Beautiful summary, Flavio, especially the points about creating new PTL's. It's the bus-number argument: How many people have to get hit by a bus for the project to falter? It's best to have a backup.
Also: Being a PTL is a full-time job. >From working with current and former PTL's, I've noticed that it's almost impossible to split your time between being a PTL and, say, being a member of the TC, or working on an employer's private feature/cloud/deployment/etc. For a far more eloquent explanation of why this is, I defer to Devananda's wonderful non-candidacy email last spring. http://lists.openstack.org/pipermail/openstack-dev/2015-April/062364.html Not many people have the privilege of working for a company that supports that level of upstream commitment. If your employer doesn't, send me your Resumé ;). Michael On Wed, Sep 9, 2015 at 8:15 AM Flavio Percoco <fla...@redhat.com> wrote: > Greetings, > > Next week many folks will be running for PTL positions and I thought > about taking the time to dump some thoughts about what being a PTL > means - at least for me - and what one should consider before running. > > Since the audience I want to reach is mostly in this mailing list, I > thought about sending it here as well. > >  http://blog.flaper87.com/post/something-about-being-a-ptl/ > Flavio > > > It's that time of the cycle, in OpenStack, when projects need to elect > who's going to be the PTL for the next 6 months. People look at the, > hopefully many, candidacies and vote based on the proposals that are > more sound to them. I believe, for the PTL elections, the voting > process has worked decently, which is why this post is not meant for > voters but for the, hopefully many, PTL candidates. > > First and foremost, thank you. Thanks for raising your hand and > willing to take on this role. It's an honor to have you in the > community and I wish you the best of lucks in this round. Below are a > few things that I hope will help you in the preparation of your > candidacy and that I also hope will help making you a better PTL and > community member. > > > Why do you want to be a PTL? > ============================ > > Before even start writing your candidacy, please, ask yourself why you > want to be a PTL. What is it that you want to bring to the project > that is good for both, the project and the community. You don't really > need to get stuck on this question forever, you don't really need to > bring something new to the project. > > In my opinion, a very good answer for the above could be: "I believe > I'll provide the right guidance to the community and the project." > > Seriously, one mistake that new PTLs often do is to believe they are > on their own. Turns out that PTLs arent. The whole point about being a > PTL is to help the community and to improve it. You're not going to do > that if you think you're the one pulling the community. PTLs ought to > work *with* the community not *for* the community. > > This leads me to my next point > > Be part of the community > ======================== > > Being a PTL is more than just going through launchpad and keeping an > eye on the milestones. That's a lot of work, true. But here's a > secret, it takes more time to be involved with the community of the > project you're serving than going through launchpad. > > As a PTL, you have to be around. You have to keep an eye on the > mailing list in a daily basis. You have to talk to the members of the > community you're serving because you have to be up-to-date about the > things that are happening in the project and the community. There may > be conflicts in reviews, bugs and you have to be there to help solving > those. > > Among all the things you'll have to do, the community should be in the > top 2 of your priorities. I'm not talking just about the community of > the project you're working on. I'm talking about OpenStack. Does your > project have an impact on other projects? Is your project part of > DefCore? Is your project widely deployed? What are the deprecation > guarantees provided? Does your project consume common libraries? What > can your project contribute back to the rest of the community? > > There are *many* things related to the project's community and its > interaction with the rest of the OpenStack community that are > important and that should be taken care of. However, you're not alone, > you have a community. Remember, you'll be serving the community, it's > not the other way around. Working with the community is the best thing > you can do. > > As you can imagine, the above is exhausting and it takes time. It > takes a lot of time, which leads me to my next point. > > Make sure you'll have time > ========================== > > There are a few things impossible in this world, predicting time > availability is one of them. Nonetheless, we can get really close > estimates and you should strive, *before* sending your candidacy, to > get the closest estimate of your upstream availability for the next 6 > months. > > Being a PTL is an upstream job, it's nothing - at the very least it > shouldn't have - to do with your actual employer. Being a PTL is an > *upstream* job and you have to be *upstream* to do it correctly. > > If you think you won't have time in a couple of months then, please, > don't run for PTL. If you think your manager will be asking you to > focus downstream then, please, don't run for PTL. If you think you'll > have other personal matters to take care of then, please, don't run > for PTL. > > What I'm trying to say is that you should sit down and think of what > your next 6 months will look like time-wise. I believe it's safe > enough to say that you'll have to spend 60% to 70% of your time > upstream, assuming the porject is a busy one. > > The above, though, is not to say that you shouldn't run when in doubt. > Actually, I'd rather have a great PTL for 3 months that'll then step > down than having the community being led by someone not motivated > enough that was forced to run. > > Create new PTLs > =============== > > Just like in every other leading possition, you should help creating > other PTLs. Understand that winning the PTL election puts you in a > position where you have to strive to improve the project and the > community. As part of your responsibilities with regards to the > community, you should encourage folks to run for PTL. > > Being a PTL takes a lot of time and energy and you'll have to step > down, eventually. As a PTL, you may want to have folks from the > community ready to take over when you'll step down. I believe it's > healthy for the community to change PTLs every 2 cycles (if not every > cycle). > > Community decides > ================= > > One of the things I always say to PTLs is that they are not dictators. > Decisions are still supposed to be taken by the community at large and > not by the PTL. However, being in a leading position gives you some > extra "trust" that the community may end up following. > > Remember that as a PTL, you'll be serving the community and not the > other way around. You should lead based on what is best for the > project and the community rather than based on what's best for your > company or, even worse, based on what will make your manager happy. If > those two things happen to overlap, then AWESOME! Many times they > don't, therefore you should be ready to take a pragmatic decision that > may not be the best for the company you work for and that, certainly, > won't make your manager happy. > > Are you ready to make that call? > > Closing > ======= > > By all means, this post is not meant to discourage you. If anything, > It's meant to encourage you to jump in and be amazing. It's been an > honor for me to have served as a PTL and I'm sure it'll be for you as > well. > > Despite it not being an exhaustive list and the role experiences > varying from one project to another, I hope the above will provide > enough information about what PTLs are meant to do so that your > excitement and desire to serve as one will grow. > > Thanks for considering being a PTL, I look forward to read your > candidacy. > > : Note to existing PTLs, consider stepping down and helping others > become PTLs. It's healthier for the community you're serving to change > PTLs > > -- > @flaper87 > Flavio Percoco > __________________________________________________________________________ > OpenStack Development Mailing List (not for usage questions) > Unsubscribe: openstack-dev-requ...@lists.openstack.org?subject:unsubscribe > http://lists.openstack.org/cgi-bin/mailman/listinfo/openstack-dev >
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