What are User Groups?
What are user groups?
In many places, people running clouds or building apps on them get together in person to discuss OpenStack, share knowledge and experiences (sometimes with the developers who build OpenStack too!). User Groups are little pockets of our global community, where you can go to learn and meet people in an informal setting.
What happens at a user group meeting?
Every user group is different. Many have a strong social element, so there might be food and drink. Someone might give a presentation. It's best to carefully check the agenda so you can make the most of your time.
How are user groups organised?
Normally a passionate person finds a couple of friends and decides they would like to make a group, who will be the first organisers. They try to find other people nearby to join and help schedule the meetings and content. Over time, more volunteers should emerge to help share the burden. The organisers are donating their time to the cause, so support them if you can! You can read more on organising a meetup here.
Why are groups important?
Aside from the reasons mentioned above, user groups are essential for the OpenStack project as they spread awareness and knowledge, recruit developers, encourage and users to provide feedback and more.
Will vendors try to sell me things at a user group?
User groups must be non-commercial, though they may accept sponsorship to cover costs. For example, in order to justify providing money to book a venue, a sponsor may be given an opportunity to do a short pitch by the organiser, but it should not be the main focus of the meeting. You may also see sponsor logos on the meeting website or on signage, however no-one should be pressuring you to buy anything at a user group. The OpenStack Foundation also mandates other restrictions such as not allowing the use of your registration details for marketing - more can be found at the Event Policy .
What is the OpenStack Foundation?
The OpenStack Foundation is the non-profit, neutral organisation that exists to protect, empower and promote OpenStack and its community. User groups don't have a direct relation with the OpenStack Foundation, but since they use the OpenStack name and logo, the Foundation works to ensure they meet certain requirements.
What happens if something goes wrong at a user group?
Activities at OpenStack user groups must comply with the OpenStack Community Code of Conduct and other policies. If you feel uncomfortable or unsafe, do take action. There are contact details for Foundation staff in the policy if needed.