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Open Mic Spotlight: Jay Lau

JayThis 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. 

Jay Lau (Guang Ya Liu) is an Advisory Software Engineer at IBM CSTL. He is the Technical Leader of the IBM Platform Resource Scheduler project. He has 5+ years of experience in large scale distributed system, SOA and Cloud Computing. He joined the OpenStack community in 2013. Now, he mainly focus on OpenStack compute, storage and application management. You can follow him on Twitter at @jaylau513.

 

1. What behavior has helped get you the furthest as a developer?

I want to say it is interest and passion. OpenStack is really an amazing project and it makes me want to work for it anywhere, at any time, with any device that can access Gerrit ;-)

2. What is your favorite project that you’ve contributed code to?

Hmm, may I say I love all projects? ;-) To be honest, my current focus is nova, but also extending to cinder and heat.

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

If I want to lean code for a product, I will first get familiar with the key features of the product, and then think how the code will be written and then start to read and debug code. For OpenStack, you also need strong system technologies if you want to understand the code.

4. How did you first get involved in OpenStack?

When I first get involved in OpenStack for some research work in 2011, I set up a demo environment with StackOps and found that scheduler is very simple and weak in OpenStack. My company has a very good product named PRS (Platform Resource Scheduler) which is very good at resource scheduling. Hmm, you know how I start my journey on OpenStack then.

5. Define what “open source” means to you.

IMHO, “open source” means contribution and collaboration. Worldwide engineers from different companies collaborate together to contribute to create the best software. As a software engineer, “open source” can make us grow quickly in community.

Open Mic Spotlight: Morgan Fainberg

UnknownThis 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. 

Morgan Fainberg is a Principal Software Engineer at Metacloud.  He has worked on a number of high-profile and large-scale properties across a number of industries (everything from Social Media, to Web Hosting, to Video Games).  He currently spends most of his time working on Keystone and is a member of the Keystone Core team. You can follow him on Twitter at @mdrnstm or read his blog here

1. What is your go-to beverage or snack while coding? 

Do you mean I must make a definitive choice between coffee, espresso, and tea (there is a big difference between espresso and coffee!)?  I guess it all depends on the type of code I’m writing.  If I happen to find myself writing new features, I think a pour-over of a dark, heavy, oily coffee (even better a French press) is the drink of the day.  When it comes to refactoring code (especially those refactors that seem to be made of edge cases upon edge cases and rabbit holes), a perfectly pulled shot of espresso followed by an Italian-style cappuccino.  For anything that is more research oriented, tea is the drink of choice.  Sometimes I can’t believe how much time I spend thinking about the consumption of caffeine.

2. Where’s your favorite place to code? In the office, at a local coffee shop? In bed?

Based upon my “go-to” beverage answer, I am sure you can guess my favorite place to write code is the local coffee shop.  I definitely prefer the shops that roast their own beans, have specialty pastry items, and are generally more of the “local” scene than the big corporate shops.  A close second would be sitting in front of 12,556,800 pixels at my desk.

3. What do you think is the coolest thing that’s happened with OpenStack over the past three years?

The coolest happening in OpenStack is the interest and adoption that has occurred.  There are few pieces of software (or any form engineering) that really meet the needs of such a varied audience.  It’s very cool to see the big players, the small players, the independents, the public cloud providers, the private cloud deployers, and everyone else involved come together in a friendly a professional way to develop something amazing.

4. Define what “open source” means to you.

Open Source is more than just a licensing view (like some people or companies would like to think).  It’s a philosophy of sharing and community.  The idea is to not only develop something fun and awesome, but to collaborate (especially in the case of OpenStack) across company lines and create a network of like-minded individuals.  It fascinates me to see what the Open Source communities (software developers, artists, even musicians) can accomplish together.  If the Open Source community members did not come from many different backgrounds much of the “ground breaking” work may not have surfaced as quickly (or at all).  Perhaps it is best to equate Open Source as a lifestyle above and beyond anything else.

5. What behavior has helped get you the furthest as a developer?

I like to jump into projects at the deep-end.  I have, historically, stuck my nose into projects that no one else wanted to look at due to difficulty or complexity (especially in corporate environments).  This behavior has made it easier to dig into the core of any challenge and come up with solutions to interesting issues and problems.  At the very least I have been exposed to a wide variety of technologies and development philosophies.  It all boils down to wanting learn something new each time I sit down to write code.

