Amrith Kumar, OpenStack Trove PTL, reflects on the inaugural PTG and shares what he hopes to see in future events.


A very long time ago, and on a planet very unlike the one we are on now, Thierry Carrez sent this email proposing that, after the OpenStack Summit in Barcelona, the community should split the OpenStack Summit into–what have now come to be known as–a Design Summit and a Forum. The resulting mail thread was an active one, with about 125 responses. Along the way, Thierry also posted this, a summary of the issues and concerns raised.

I originally had my reservations about the idea, and now, after returning from the first of these, I have had some time to reflect on the result.

On the whole, the event was very well done, and I believe that everyone who attended the feedback session had positive things to say about the event (also, congratulations to Erin Disney and the rest of the team at the OpenStack Foundation). The attendance was a solid 500 to 600 people (I don’t know the exact number), and Thierry must’ve been a psychic because he predicted almost exactly that in February.

Pike Place Roast. Image courtesy of Masayuki Igawa (@masayukig)

I did not realize that the Foundation had gone as far as to get Starbucks to customize a blend of coffee for us, while persuading the Sheraton to distribute them in our rooms.

The format gave attendees the opportunity to get a significant amount of work done both within their own project teams and with other project teams, without the interruptions and distractions of the Summit.

I particularly liked the fact that I could attend two days of cross-project sessions and then two and a half days of sessions with other projects. By giving projects two or three room-days instead of four or five room-hours dramatically improved the amount of time that projects could focus on their own discussions and spend on cross project discussions.

Personally, I think the inaugural PTG was a success, and seems to have delivered most, if not all of the things that it set out to do. Some things that were out of our control (and certainly out the control of the Foundation) have cast a small shadow on the proceedings, and we need to seriously consider the consequences of where the next Summit and PTGs are. The location had implication for many attendees, and I think we need to seriously consider having remote participation at future events.

From my recollection of the feedback session (unfortunately I don’t have a link to the etherpad, if someone has it, please post a comment with it) everyone had good things to say about the event. The consensus was that the food was good but cold sandwiches get boring after the third day, the air handlers were noisy, the rooms were too cold (or hot), the chairs were uncomfortable, and there was no soda. That feedback is consistent with organizing an event for 500+ people in a hotel or convention facility anywhere in the world. And if that’s all that people could put down in the “needs improvement” section, the event was a huge success.

Also, I think the award for the best picture at the summit goes to the Designate team. I should’ve thought to get a Trove team photo while we were there!

Amrith Kumar, a frequent contributor to Superuser, is CTO and co-founder of Trove, has served as a project team lead (PTL) for Trove almost too many times to count and is co-author of  “Trove.”  This post first appeared on his Hype Cycles blog.



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Cover Photo // CC BY NC