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Proposed Developer Assist Benefits for ONF Members

Sep 12, 2017
Timon Sloane
Timon Sloane About the author

We recently posted about the ONF’s updated membership structure and talked about new benefits we would be providing to members. That was a high-level overview and we wanted to follow up with a detailed look at a new proposed Developer Assist benefit designed to help developers work through issues as they arise.

First off, it is important to remember that the ONF is a community of communities, relying on the broader open source ecosystem to build solutions and solve problems. The ONF does not provide traditional technical support. For organizations running production networks, a commercial vendor is recommended to help supplement and provide integration and support assistance.

However, the ONF is different than other open source communities in that we do staff a Lab. This is a resource that we believe is vital to driving the success of our mission. We plan to leverage our Lab expertise to create a community-based team to provide a specialized form of assistance for developers who are using and customizing ONF platforms and solutions. We call this 'Developer Assist'.

By intention, all requests for assistance must first be initiated on community channels. This is important because this provides access to the broadest range of expertise and leverages one of the greatest strengths of an open source community: Linus’ Law — ‘given enough eyeballs, all bugs are shallow’.

However, there are times the community can’t provide the needed information or guidance. This new ‘Developer Assist’ program is designed to both leverage and supplement the community and provide assistance to those who need additional assistance beyond what they are getting in the community channels alone.

Proposed Escalation Path

All inquiries should start with the public community channels at Level 1. Members then have privileges to request escalation of the issue as defined below:

DA Escalation StageMinimum Membership Tier to Escalate to this LevelDA Option
1st LevelNone RequiredPublic community channels
2nd LevelInnovatorsRequests specific email response to a community query that has gone unresolved after 72 hours (3 days) with no response in community channels.
3rd LevelInnovatorsRequest a call to resolve what cannot be/isn’t being resolved after 96 hours (4 days) of no response in both 2nd level request and community channels.
4th LevelCollaborating InnovatorsSubject matter expert mentor assigned to be a point of contact/advocate to help resolve the specific issue raised.  This would usually occur during the Level 3 call if the issue can’t be immediately resolved.

NOTE - When other  issues come up for this same member, DA requests must start at level 1 again to ensure community resources are brought to bare on the problem and that the broader community can see and learn from the interaction.

5th LevelPartnersOn site assistance can be requested for issues that remain unresolved (Partner covers travel expenses).  Assistance can be requested to work on PoC, Lab and Field Trial issues.

Assistant assigned will help work through the issue in person. There is no time guarantee (or SLA) for resolution, as this is not a support contract and the ONF is not a support organization.  But we are vested in ensuring our Partners’ success, and we will act accordingly.

Before formalizing this, we wanted to get thoughts, suggestions and ideas from people in the community who would make use of this.

  • Would having an escalation path for issues be useful for you?
  • Would the specific levels in this proposal be helpful?
  • Are there things you would add, change or remove?

If you have comments, questions or suggestions about this, please email Timon Sloane at timon@opennetworking.org.

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Timon SloaneVP, Marketing & Ecosystem
Timon Sloane is the vice president of marketing and ecosystem of the Open Networking Foundation (ONF). He leads the organization’s efforts building an open source ecosystem, thus helping to enable broad transformation of the networking industry through the adoption open source business practices.