One of the things we pointed out in our State of the Community discussion back in February is that we describe what Ansible is inconsistently in various places. I have seen:
- Automation for everyone (ansible.com)
- Automation powered by community (ansible.com/community)
- Ansible is a radically simple IT automation platform (github.com/ansible/ansible)
- Ansible offers open-source automation that is simple, flexible, and powerful (docs.ansible.com)
I’m sure there’s more (please reply with any you find!). Not all of these need to change, but as we work on the community strategy of tackling fragmentation, being consistent with our message seems worth looking at.
We conducted a survey over the last few months, in which we asked simply:
- What does Ansible mean to you?
- How long have you been using Ansible?
The second part was just so that we could get a picture of how people view Ansible within different groups. We got 337 replies (thank you, everyone! ), so I thought a bit of data analysis was in order:
This is the top hundred words by frequency (with some processing - I omitted Ansible, automation, and automate, and then I did some word-stemming). The y-axis is simply frequency (as is font size), but the x-axis is created by taking all the comments the word appears in, and averaging their “time” value.
You can see that words like tool, management, open source, etc are popular for most people, but terms like easy, simple, reliable, configuration are favoured by people who’ve used Ansible for a while. Newer users favour words like powerful, documentation, consistency, software, etc.
(If you want me to see what any of these stems refers to, let me know - for example “consist” in the plot includes consistent, consistency, consistently, and so on)
We can also group this by year-group:
Now we have 20 words per group - but some are repeated, of course. This makes it a bit easier to see what each group of users is talking about. You can also see that we got a lot more replies from the most experienced group, which is perhaps not surprising.
From here, we can start to craft a few things. We’ll want a general mission statement of what we want to be, and a one-line explanation of what we are today. I would suggest the latter takes focus from the left-side of that second plot, focusing on what new users are looking for when coming to Ansible, while the longer statement could make use of all the data.
Let’s brainstorm a few ideas here, and then we can take to the next step. Onwards!