Open Mic Spotlight: Elizabeth Krumbach Joseph

ekrumbach_080_400x213This post is part of the OpenStack Open Mic series to spotlight the people who have helped make OpenStack successful as we celebrate the third birthday of the project. Each day in July, a new contributor will step up to the mic and answer five questions about OpenStack, cloud, careers and what they do for fun.  

Elizabeth Krumbach Joseph is an Automation and Tools Engineer at Hewlett-Packard working on the OpenStack Infrastructure team. She is also an elected member of the Ubuntu Community Council and a Director at Partimus.org, a non-profit in the San Francisco Bay Area providing Linux-based computers to schools in need.

1. What was your first commit or contribution and why did you make it?

When I began working on the Infrastructure team back in January, one of the first things I did after joining the #openstack-infra IRC channel was to start reading the team documentation at http://ci.openstack.org/ I quickly found some typos and those were my first few commits. In the following weeks as I set up my local development environment I continued to make updates to sections where the docs had just gotten a bit stale over time and I found room for improvement.

2. What other OpenStack developers deserve a shout out for the work they’re doing in the community? Who are our unsung heroes? Your own?

The core team of Monty Taylor, James Blair, Jeremy Stanley and Clark Boylan on Infrastructure/Continuous Integration have done really amazing work to keep the infrastructure of OpenStack chugging along. I’ve always been impressed with how all of them are deeply embedded in and committed to Open Source and the Open Source communities they work with. They’re also all exceptional at collaboration, hashing through problems openly and concisely and always willing to explain new concepts to folks in the project who wish to better understand the CI workflow. Their skills really shone through at our recent Infrastructure Bootcamp in NYC where we got a room full of 20 people together to spend 2 days explaining the infrastructure in detail without the aid of any kind of formal lesson plan.

3. Are there any skills that you think are critical for OpenStack developers in the next 5 years? What specialties will be most useful? Valuable?

I work with a lot of people in the OpenStack community who have a deep understanding of Open Source development and working collaboratively in a public environment. I think this is probably one of the most valuable skill sets to have in the project today because how you interact with a community like this in your work matters a lot here, and I believe it will continue to. On a more technical note, in the Infrastructure team we’ve seen a vast increase in the need for scaling to handle the volume of logs we’re keeping from reviews, number and types of VMs that need to be spun up for testing and more. Having the talents of more folks who are able to scale to large, complex systems in our team and across the project will be immensely valuable moving forward.

4. What comment(s) have you received from users that made your proud of your work? When have you felt best about your work?

This is the first time I’ve worked on an Open Source project where the infrastructure was not only built of Open Source tools, but all of our actual systems administration is done pretty much in the open. Not only do I really enjoy working in this environment, I’m most proud when I see that our work to do this all in the open has led to other projects and companies seeing what we’re doing and adopting similar frameworks. Tools like Jenkins Job Builder and Zuul that the CI team built are now running in production by companies, projects and individuals outside of OpenStack!

5. What is the most common misconception you hear about OpenStack?

In spite of all the press that I see, I still get people asking me if OpenStack is “actually used in production anywhere.” It’s a great opportunity for me to rattle off my list of Fortune 500 companies who use it, but it seems like the press for that hasn’t quite penetrated as far in the industry as we may like. This will certainly fade as more companies come out with what they’re using it for in their public and private clouds, one of my favorite parts of the OpenStack Summit for Havana was seeing some of these companies do just that.

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