Open Mic Spotlight: Pádraig Brady

Padraig BradyThis 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. 

Pádraig works for Red Hat and concentrates on OpenStack packaging. Upstream, he concentrates on system level performance, in Nova especially, and is a member of the Nova core team. He works remotely in rural Ireland, is a long time open source contributor, and a GNU coreutils maintainer. Follow him on Twitter at @pixelbeat_.

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

In November 2011 in Nova I refactored the file injection code used to modify VM images before booting, and then added libguestfs as a more sophisticated and secure mechanism to do that injection.

2. What do you think are the benefits of the open, community-driven approach to development?

The free flow of ideas and code greatly facilitates what can be constructed, while the emphasis on the ideas and code rather than on people extract the most value possible. I.E. people run hot and cold, but the community does not.

3. How do you describe OpenStack to your parents?

It’s software to allow people to not worry about hardware. That division of labor brings large benefits through economies of scale from the cloud service providers to the consumers.

4. What other open sources projects do you think work well with OpenStack, and why?

One of the most impressive things I found about OpenStack is how much of the Linux ecosystem it leverages. This is immediately apparent to me being a packager, and having plotted all the direct and indirect dependencies of the OpenStack packages. If I had to pick one project that fits best with OpenStack, it would be libvirt as it abstracts hypervisor details away from OpenStack very well, while allowing OpenStack to deal with the higher level “cloud” functionality.

5. What is your favorite productivity hack? Secret trick? Shortcut you’re slightly embarrassed to admit?

There are no shortcuts! This industry is fantastic in that the effort you put into learning something well, almost invariably pays back immensely. So my tip is to never get into technical debt by skimming something. Better to know a few things well.

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