Tag Archives: Training

Xen Project Contributor Training v2

Two weeks ago, I embarked onto a road trip to China with the aim to meet Xen Project users as well as contributors. I visited a number of vendors in Hangzhou and Beijing on this trip. Part of the objective was to give training to new contributors and developers, and to strengthen existing relationships.

Hypervisor contributions from Chinese developers

Hypervisor contributions from Chinese developers

A year ago I travelled to China and pioneered our developer training, because many of our Chinese developers had some challenges working with the community. The good news is that the training activities have helped, which can be seen in contribution statistics. This leads us to the “bad news”: a new group of developers joined the community, who could benefit from training. In addition, a lot of process and operational changes are currently discussed or have recently taken place within our community.

What is remarkable, is that many of the latest contributors to the project have only recently graduated from University (in 2014 or 2015). Working with the Xen Project and Linux was often their first experience with open source. Working with open source projects is not always easy, in particular when doing so in a non-native language and with a manager behind you, who expects that you get a feature into an open source project by a certain time. In addition, as a community we need to balance the needs of different stake-holders (enterprise, cloud, embedded, security companies) and make informed decisions on the relative importance of new features vs. quality vs. security vs. … which has led to increasingly strict criteria and more and more scrutiny, when reviewing code contributions. This means, that contributing to the project for the first time can sometimes feel like a real challenge. Part of the reason why I regularly travel to China, is to explain what is happening in the community, to explain that all members of the community can influence and shape how the project is run and to understand local community issues and address them as they occur.

Contributor Training v2

Since the creation of the training material last autumn, there have been a few changes in how the project operates. Most notably in the Security Vulnerability Management Process and Release Management. Many other areas of how the project operates are also being reviewed and discussed. The goals behind these discussions and proposed changes intend …

  • to make the communities’ development processes more efficient and scalable.
  • to make conscious decisions about trade-offs, such ease of feature contribution vs. quality and security.
  • to make it easier for newcomers to join the project.
  • to encourage more contributors to review other people’s code, test our software, write test code and make other non-code contributions to the project.

Thus, I updated our training material to reflect these changes and added new material. It is divided into 4 separate modules, each of which takes approximately 2.5 hours to deliver. The training decks are designed as reference material for self-study. Each training module has many examples and embedded links in it. The material is available from our Developer Intro Portal as slides or as PDFs. I embedded the updated and new training modules into this blog for your convenience:

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.

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.

Xen Hosting Solutions – Server Axis

When I started the Xen Blog site, I reached out to several Xen hosting companies and ended up using Slicehost. I wanted to acknowledge one of the other companies that responded to my request but was not selected. Note, the selection of Slicehost was not a decision made on technology so I strongly recommend both companies as great Xen hosting solutions.  

Server Axis virtual servers offer a complete replacement for low to mid range

dedicated servers using Xen.org paravirtualization technologies. Features

include a web-based control interface for immediate server reboots and OS

reinstallation. Our virtual dedicated servers (VDS) are hosted on machines

built with quality high performance components such as multi-core AMD Opteron

processors, Tyan mainboards, Corsair memory, 3ware raid controllers, and

Western Digital hard drives. Solutions available for servers requiring up to

4GB of dedicated memory and 400GB of disk space with your choice of Linux

distributions.

 

Server Axis Virtual Servers – http://serveraxis.com/vds.php