OpenMic Spotlight: Sergey Lukjanov

SergeyThis 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. 

Sergey Lukjanov is a Senior Software Engineer at Mirantis. He’s the Project Technical Leader of Savanna project and he focuses on Savanna, Infra and Oslo initiatives. Sergey is experienced in Big Data projects and technologies (Hadoop, HDFS, Cassandra, Twitter Storm, etc.) and enterprise-grade solutions. He’s contributing to different open source projects now, including Twitter Storm and OpenStack. Follow him on Twitter at @lukjanovsv

1. What do you think is the coolest thing that’s happened with OpenStack over the past three years?

I think that it’s an enormous growth of both community and adoption. You can now see folks from totally different companies contributing to and using OpenStack.

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

That’s my initiative — to start coding and take part in different programmer-specific things. :) Unfortunately, there were not very helpful lessons in college. There was some kind of real wish to understand what it’s all about — and this wish is still with me. It’s so amazing to find solutions for problems that you couldn’t even think about yesterday, and to imagine what interesting tasks you’ll face tomorrow.

3. Where’s your favorite place to code? In the office, at a local coffee shop? In bed? 

It depends, really. I always do a lot in the office, but there are many activities not connected with programming there like meetings, Launchpad, Gerrit things and so on. So, if we’re speaking about coding itself, I love doing that at home — usually with some coffee and cookies.

4. How did you first get involved in OpenStack?

OpenStack is our company’s main vector of development and future, so even when I was not completely involved in OpenStack projects, I spent time learning and understanding how it works. At that time, I was taking part in different Big Data initiatives including Twitter Storm, and I continued working on it as a part of the OpenStack ecosystem. I started working on OpenStack during early 2012. Creating an OpenStack cloud future is a big challenge for me, and I really appreciate that I have this opportunity.

5. Be honest – are you more likely to know your project collaborators by their IRC nic or their actual name?

Of course, by their real names. IRC nics are better than nothing, sure, but I’d like to know all of the guys I’m working with by their actual names, and see them in real life — not only on IRC meetings and calls. I know almost every Savanna contributor personally, and I believe that these simple human relationship are still really important to do the most effective job. On the other side, IRC nics are very useful for setting up auto highlights. ;)

Open Mic Spotlight: Sean M. Collins

seancollinsThis 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. 

Sean is a developer at Comcast working on OpenStack. He is 26 years old, and lives in South Philadelphia with his partner, Caroline. You can follow him on Twitter @sc68cal.

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

Devstack. The fact that you can clone a git repository, execute a shell script, and get a fully built OpenStack install on your personal machine to start hacking makes a huge difference.

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

My first contribution of substance was to add better hooks into the Security Group API events in Nova-Network. I was working on a way to take Security Group API calls from OpenStack for something like allowing port 80 open for a web server, to also have those requests propagate into other internal systems inside Comcast. This way, firewalls upstream would honor the request to allow port 80 through.

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

For me personally, the community around Neutron has been a big help. People like Aaron Rosen, Nachi Ueno, Mark McClain, and Kyle Mestery have helped me whenever I’ve gotten stuck or had a question.

4. 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’d say the most important skill is an open mind. OpenStack has a huge userbase, and thousands of different use-cases. You need to remember that not everyone is going to be using OpenStack the way you do, and that’s OK! The community and the codebase is flexible enough that everyone should be able to get what they want out of it. It doesn’t have to be a winner-take-all proposition.

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

More things can get done in shorter periods of time. Just look at the amount of features that each release of OpenStack has added. It’s incredible.

Open Mic Spotlight: Sean Chen

sean_openmicThis 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. 

Sean worked at VMware, where his last project was hybrid cloud service. He is currently working on a converged storage project at a small startup. He lives near Stanford, California. You can follow him on Twitter @opencomp

1. Where is your happy place? Favorite place to visit, vacation, decompress?

I visited Banff National Park with my kids and family this past summer. Emerald Lake, Lake Louise and Moraine Lake were breathtakingly beautiful.

2. What is your go-to beverage or snack while coding?

Chocolate, intense dark. Mochi green tea ice cream. Pearl (Boba) milk tea.

3.  Have you organized an OpenStack meet-up/event or spoken about OpenStack at an event? What did you learn? What was the best part?

