Open Mic Spotlight: Simon Pasquier

simonpasquier_headshotThis post is part of the OpenStack Open Mic series to spotlight the people who have helped make OpenStack successful. Each week, a new contributor will step up to the mic and answer five questions about OpenStack, cloud, careers and what they do for fun. If you’re interested in being featured, please choose five questions from this form and submit!

Simon has been an OpenStack Active Technical Contributor since early 2013 when I joined the XLcloud project. XLcloud is a collaborative project (funded by the French government) that involves academics and companies. It aims at demonstrating the feasibility of High Performance Cloud Computing platform based on OpenStack. More specifically, we’re looking at remote rendering, autoscaling, capacity planning and plenty of other cool stuff. Prior to this, my background was with Linux systems and networking. It proved to be a perfect fit for OpenStack where, sometimes you have to get your hands dirty to make it work. :-) 

1. What new OpenStack projects do you think will have a significant impact on the cloud market in the next year?

For me, Heat is going to get a lot of attention because orchestration is a no-brainer when you deploy complex infrastructures in the cloud (like XLcloud does for virtual clusters). The Heat team is definitely committed to building a great service, and also very careful to integrate with other initiatives such as TOSCA.

Most of all, the guys are very responsive and friendly with newcomers.

2. How did you learn to code? Are you self-taught or did you learn in college? On-the-job?

I studied mostly C and C++ in college but I’ve learned much more during my professional life. I’ve used different languages before Python (Ruby, Perl, Javascript) and I find it very helpful. To be a good developer, you don’t need to know a language at your fingertips, but rather take out the best of every community.

3. What does “open source” mean to you?

For me, it is all about collaboration and not simply sharing the code. What is important is to recognize any contribution: coding (of course) as well as testing, bug reporting and documentation. Making decisions in the open is also a key component.

Even though there’s a lot of space for improvement, OpenStack encompasses this vision and pushed the “open source” paradigm one step further (see how it has inspired other projects such as OpenDaylight). Finally working on open source projects is a great way to improve your technical and human skills.

4. What is your favorite example of OpenStack in production (besides yours, of course!) 

At the first OpenStack Rhone-Alpes meetup, Gavin Brebner from HP Cloud did a great presentation explaining how the Q&A team was testing, qualifying and stressing their infrastructure. The talk was really enlightening as he listed all the challenges you have to tackle for keeping a large cloud up and running.

5. What publications, blogs, mailing lists, etc do you read every day?

Planet OpenStack and the openstack-dev list, of course. :-)

But I’ve got plenty of other blogs in my reader:

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