Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Are operators welcome to the PTG?
A: Yes! Engaged operators and developers are all contributors, helping to make our projects better. If the teams, workgroups or SIGs they are involved with are taking the opportunity to meet at the PTG, all team members should join to get work done with their co-workers.
Q: Which groups can meet at the PTG?
A: There are lots of ways to contribute. We have upstream project teams, User Committee working groups, Special Interest Groups (SIGs), pop-up work groups around a specific issue, and other styles of teams. Event organizers have taken a pretty liberal approach as to which group can request a “track” at the event: if you’re engaged and openly collaborating to make one of the OSF-supported open source project better, your team can get space to meet at the PTG. Contact [email protected] to request space.
Q: Is my workgroup forced to meet at the PTG?
A: Each team is free to decide if they want to leverage the PTG to meet in-person or not. Sometimes a team is small, or dominated by one organization, or coming from the same far-away geographic region and it does not make much sense for team members to travel to the PTG to meet. And sometimes it would benefit from getting together to build trust and get work done more effectively over the next 6 months. The decision to participate is theirs. We still encourage leaders and cross-team liaisons from all workgroups to participate to the event to represent their team, whether their team actually meets at the PTG or not.
Q: Why are you co-hosting PTGs with Summits?
A: When PTGs were first introduced, we ran them as a completely-separated time and location from our other events. It allowed us to have a productive week away from the distraction of the gigantic show that the OpenStack Summit had become. But one issue with running PTGs at completely different times from Summits was the difficulty to justify going to four events per year internationally to follow our projects. As a result, in 2019 a different trade-off will be tried: the PTGs will stay as a separated event, but will be co-located in the same city and week as the Summits. This should reduce the number of trips required, at the expense of making a long work week.
Q: What is the Forum?
A: The Forum is a community-driven, open design event happening at the Summit. It is primarily focused on strategic discussions and planning for the future of our projects (the “what”). The idea is to take advantage of having all of our community (Devs, Ops, End users…) represented to hold cross-community discussions there. That means getting feedback from users and operators over specific projects in our last releases, gathering pain points and priorities for upcoming development, proposing changes and see what the community thinks of them, and recruiting and onboarding new team members.
Q: What is the difference between PTGs and Forums?
A: The Forum is a part of the OpenStack Summit event. It has a pre-announced schedule, organized in 40-min slots to discuss specific topics. The Forum takes advantage of having a larger cross-section of our community present to gather wide feedback on strategic issues, helping to shape the future of OpenStack and set priorities. At the Forum, we discuss the “what”, we take the pulse of the community, we engage outside of our existing teams and established contributor base.
In contrast, the PTG is more to discuss within our contributor teams, between people engaged to actively work on making OpenStack better. At the PTGs, we discuss the “how”, get agreement, build trust, assign work items and get work done. The PTG is dynamically scheduled during the event itself, to give teams a lot of flexibility and maximize productivity.
Q: Are ops and devs still needed at the main Summit?
A: Operators and developers are still very much needed at the main Summit. The Summit is where all of the OpenStack community gets together and where the feedback loop happens. All teams need to be represented there, to engage in strategic discussions, collect the feedback on their project, communicate about their group work, discuss cross-community topics, reach out to new people and onboard new developers. We also very much want to have operators and developers give presentations at the conference portion of the Summit.
Q: The Project Teams Gathering sounds like a huge event. How am I expected to be productive there? Or to be able to build social bonds with my small team?
A: Project Teams Gatherings are much smaller events compared to Summits (think 300 people rather than 3000). Each workgroup is allocated a specific, separate meeting area, in which they will be able to organize their schedule and work however they see fit. Past attendees have described the PTG as one of the most productive events they ever attended. The only moment where everyone meets is around lunch. We organize a limited number of social events (happy hours, karaoke, game night) and encourage teams to organize team dinners and build strong social bonds.