I talked about how to manage VMware ESX and Virtual Center with OpenStack at the 2012 Summit. The best part was that it made OpenStackers aware of VMware’s plans with OpenStack and the software defined data center, as well as VMware’s efforts around expanding Nicira’s contributions to Quantum and Open vSwitch.

4. Why did you decide to go into computer engineering?

Apple IIe, which made me immensely happy, and got me interested in computing.

5. How did you first get involved in OpenStack?

I was doing research on open source cloud initiatives and decided to improve VMware Compute Driver in OpenStack and bring many key features to the community.

Open Mic Spotlight: Ionuț Arțăriși

Ionut

This 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. 

Ionuț Arțăriși is a senior software engineer at SUSE. You can reach him at https://github.com/mapleoin

 

1. How did you first get involved in OpenStack?

I first became involved when I joined the SUSE Cloud team. I started working on fixing test failures from our CI infrastructure. It was mostly small fixes for things that broke on SUSE due to package version incompatibilities or backports of fixes we found useful.

By the way, you can see our openSUSE Cloud jenkins jobs here:

http://ci.opensuse.org/view/OpenStack/

And here’s a nice matrix of all the unittest jobs:

http://ci.opensuse.org/view/Cloud/job/openstack-unittest/

And the packages are in the Open Build Service:

https://build.opensuse.org/project/show?project=Cloud%3AOpenStack

 

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

I read quite a few mailing lists, though there can be too much traffic to keep track of sometimes. Specifically, I like the usual OpenStack, Openstack-dev and Opensuse-cloud mailing lists. I’ve been doing some work on OpenStack Chef cookbooks lately, so I’m also reading the chef-openstack list and the chef and chef-dev lists from opscode.

These are the main ones right now. There are also those of past projects I’ve been involved with, internal mailing lists and other stuff that I occasionally find interesting, like opensuse-packaging.

I also read HackerNews (http://news.ycombinator.org/) a lot. I think it’s been my go-to website for interesting news for more than five years now. It has OpenStack news as well, too from time to time :).

 

3. What do you think is the coolest thing that’s happened with OpenStack over the past three years?

I think the coolest thing has been the wide adoption and the speed with which the community has grown. It feels like the rate of growth has been constantly accelerating on the traditional OpenStack projects (nova, keystone etc.), but also with a lot of new initiatives popping up and quickly gaining a lot of traction (cinder, heat etc.). It’s really amazing to look at such a big community and think that it’s only three years old. I recommend http://www.stackalytics.com/ for some really interesting statistics – there are around 1600 people contributing from around 150 companies. In a way, it’s also surprising that the growth seems to be sustainable.

It’s still fairly easy to contribute a commit as a newcomer. There is a lot of good documentation on setting up a development environment and contributing a patch and it’s all pretty sane, especially compared to other projects of this size. There is a lot of infrastructure working in the background to make this easy and a lot of people doing a good job working on that and on documentation.

 

4. Define what “open source” means to you.

I think it’s the best way to develop software. Being able to collaborate on a project with virtually anyone in the world makes a huge difference.

Projects like OpenStack have proven that it’s possible for big companies competing against each other to collaborate on the same project, even though in the end each has its own product. This makes a lot of sense because we’re all basically solving the same problem. With closed source software, each company would have to come up with its own solution, different from the others and this wastes a lot of resources compared to having everyone work on the same base project. As a developer, it’s also great to be able to work together with some of the best minds in the world, across country and company borders.

 

5. Where’s your favorite place to code? In the office, at a local coffee shop? In bed?

I mostly code from the office and sometimes from my standing desk at home. But I do remember an especially nice coding place. I spent a couple of days coding at a friend’s house in the Hungarian countryside.

There was a really nice patio in the garden with an old wooden table and wooden bench. The weather was warm, there was natural light, fresh air and even some butterflies. What more could you ask for?

Open Mic Spotlight: Masanori Itoh

MasanoriItohThis 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. 

Masanori Itoh is working for the largest system integrator in Japan as a software engineer. He’s been involved in the OpenStack related activity of us from the very beginning. At first, he mainly contributed codes to Nova, but now he is in charge of overall architecture of systems based on OpenStack for his customers. You can follow him (mostly in Japanese) at @thatsdone.  

