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Galasa: My First 6 Months as a TSC Chair

By | December 18, 2023

Written by Louisa Seers, Chair of the Galasa Technical Steering Committee and Product Manager at IBM

It’s coming to the end of 2023, and it has been a whirlwind year. I joined the Galasa team in January to look at how we can gain adoption by the Open Mainframe Project to gain better governance and, most importantly, find the right home for Galasa. Through research and team conversations, we felt the Open Mainframe Project was the right place, as their mission is to enhance the quality, reliability and availability of Mainframe systems, and the adoption of modern development methodologies, which Galasa supports. The process to gaining adoption by the Open Mainframe Project was to gain a sponsor from the Technical Advisory Committee (TAC), and present at one of their monthly meetings to gain approval from the voting members. With IBM’s Joe Bostian as our sponsor, in April, Will Yates and I presented to the committee and got an overwhelming vote of approval – we had finally made the crucial step towards adoption!

The next step was to organize the Technical Steering Committee (TSC). We had our first open meeting in June and, as we hadn’t been fully announced, it took a little bit of time for us to get up and running. I was elected as Chairperson and luckily, we have a great team – Mike Cobbett presented the technical roadmap that had been created before being adopted, and we have Michelle, Dom, Venkat, and Petr to represent other organizations interested in steering the project in the right way; it felt like we were finding our feet. Having an open source project is like starting with a blank page and thinking, how do we start to gain attention and traction so that people know we exist? How do we make it as easy as possible for people to join us?








When we announced Galasa in September (here), I was full of excitement. We gained sessions at the Open Mainframe Summit, part of the IBM TechXchange conference. I got the opportunity to present on the Keynote and a Galasa 101 talk as part of the agenda which was my first time attending a conference to speak, so I gained a lot of new experiences in a short space of time. By September, we had gotten into the flow of running TSC meetings in public, and we created the project structure: the iteration planning (fortnightly), scrum meetings (thrice weekly), and retrospectives (every 6 weeks) – for the calendar click here. For me, this felt like the opportunity to start thinking longer term, I had the opportunity to think less about how we fight the immediate fires of getting ready, and more about how we drive towards the future.

October and November seemed to pass by incredibly quickly, as we were moving the Galasa infrastructure, building more enhancements for the CLI capability, and helping publicise through videos, blogs, and conferences such as GSE UK. Watching Michelle and Jade present in person at GSE UK was phenomenal, because it felt like the open source project was gaining traction. Although they had done those presentations before, I was able to sit and watch the audience reaction, which made it even more real. Also, now we had been fully launched, it was time to submit the Galasa project to the DevOps Dozen Awards and plan for 2024.

The good news is that Galasa was recognized as “Most Innovative Open Source Project” in‘s DevOps Dozen awards. Public voting is currently open – click here to vote by December 31, 2023. 

DevOps Dozen² 2023 Finalists Announced

Building up to the year full of achievements, Will and the team have put in years of effort, architecture, development, and thought into getting Galasa into the brilliant place where the project can now live under the right governance and home with the OMP. For now, there are three things we want to accomplish: gaining new contributors; attracting and looking after users; and building a version 1. This will allow us to be more sustainable as a project and continue to help automate testing and make developing on the mainframe a better experience for those that do it every day.

Come and join us! Check out our community page here. Our calendar is here, we meet on the #galasa-dev slack and you’re always welcome to download the project and have a go for yourself. Follow Mike Cobbett for a step-by-step guide below: