Welcome Summer to the OpenStack Community

Hello OpenStack community! My name is Summer and I am the community manager intern this summer. I’m excited to be working with Stephen, the OpenStack team, and all of you on this dynamic and rapidly growing project. I am a graduate student in the Library and Information Science program at the University of Texas at Austin. My library science background and the fact I have never worked in the tech sector before makes this a novel experience for me. But while I’m scrambling to understand in the ins and outs of cloud computing and the unique open-source community several similarities have presented themselves.

One of the things that attracted me to the field of library/ information science is the egalitarian and community-serving aspect of it. Connecting information or data to the people who need it is a basic tenet of the information professional. I love the idea that when I do not know the answer to a question (which is very, very often) someone out there does, and with a little searching that answer can be at my fingertips. Even this simple model of information sharing is analogous to the world of cloud computing. Rather than having an innate and static answer I am able to access the most recent knowledge from a variety of sources.

Of course building a network of resources to connect the question and the answer is essential. Even the best librarian won’t be able to find the right answer if they are not connected to a variety of resources, journals, articles, and most importantly people. This is where the OpenStack community seems to be excelling and growing so rapidly. It’s amazing to see how many local communities are springing up all around the world and working to increase the shared knowledge in an exponential fashion.

In the next couple months I will be working with Stephen to help make the various OpenStack communities more connected and up to date on recent developments through the various social networks and forums available. Stephen had me read Eric Raymond’s classic text “The Cathedral and the Bazaar” as an introduction to the open source ethos. This article reminded me of a similar paradigm shift in the library. Traditionally information professionals have been seen as a kind of gatekeeper (cathedral keeper?) of knowledge, now however they are recognizing the importance of opening those gates, letting in the bazaar, and participating in the conversation. So, hello! I’m excited to be part of this community and look forward to contributing to the OpenStack conversation.

I can be reached at [email protected].