Courageously Contributing - How OpenStack moves past conflict through patience and persistence.

Short Form


Contributing code to open source projects can be intimidating. Disagreements happen, and we can find our changes caught in the middle. What can we do about it?


OpenStack is a free and open-source software platform for cloud computing, mostly deployed as an infrastructure-as-a-service.

Providing a cloudy infrastructure is hard, and writing a single set of tools to provide a general solution targeting arbitrary hardware and at arbitrary deployment size (from public clouds, to private and personal clouds) is exceptionally hard.

Contributors, whether new to OpenStack or veteran, face a steep challenge. The community can be very picky about changes.

We will examine a few select changes proposed within OpenStack and discuss how the authors developed consensus in the community around their changes to identify what worked well and what didn’t. From that we can look for lessons to help us to contribute more effectively.


contributing, open-source, community, conflict

Speaking experience

I've done a couple talks at high school career days and the odd presentation in school or university, long ago. I have no conference speaking experience. This talk is content that I am still developing, so I have not given the talk before.


  • Steve Lewis



    Steve is a software development team lead at Rackspace where he works as a core reviewer for a few OpenStack projects and is engaged with a few others. He acts as technical lead for Glance with the OpenStack Innovation Center. He was previously a principal developer and team lead at Monsoon Commerce.

    He otherwise occupies himself with maintaining an old Portland home with his partner, keeping up on their gardening and yard sculpting projects, and serving as a warm bed to their aging cat. These activities mostly keep him too busy to engage in the activities which used to constitute his hobbies. He has been caught stuffing his face with a taco and nodding approvingly in an episode of a short-lived Food Network series.