With the Tokyo summit wrapped up, I had a last bowl of ramen at the airport before heading home. At such times, one’s mind naturally turns to blogging. Yeah, nah.
Anyway, what I wanted to talk about today was the apparent realisation of an undercurrent of dissatisfaction with OpenStack. We saw a massive jump in the number of “detractors” in the user survey.
The number of people who would actively discourage people from using OpenStack increased massively over the last 6 months: 1 in 7 of people who have invested enough into OpenStack to reach production would not recommend using OpenStack.
That’s pretty worrying. Now, if you look at the overall NPS scores, they are still OK. Sure, we might have better scores than the software industry on average, but a quick web search suggests that OpenStack has a worse relationship with our community than most of our major sponsors have with their customers. Not a great outcome, especially if this data is the start of a trend.
Simultaneously, we also saw the results of the OpenStack Diversity survey. Perhaps unsurprisingly, there are some similar data points to the user survey: more than 10% of respondents experienced significant barriers to contribution. More than 1 in 4 did not feel very welcome or included in the community.
What does this mean for the community? It means we’re at an important decision point. We have warning signs in the data, and we need to take action. The Board of OpenStack Foundation approved a significant increase in expenditure for the next year, and frankly, it’s just in time. My fellow Foundation Director Kavit and I, along with the whole team at Aptira, look forward to working with the community and Foundation on ensuring that the investments made target the areas of improvement that the community is increasingly crying out for.
Most importantly, we need to hear more from the community. The User Committee mailing list and the Diversity Working Group are great places to discuss the issues that you face with people who really care about resolving these issues. Please look at these avenues, or if you want some clarifications, hit the comments below.
[All data sourced from presentations to the OpenStack Foundation Board of Directors. Many thanks to the User and Diversity Committees/Working Groups for their efforts in gathering this data.]