1. Where is your happy place? Favorite place to visit, vacation, decompress? Attach an image!

Istanbul. I visited the city for my honeymoon and was deeply impressed by the historical buildings of the old city. I thought it was such a coincidence that Istanbul and Tokyo contended for the Olympic game in 2020 this time. I’m dreaming that in the near future, the OpenStack Summit and Olympic games will both be held in Istanbul!

istanbul

 2. What do you think is the coolest thing that’s happened with OpenStack over the past three years?

For me, it was the OpenStack community effort to support Japan recovering from the Tsunami disaster at the Diablo Summit held in Santa Clara, Spring 2011.

http://www.openstack.org/blog/2011/04/openstack-conference-and-design-summit-day-1-recap/

I was deeply impressed by the community activity and gave a lightning talk there in response to the effort:

http://www.slideshare.net/thatsdone/openstack-diablo-design-summit-talk-a-lesson-from

 3. Have you organized an OpenStack meet-up/event or spoken about OpenStack at an event? What did you learn? What was the best part?

My team organized the Japanese OpenStack User Community, JOSUG, in 2010. What I learned through the activity is that Japanese customers are indeed slow to make decisions, but there are a considerable number of excellent engineers in Japan. I believe that we can introduce several new user stories to OpenStack from Japan this year or early next year.

4. Where’s your favorite place to code? In the office, at a local coffee shop? In bed?

In Train cars. :o

In Tokyo, we have highly developed rail transportation, and I spend roughly 1 hour one way on my way to the office/back home. It’s a very good place for coding because there is no one to disturb me. :)

5. Define what “open source” means to you.

A software development project to which one can contribute with a reasonable contributor’s license agreement and contribution process. It’s not enough just to make the source codes open. In this sense, I love the spirit and philosophy of the OpenStack community.

The Hong Kong Summit: Why I’m Excited

Victoria_peak

We asked our community why they’re looking forward to the OpenStack Summit in Hong Kong next week. We received a number of colorful responses and we’re sharing some of the best here. Have something to add?  Let us know why you’re excited for the Summit in the comments below!

 

Terri Yu, @terrimyu

da43d11f6932ff2fc6f8342488bf59e2

1) Why are you excited for the Hong Kong Summit?

How can I not be excited, it’s my first software developer conference!! I just finished my Outreach Program for Women internship. I’ve never been to Hong Kong and my mom is from that area, so I get to visit lots of family & friends that I normally don’t get to see. Plus, I need an OpenStack t-shirt for my collection.  My utmost gratitude goes to the OpenStack Travel Fund for making all of this possible!

2) Which sessions are you not going to miss?

“Ceilometer+Heat=Alarming” and “Deploying and Training on OpenStack at MIT: Helping to Accelerate World-Class Research.” My internship mentor, Julien Danjou, is one of the speakers for the former, but I’m an MIT alum and have done a lot of scientific research in the past. So let’s call it a tie.

3) How will people recognize you at the Summit?

I’ll be carrying a thermos filled with yerba mate tea and wearing a black Patagonia fleece jacket over a nerdy or hockey t-shirt. I don’t have any OpenStack t-shirts yet, but some t-shirts I plan to bring: dog ate my homework, Museum of Mathematics, San Jose Sharks Hockey, “Eat More Kale”. I may wear my Québec Remparts hockey jersey at parties.

 

Raghavan ‘Rags’ Srinivas, @ragss

photo

1) Why are you excited for the Summit?

I think the summit has turned the corner. It seems more oriented towards using the stack not just developing it.

2) Which sessions are you most looking forward to?

The keynotes. And I’m naturally biased towards my talks: http://sched.co/1fzTrfq and http://sched.co/14Fd94P.

3) How will someone recognize you at the Summit?

My Indiana Jones hat.

 

Sven Michels, @geektoor

709ecc70c012dac10bc378891390e29b

1) What’s getting you excited about the Summit?

OpenStack is an amazing piece of software. Being part of a summit like this is also a guarantee to meet amazing people. It’s also my first trip that far away, so it’s a double excitement :-)

2) Are you looking forward to any particular sessions?

No special session, I want to get inspired by the summit itself to pick the right ones. Main interest is security and availability.

3) How will people recognize you at the Summit?

Easy to notice me by my wheelchair and of course a tablet (and some USB power. In case someone runs out of power, just ask).

