Herding Cats: Getting an open source community to work on the same thing
Have you ever wondered how to get a big new feature completed in an open-source project? Getting people in the same company to work together can be a daunting task. Getting people to work together for a common goal when their employers actually compete with one another is quite a bit harder. Despite the challenges, the OpenStack Swift community came together to create the biggest new feature the project has ever seen.
Between June of 2013 and June of 2014, the OpenStack Swift community designed, built, and delivered storage policies, a major new feature that enables a ton of new use cases for users. This talk will briefly cover the feature implemented, but we'll mostly talk about how contributors from different companies came together and the lessons learned from that experience.
If you contribute an open source project, you'll want to hear what we did right, what we did wrong, tools we invented, tools we threw out, and how you can take these lessons we learned to your own project. We'll cover development work, review work, how we did communication, how we tracked tasks, and what we learned through it all.
John Dickinson is the Project Technical Lead for OpenStack Swift. He's one of the original developers in the OpenStack project and has been actively working in the OpenStack community since the project began. He has over ten years experience as a developer and has been responsible for both large and small scale production applications.
John currently works at SwiftStack, a storage company providing integrated storage solutions for enterprise organizations around the world.