Over the past couple years, those of us involved with OpenStack have had goals creating a lasting and sustaining project by increasing contribution to and adoption of OpenStack. Over this time, there have been many efforts at increasing contribution. Most of these efforts have been targeted at large corporations like HP, Cisco, IBM, Dell and RackSpace as well as smaller focused companies like Mirantis, Piston and CloudScaling getting them to jump on board with developers.
These efforts have been largely successful, measured by both number of developers and lines of code.
While there has been continued increase in both contributors and contribution, the bulk of contributions come from larger corporations, not individuals or operators. Also, the focus is generally in the functional elements that tie into each corporations products. Many times items like training, enablement and documentation are left to a very small group of people. In my opinion this is a challenge we must overcome.
Enter OpenStack Training Guides, a project housed under the OpenStack-Docs project. The founding members are Sean Roberts from Yahoo, and Colin McNamara from Nexus IS. Over the past couple years Sean and I have been running experiments in the user group community on how to increase contribution.
My perspective has always been based off my experience with Linux in the late 90’s. By focusing on lowering barriers to adoption of OpenStack, a small percentage of adopters will become contributors. This also gets a higher quality user base (contributing bugs). This increased user base also continues to incent the large corporate members to increase their focus and integration into OpenStack as they see an increased market to sell too.
The goals of OpenStack Training Guides are simple -
- Provide a structured training program to enable skill development for maintaining, consuming, and contributing to OpenStack
- Align to the OpenStack Foundation certification program
- Increase accuracy and usability of documentation and training by engaging user groups and community members across the world
- Increase the amount of skilled engineers and developers in the hiring pool for OpenStack operators and developers
- Enable underrepresented / economically disadvantaged users groups and communities (Africa, Vietnam, Etc) to develop valuable and marketable skills.
Work on OpenStack training informally started in early 2012 with experiments in the SFbay OpenStack meetup group. These experiments created a couple key contributors to OpenStack, most notably the Neutron contributor who runs OpenStack SDN at a highly visible Silicon Valley OpenStack user.
Further unofficial work continued in early 2013, as the foundation voted to approve an OpenStack foundation managed certification program. With that milestone achieved Sean and I officially started the OpenStack training guides project, under OpenStack docs on June 18 of 2013 with a goal of releasing with the Havana release.
OpenStack Training Guides – BluePrint – https://blueprints.launchpad.net/openstack-manuals/+spec/training-manuals
- In the Ninety days since we got the BluePrint approved a significant amount of work has occurred. Continuous Integration systems (Jenkins / Zuul) were configured to support quality review and publishing.
- Project management frameworks were created in Trello https://trello.com/b/XaRTBVGq/openstack-training
- Core and Community members were recruited through companies and MeetUp groups around the world
- 4 tier training and certification structure created and documented.
- User stories (fitting into a Scrum/Ban project model) describing the items necessary for the associates guide.
- Guide structure, including publishing from XML source to HTML, PDF created using DocBooks v5
- International sprint housed in September housed at the Nexus IS Pleasanton offices, and Aptira offices worldwide.
- Much more work, contained and documented in the Trello board.
Meeting location and time and document locations
All OpenStack project meetings are housed on IRC. We are holding our OpenStack Training meetings at 7:00AM Pacific (GMT-8) on freenode chat.freenode.net on the channel #openstack-meeting-alt .
Notes are captured via meeting bot at http://eavesdrop.openstack.org/meetings/training_manuals/2013/
openstack-training docs http://docs.openstack.org/trunk/training-guide
weekly meeting agenda https://wiki.openstack.org/wiki/Meetings/training-manuals
trello storyboard https://trello.com/board/openstack-training/51d6e5fee37248fd5b003de9
sfbay-openstack hackathon https://etherpad.openstack.org/sfbay-openstack
Current Status – 10/1/2013
Our current sprint was established in September, starting with the International sprint day. This weeks progress in the repo has been a little light, however we are waiting for a merge from Prahnav of content and scripts that are currently housed in the Aptira repo. Since many of the contributors in this project contribute on their own time (nights and weekends) we tend to notice weeks with lots of activity, and then light weeks. This last week being a light week.
- Configuration scripts for single node resources created (needs to be merged)
- Graphics for single node were completed
- International hangout held with OpenStack India Meetup leader. Identifying target beta groups.
There are two items that are blocking major progress in the projects
- Translation of developer docs in ReStructuredText (RST) format into Docbooks v5 XML for inclusion into training guides
- Adding new contributors to increase our BurnDown rate from 2 to 4 which will bring us in line with the Havana release schedule
- The most critical item is the RST —> Docbooks translator. I (colinmcnamara) have made progress, estimated at 70% completion at using the pandoc tools to convert between the formats, though there are still build issues using the Maven plugins. If I can’t find a solution to this we will move forward with creating smaller include files with the source doc path as an XML comments to maintain forward progress.
Priority Items for this week
The priority items for this week are the following -
- Merge in the content Prahnav created
- Resolve the ReStructuredText to DockBooks-v5 issue
- Create Training Guides presentation for delivery at Minneapolis OpenStack users group on 10/22
- Have SFbay OpenStack MeetUp group validate the VirtualBox install and configuration documentation on Thursday at Yahoo
- Provide 1:1 with Alagalah (Keith Burns) mentoring on contribution workflow