Coding CC Rights: Kyle McCormick

Per the conversation here as well as OEP-54, I’m asking to formalize my involvement in the Open edX community via the Core Contributor program.

Who I am

Hello! :wave: My name is Kyle McCormick (@kdmccormick on GitHub and Slack). I’ve been working as a developer on the Open edX project for about 4 years, first as an intern at edX, then as a full edX employee, and now as a member of tCRIL. My major contributions to the platform are around the Content Core (block transformers, course_overviews, learning_sequences), the Learning MFE, Library Authoring, and Devstack. Lately, I’ve working to support the community’s move from Devstack to Tutor.

My Current Access and Why I Have It

I’m currently an organization-wide admin (aka “owner”) for the openedx GitHub organization. This grants me access to configure settings & user access on the organization and all of its repositories. It also grants me global write access, which means that I can push branches, leave qualifying PR reviews, and merge PRs for all repositories.

I use the admin-level permissions primarily while taking my turn on the tCRIL on-call rotation, where we handle both access concerns and GitHub apps and secrets management.

From time to time, I also use the admin access for housekeeping tasks such as fixing CI configuration, managing issue templates, updating repository descriptions and curating the pinned repositories. If I were to leave the tCRIL on-call rotation, I wouldn’t mind giving up this access, especially once we’re at a point where more repositories have dedicated maintainers who can be responsible for these sort of housekeeping tasks.

Lastly, I use the global write access to create, review, and merge PRs across various repositories. Again, if I left tCRIL on-call, I would not mind scoping this down to a smaller set of repositories. The ones that align most with my platform experience and expected upcoming work are edx-platform, xblock, blockstore, frontend-app-learning, frontend-app-library-authoring, devstack, and openedx-learning.

Comment Period

I would like to retain the rights I have currently in order to be on the tCRIL on-call rotation. If I ever leave that rotation, I would post here again to either propose scoped-down access rights for myself or provide updated reasoning for why I’d need org-level admin rights.

As usual, this needs 5+ “yes” votes and zero “no” votes to pass. And, of course, anyone can weigh in with concerns whether or not they’re CCs.

The comment period is normally 2 weeks starting today (March 1), but I am on vacation from March 8 to March 15, so I will extend it a third week. That means comments are open through Tue March 22.

Thanks for your consideration!


:+1: from me :smile:

Your operational support, brilliant development, considerate reviews of OSPRs, and growing vision for the platform and its components have been a huge help to me for LabXchange and OpenCraft’s blended projects. I’m pleased that you’ve joined tCRIL and want to continue in this program!

Well put, and nice precedent to set :slight_smile:


@kmccormick Thank you for doing this – and for everything you have done for the project! All :+1: from me to have you keep all your permissions, I’m sure we are better off this way. :slight_smile:


And here’s mine: +1, of course! :slight_smile:


:+1: from me.

Looking forward to replacing devstack!


:+1: from me too. Thanks for doing wonderful work on making stable devstack setup.

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Hope to learn a lot about moving to tutor and looking forward to your help.

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:+1: for me as well :slight_smile:

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Thanks @kmccormick, I also vote yes on you keeping those permissions.

I’d like to know your thoughts on the rotation. Do you think that leaving the tCRIL on-call rotation is something that might happen for some of the current members? is that rotation something that is called upon very often and will continue to be so? or is there a point of stability where this mechanism will be used so rarely that keeping a rotation is no longer warranted?

Thank you all for the kind words and votes of confidence :smile:

Great question. The current on-call engineer is pinged about once a day for a small task. Not a big commitment, but enough to be a noticeable distraction. For the time being, I think all tCRIL engineers will be on the rotation. IMO, for that to change, at least one of these things will need to happen:

  1. Config-as-code for GitHub: We have interest in moving management of the openedx GitHub organization under Terraform management using terraform-provider-github. Under such a system, all changes to the organization (access, repo config, org config, apps, etc) would become pull requests against a public Terraform repository, and a GitHub Action would terraform-apply the changes to the organization. tCRIL on-call could be scoped down to reviewing those pull requests, and going forward we would only need one or two org-level admins as fallbacks. We actually tried doing this during the edx->openedx organization migration, but we hit some API rate-limiting issues and had to backpedal in order to get the migration over the line. tCRIL still has interest in going down this path, but it’s lower priority than the efforts we already have in progress.
  2. More dedicated Open edX engineers @ tCRIL: 4-5 people is a healthy rotation size. Our current staffing makes 5-7 folks eligible for the rotation, so I think everyone’s going to be on it. If we hired more, perhaps a couple of the existing folks could switch out. I don’t know our hiring plans so I can’t say much else here.
  3. Other community members on the rotation: We haven’t talked much about this at tCRIL so take this with a grain of salt… but I don’t see why trusted core contributors outside of tCRIL couldn’t become part of the rotation and free up some tCRIL staff to leave it. There might be some legal or privacy barriers to granting organization-level admin rights outside of tCRIL so I can’t make promises, but if there’s interest in the community then that’s definitely a conversation we could start.

Thanks everyone for the insightful comments, and thanks to everyone who took the time to vote. As no concerns or objections were raised, please join me in welcoming @kmccormick to the Core Contributor program :tada:

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Thanks all! I’m honored to be a part of this group of stellar people :smile: