[OpenStack Foundation] Thinking about the mission of the user committeee

Dave Neary dneary at redhat.com
Thu Jan 10 10:03:30 UTC 2013

Hi Naryan,

I've read your other posts too, thanks for your thoughtful response.

On 01/10/2013 04:31 AM, Narayan Desai wrote:
> First, let me say what I mean by users. When I talk about users, I
> mean people who primarily consume the software and use it. Some of
> these people will contribute back, in terms of bug reports, or perhaps
> even bug fixes, but their primary scope of work is deployment and
> operation of openstack.

So you're talking about the individuals deploying and operating 
OpenStack in test and production environments? To summarise in few 
words, sysadmins and DevOps?

> Dave, I think that my formulation of the user category is somewhat
> orthogonal to the categories that you're talking about; conceptually
> it is the user/dev split.

My main issue with the user/dev split in this context is that it does 
not cover the spectrum of the OpenStack community - it does not cover 
people who are not Python coders but who (for example) provide marketing 
expertise, organisational support and budget, co-ordinating local 
meet-ups, package OpenStack for various distributions, do some of the 
glue work to make it install more easily, write documentation, work on 
the website and wiki, and so on.

OpenStack users will, in general, be getting OpenStack from a third 
party, be it Ubuntu, Red Hat, Fedora, Suse, whatever. Or they might make 
an organisational commitment, and then the CIO would be the key decision 
maker and bridge between his DevOps team and the foundation.

I think it would be useful for us to come up with a set of personas 
(personae?) covering the various types of "OpenStack user" - because I 
do not think that there is just one type. This would help us avoid the 
trap of using broad unqualified statements ("users often...", "these 
people usually...", "users tend to use...", "the focus of many users...").

> This leaves the question, how do we effectively build out this part of
> the ecosystem? I'm not sure that I have easy answers on this, but I
> think that this is the key issue that the user committee needs to
> tackle.

I think you raise good points about the user adoption cycle, and the 
various support channels which might be useful. But deciding which 
channels to prioritise, and where to expend energy short term, requires 
us to understand what the specific needs of OpenStack users are. 
Personas are a great tool for something like this.


Dave Neary - Community Action and Impact
Open Source and Standards, Red Hat - http://community.redhat.com
Ph: +33 9 50 71 55 62 / Cell: +33 6 77 01 92 13

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