 

Brent Doncaster, @Brent_BWD

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1) Tell us why you’re excited about the Summit in Hong Kong.

It’s Hong Kong! Haven’t been back since ’89!. And it’s my first OpenStack Summit!

2) Which sessions are you looking forward to? Why?

Dell and InkTank Ceph – cuz its cool! 

2) What 3 things will you not be seen without?

Video camera, Dell log shirt, and a smile!

 

Flavio Percoco, @flaper87

Screen-Shot-2013-09-12-at-8.40.46-AM

1) Tell us why you’re excited for the OpenStack Summit?

Basically everything. I’m definitely most exited by the fact that it’ll be Marconi’s first summit!!!!!

2) Which sessions are you most looking forward to?

All Marconi, Oslo and Glance sessions, because those are the projects I’ve been working on in the last year. I’m also looking forward to some of the Release Management sessions, I see a lot of value in those for the whole project.

3) How will someone recognize you at the Summit? What 3 things will you not be seen without?

Huge smile, lot of excitement, rainbow sandals, shorts and I’ll be moving my hands Italian style. :D

Open Mic Spotlight: Alex Meade

alex_meade_faceThis 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. 

Alex Meade is a Software Developer at Rackspace and an aspiring software craftsman. He has been an OpenStack contributor since April 2011 and is currently a core reviewer on the Glance project. You can follow him on Twitter at @mralexmeade.

1. What do you think is the coolest thing that’s happened with OpenStack over the past three years?

The coolest thing has been it’s mad growth and adoption by so many cloud [providers, users, toolsets]. When I first started working on OpenStack, I had no idea how huge of a deal it would become and now it seems like everyone knows about it. I think when OpenStack nails down more features for cloud stability and interoperability, it’s going to take over the world.

2. What behavior has helped get you the furthest as a developer?

Always working on the hardest and most pressing tasks, not the tasks that just let me check something off my todo list but the ones that have me pulling my hair out constantly. I have a very long way to go as a software developer, despite not having much hair left to pull out.

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

I can’t even pretend I read these everyday, but here are some resources I check out regularly:

Mailing lists/Digests:

Status Code – http://statuscode.org

Coder Weekly – http://www.coderweekly.com

Devops Weekly – http://devopsweekly.com

Blogs:

High Scalability – http://highscalability.com/

Mags:

IEEE Spectrum

IEEE Computer

4. How many OpenStack t-shirts do you own, and which is your favorite?

At least 15 that actually have OpenStack written on them, not counting that hoodie from San Diego. My favorite is the one that says “Free as in Beer, Speech, and Love” because it has had the most strangers say “nice shirt”.

5. Vulcan or Romulan?

Vulcan \\ //,

Open Mic Spotlight: Dan Smith

9998950f4ac00c8f357d1f9640d4860eThis 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. 

Dan Smith is a Principal Software Engineer at Red Hat. He works primarily on Nova, is a member of the core team, and is generally focused on topics relating to live upgrade. You can follow him on Twitter @get_offmylawn

1. If you couldn’t be a developer, what would your dream job be?

I’ll try to answer this by quoting some code from dansmith.py:

try:

import developer

except ImportError:

raise Exception(“Cannot continue without the developer module!”)

2. What behavior has helped get you the furthest as a developer?

I’d say: Figuring out who the smart and productive folks are and learning to do as they do. OpenStack is a great project for that because it’s chock full of smart folks to learn from.

3. What is your favorite project that you’ve contributed code to?

It sounds contrived, but, definitely OpenStack. I can’t recall a past project that had me as motivated to review patches in the car on the way to a weekend vacation or rebase/resubmit my patches on a Saturday morning. The incredible velocity and high density of excellence on this project makes it fun. I feel privileged to be able to work on OpenStack for my day job.

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

When I was very young, I was given a Commodore VIC-20 with no game cartridges and some empty cassette tapes. It didn’t do much unless I made it happen, so I had to learn to write code for it. I still have the thing in the attic, but I keep the reference manual on the bookshelf with other technical books.

5. Be honest – are you more likely to know your project collaborators by their IRC nic or their actual name?

The only reason I know a few people by their actual names is because their IRC nicks haven’t been on the badges at recent design summits. I hope that will change in Hong Kong :)

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