make the right judgment call in case issues are escalated ?
The other attribute is, I think, equally important. It's how much time you can specifically dedicate to the task of being a TC member. Being a good TC member takes a lot of time. It's not an honorific position where you happen to sit in a meeting one hour per week and decide the fate of OpenStack. It's about diving into proposals, look into new projects, drive cross-project initiatives, identify long-standing issues in our community and raise them. I spend about 40% of my work time working on TC stuff, and I wish I could spend more.
Let's be clear: I don't think that all TC members in the past had enough time to dedicate to Technical Committee work. They were all community leaders, skilled and trustworthy. But a lot of them had other fulltime responsibilities too, like being the PTL of a large OpenStack project, or being a manager in a major company or startup. In the end that meant the past TC members were not as active on cross-project matters as they could have been.
In liberty I'd like the Technical Committee to identify and propose plans to address long-standing issues in OpenStack in general. I'd like individual members to dive into specific projects and provide an audit of their current health. I'd like us to make things better, rather than limit ourselves to codifying governance. I'd like us to step out of the way, and start being more useful. That takes a lot of time.
So as self-nomination period opens, I would like to encourage new people to run for election. I'd like candidates to explain why they are fit for the job, and why they think they will have a lot of time for it. And I'd like voters to take that availability into account when they decide who to vote for.