Xen Project Contributor Training

A few weeks ago, I went onto a road trip to China with the aim to meet Xen Project users as well as contributors. When I was planning the trip, it became apparent that many of the developers in China are new to the project and had difficulties with Xen Project governance and how the project operated. As we also have had issues with increasing code review times due to a large influx of new developers, I put together some comprehensive training package targeted at new community members. When I started to develop the material, I realized that a lot of information related to the project’s culture, processes, conventions and communication style existed, but was not always easy to find and was not available in easily consumable way. So I spent a little more time on visualizing, adding examples, providing context, looked at communication styles and circumstances that can lead to community problems if one is not aware of them. I added some best practice that started to emerge in the project fairly recently around subjects such as design reviews, the release process, security vulnerability processes and other areas. Of course some of the material will also be applicable to other open source communities.

Coming back to the trip to China: I visited Alibaba in Hangzhou who use the Xen Project Hypervisor for many of their services including Alicloud (or Aliyun in Chinese), Citrix and Fujitsu in Nanjing each of which have large development teams there with many open source engineers including Xen Project developers and Intel in Shanghai who do much of their Virtualization, Graphics and OpenStack development on their Shanghai campus. Although the trip was hard work – after all I gave many hours of training and had many long meetings – I was impressed with the hospitality and the vibrancy of the Xen Project Developer community there. I also had a few evening dinners sampling the local cuisine, which was amazing. And I have to admit that there were a few attempts to test whether I qualify as an open source community member from a drink hardiness perspective: I think I succeeded in proving I am. A special thank you to Cai Zhimin (Fujitsu), Gui Jianfeng (Fujitsu) and Zheng Chai (Citrix) for taking some time out one evening and weekend and showing me some of the local Nanjing sights such as the Jiming Temple, the very impressive City Wall, Nanjing’s historic city center and a maple forest in its full autumn glory.

Contributor Training

You can find the actual training material below. It is divided into 3 separate modules, each of which takes approximately 2.5 hours to present. The deck is designed as reference material to read. Each training module has many examples and embedded links in it: you do need to download the PDF from slideshare or from our Developer Intro Portal to follow them though.

When I have some spare time I will create voiced over recordings of this material. Also if you have any questions, feel free to ask by contacting me via community dot manager at xenproject dot org and I will improve the material based on feedback. My plan is to keep the training material up-to-date and to modify it as new questions and new challenges arise.

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About Lars Kurth

Lars Kurth is a highly effective, passionate community manager with strong experience of working with open source communities (Symbian, Symbian DevCo, Eclipse, GNU) and currently is community manager for xen.org. Lars has 9 years of experience building and leading engineering teams and a track record of executing several change programs impacting 1000 users. Lars has 16 years of industry experience in the tools and mobile sector working at ARM, Symbian Ltd, Symbian Foundation and Nokia. Lars has strong analytical, communication, influencing and presentation skills, good knowledge of marketing and product management and extensive background in C/C , Java and software development practices which he learned working as community manager, product manager, chief architect, engineering manager and software developer. If you want to know more, check out uk.linkedin.com/in/larskurth. Personally, Lars has a wide range of interests such as literature, theatre, cinema, cooking and gardening. He is particularly fascinated by orchids and carnivorous plants and has built a rather large collection of plants from all over the world. His love for plants extends into a passion for travel, in particular to see plants grow in their native habitats.

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