Chairman’s Corner: Great 2013 to even Greater 2014

2013 was a very active year for the OpenStack board of Directors – and as a personal note, a very enjoyable year.  When the Foundation launched in September of 2012, the critics were troubled that the Foundation would be led by such a large board of 24 members.  Although 24 is large for a board, I am happy to report that the benefits have far outweighed any drawbacks. A large board has allowed many viewpoints, opinions and expertise to be shared, considered and included as part of the decision process. It has served the Foundation well because the board members are focused on the community, are very active and committed to the success of the Foundation.

Over 2013 many new board initiatives were launched. Through these efforts, you can be assured that the Foundation’s finances, trademarks and other assets are under excellent care. The benefits of which will continue to manifest themselves throughout 2014 resulting in additional qualified members, OpenStack Summit travel assistance, aligned training efforts, user experience, adoption and case studies.

As a board we are excited by the prospects that 2014 brings. There are many areas where we want to grow and improve the Foundation.  Those of high importance are the ones we gather directly from the community. A few topics that I’d like to highlight, were gathered recapped at the Breakfast with the Board at the Hong Kong Summit.

Membership Growth

2013 has demonstrated tremendous community growth. Many of the people we talked to at the Summit are fairly new members of the community. We were very pleased to hear that their community experience has thus far been positive. They are encouraged by the tone of the community and the talented people whom are engaged in the effort.  2014 is the perfect point in time to help all members discover ways to contribute their talents and to develop collaborative connections across the community.

Recognition for Contribution

We all enjoy doing something that serves a purpose. Contributing to the OpenStack project provides many ways to do something meaningful. We have a very vibrant community with people who are very dedicated and passionate about what they do.  They give it their best because they’re passionate about the project’s future impact on technology. Finding ways to highlight people for what they do, we help the project to fulfill its purpose and help provide an environment where work has meaning.

Core Definition

OpenStack is enjoying tremendous growth with the number of new projects and programs. While this makes it exciting to be part of OpenStack development, for those that are new and those looking in from outside of the community, OpenStack could begin to look unfocused or fractured. Growth demonstrates the need to convey the message that the core and integrated components are mature and stable while the new projects bring exciting innovation. In our messaging, we’ll balance new features with stability and upgradeability of the code, while ensuring diversity of and innovation around non-core projects and plugins. Throughout 2013 working together the board and TC have been tackling this topic, working toward implementation in 2014.

Individual Director Elections

Over the past year, the board has been evaluating and looking for ways to improve the Individual Director’s election process. Given the dramatic growth of the community, the desire for diverse representation and community participation, the board has been analyzing potential options to find an alternative process that is preferred by the membership and that meets the legal requirements. Community feedback from Summit attendees clearly indicates a need for additional in-depth education prior to the board taking any form of action on this topic.

When a project has experienced as much early success as OpenStack has, it can be a tempting prediction to believe the momentum will slow down. But I’m not betting on it. We at the Foundation board are committed to building on our momentum this year, and these are just a few of the many fun initiatives that the board will tackle during 2014 to do so.  OpenStack is a fun project and a great community.  2013 was a great year. 2014 is going to be even more exciting!