Hello Open edX developers!
We (@Rebecca_S_Graber and @kmccormick) are starting a Developer Experience (“DevExp”) Working Group, with the goal of cooperating to improve the experience of developers working on the Open edX Platform.
The past year has shown exciting movement in various aspects of our developer tooling, including the Tutor V1 plugin API and other new Tutor dev features, the Tutor quickdev proposal, MFE Runtime Configuration, evaluating Tutor as a Devstack replacement at 2U, Jeremy’s holistic vision for an Open edX development environment, multiple threads about hosted development/testing environments, cleanup of the in-repo Dockerfiles, and the continuous removal of tooling cruft and complexity from edx-platform.
These efforts sometimes complement one another and sometimes diverge. One result of this is that Open edX has two prominent development environments (Devstack and Tutor), each with their own benefits, issues, userbases, and maintainers. That’s OK–it is fine to be pursuing multiple solutions to the same problem! What’s important though, is that leaders of these various efforts are able to efficiently communicate and coordinate. We think we could be doing a better job at that, and that’s why we’re excited to get this working group going.
How we will work
Like any other working group, DevExp WG will be open to anyone who wants to participate. There is no formal membership.
We believe that the folks interested in participating will live in various timezones and may or may not be able to make meetups, so the group’s primary working model will be asynchronous:
- Slack for status updates and questions
- GitHub Issues for tracking projects and discussing changes
- These forums for general discussion and announcements
However, there’s value in talking face-to-face, so for those interested, we’ll hold voluntary DevExp meetups every two weeks with time for:
- Sharing accomplishments or challenges
- Open discussion (with notes taken for those who can’t make it)
These details and more are collected on the DevExp WG wiki page.
What we will do
Are we going to immediately declare which development environment everyone should use, be maintainers of all developer-related repositories, and tackle all issues related to Open edX the developer experience?
…no, definitely not now, maybe not ever.
Instead, we’d like to start small: we’d like to capture each of the developer-experience-related projects that are already in progress in one place, specifically as epics on our board, and get a “point person” assigned to each one. We can help each other out with questions in Slack and learn about one another’s progress through meetups, forum posts, etc. It’ll be easier for other community members to see what work is going on, and if they’re interested, get involved too.
Eventually, we think we’ll find ways to cooperate across projects, and when there is capacity we can talk about what new initiatives to pick up, and whether it’s appropriate for the working group to maintain any pieces of the puzzle.
Picking a time for meetups
We are hoping to find one hour, every other week.
The range we are considering is 1400-1700 UTC (9am-12pm EST, 10am-1pm EDT), any day Mon-Fri, but not conflicting with an existing working group meeting. These times would be during the day for Eastern America and most of Europe and Africa, and would be in the evening for the Middle East.
Let us know if you’re interested
Please comment below if you’d like to participate!
If you would like to come to the meetups, please let us know your time preferences below before Fri, Dec 9. If your timezone isn’t compatible, let us know anyway, and we’ll see if there’s enough interest to get a second meeting slot going.
Kyle and Rebecca