Open Mic Spotlight: Victoria Martínez de la Cruz

Victoria Martinez de la CruzThis 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.  

Victoria Martínez de la Cruz is a Licenciate Computer Science student and one of the former interns of GNOME OPW for OpenStack. During her internship she mainly contributed to bug fixing, bug triaging and feature development on the OpenStack Dashboard, Horizon. Currently she is a volunteer contributor on Horizon and in other OpenStack projects. She is eager to learn about new technologies, to contribute to different open-source projects and to get new people involved with open-source philosophy. Follow her on Twitter at @vkmc

1. What are the essentials for someone just getting started with OpenStack? Sites? Books? Conferences? People?

Even though I’m still a newbie, I enjoy helping people getting started with OpenStack, so there are some ideas I could share about
this. I believe that you always have to enjoy what you are doing to make sure you fully understand and you can apply it and share your knowledge afterwards. For this I would recommend trying out OpenStack on an already set up cloud like TryStack, or deploying a small cloud with DevStack in your own computer. Launch instances, add images, create some volumes… after some playing around your own needs for doing different actions will make you get into OpenStack. Once you are in this stage, you can start learning about specific topics from the official docs (which in my opinion are the best source of information), checking out OpenStack contributors blogs and enjoying conferences which may make you more familiar with the community’s ideas. Also, sharing with the OpenStack community is really important. Everyone is willing to help and will guide you in your initial steps. You can join the mailing lists, ask questions at ask.openstack.org and chat with other users and devs on IRC. There is a channel at irc.freenode.org, #openstack-101, which is aimed at helping new users and contributors to get involved with this awesome project.

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

My first commit was part of my application for the GNOME’s Outreach Program for Women and it was a fix for values representation in the Horizon’s quotas overview. I heard about the chance of applying for OpenStack with very short notice before the deadline for the internship, so I had to rush setting everything up and submitting the fix. Fortunately my mentor, Julie Pichon, was around helping me clear every doubt I could come up with. The most difficult part in my first commit? Writing a suitable test. Oh yeah, Mox was not my friend. Here is the bug report https://bugs.launchpad.net/horizon/+bug/1084976.

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

To me the incredible OpenStack growth in these last 3 years is due to the community-driven development approach. Developers, testers, designers, documenters, translators and tons of talented people join the list of contributors everyday, and each of them enjoy working on OpenStack. This enjoyment leads to high quality contributions, cool ideas to enhance the different OpenStack components and the creation of new projects to make OpenStack even better. Also, having contributors worldwide causes contributions being submitted to OpenStack at all times. The feeling of contributing to such a large project makes everyone give their best.

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

I’m a rookie developer and I’ve a lot to learn so, for now, my code contributions have not been anything crazy. But, since I started contributing to OpenStack, I have been writing in my personal blog about the entire learning process: my feelings about contributing to a FOSS organization, some advices for people willing to contribute to OpenStack and many other stuff I found useful for myself and I wanted to share.

The effort turned out to be valuable for many people and I received a lot of great comments and encouraging words. I’ve also been tweeted by some really well-known people in the cloud computing community, and invited to participate in other cool blogs and forums. That interest made me feel really proud about my work, and it also incentivized me to keep sharing my little discoveries with the OpenStack world.

5. What is your biggest hope for the OpenStack community in the next 5 years? What would be really, really amazing?

Globalization and more volunteer contributors! Currently the OpenStack community is going through a lot of changes and people all over the world are working on OpenStack and/or choosing OpenStack for their needs. Mantaining the translation (t10n) and internationalization (i18n) up to date for every project in OpenStack is a really hard work and, although the t10n and i18n OpenStack team is doing a great effort, this is just the beginning.

It would also be awesome for the community to have more volunteer contributors working on OpenStack. Having more volunteer contributions means having a diversity of ideas from different points of view, and this is an important quality for a project [1]. OpenStack is so dynamic that it makes really hard for volunteers to keep track of every change and make contributions. It would be amazing if we could find a way to facilitate even more the integration of volunteers to the current development process.

[1] https://fossbazaar.org/content/differences-between-paid-and-volunteer-foss-contributors/

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