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Individual Member Profile


Stefano Maffulli

Date Joined
July 26, 2012

DreamHost From 2015-06-22 (Current)
OpenStack Foundation From 2013-07-12 To 2015-06-14
Rackspace From 2011-08-22 To 2012-09-03
Statement of Interest

OpenStack is to cloud computing what GNU is to desktop and client/server computing




I have built my career around Free Software and open source: from pre-sales engineer and product manager at Italian GNU/Linux distribution MadeInLinux to Italian country director of the Free Software Foundation Europe. Under my watch as community manager at Rackspace and at the OpenStack Foundation, OpenStack became the fastest growing open source project. My daily job as Director of Cloud Marketing and Community at DreamHost keeps me busy growing the community of app developers on the Open Source cloud. In my spare time, I sail small boats in the shark infested, choppy San Francisco Bay.




I'm involved in the following OpenStack projects: Openstack-ci,Openstack-manuals


Stefano is a candidate in the 2016 Board Election .


What is your relationship to OpenStack, and why is its success important to you? What would you say is your biggest contribution to OpenStack's success to date?


I believe the success of a fully free-as-in-freedom OpenStack is crucial for the future of computing, just as crucial as Linux and GNU. The potential of OpenStack’s community was clear to me when I saw it announced at OSCON in 2010. When I came aboard as Technical Community Manager a year later, it was time for me to help chart the course of that powerful community.

My biggest contributions to OpenStack are the programs designed to increase participation to the community of developers and users: Upstream Training for new developers with little knowledge of open source collaboration and Outreachy, which facilitates participation of women in tech. I also helped establish the Product Working Group to close a wide gap in the developers-users feedback loop. To increase geographic diversity in the user community, I’ve helped launch in English and Chinese, and the portal in 10 languages. I also established metrics and tools to track OpenStack community’s health, published regularly online and quarterly summaries. I’m currently member of the Apps Ecosystem working group to represent application developers inside the OpenStack community.


Describe your experience with other non profits or serving as a board member. How does your experience prepare you for the role of a board member?


I see the role of Individual Members elected to the OpenStack board as guardians of the open source roots of the projects included in the Big Tent. I believe the size and importance of OpenStack puts it on par with older organizations like Apache Foundation and Linux Foundation, establishing de-facto a OpenStack-way of developing software in collaboration. Having been a board member of Free Software Foundation Europe for 5+ years, serving also as Italy country director with a large team of volunteers and a long history of involvement in open source as an advocate before then, I can help the board balance open source collaboration with the corporate interests of its members to avoid capsizing from heeling too much on either side.


What do you see as the Board's role in OpenStack's success?


OpenStack’s Board needs to keep that fine balance of corporate interests with those of the pure interest of OpenStack as the next-gen open source platform in mind. Contrary to GNU and Linux, OpenStack had corporate backing since the beginning which certainly led to its explosive growth but held to drawn its open source roots. The Apache Foundation chose to strip corporations from its ranks but OpenStack is showing that there is a way to balance corporate interests with good open source practice.


What do you think the top priority of the Board should be in 2016?


Winning the heart of application developers and promote public cloud operators. The main threat is that a whole generation of developers is attracted by infrastructure services that are not open source nor open standard. OpenStack can fulfill the mission of becoming the “ubiquitous Open Source Cloud Computing platform” by:

  • promoting applications running on OpenStack

  • helping developers to port existing applications

  • partnering with other open source tools to improve development experience

  • fostering creative developers and startups

For all of these goals, having strong, highly interoperable public clouds for application developers to learn on is a high priority.

Stefano has already been nominated by:

  • Jonathan LaCour
  • Jack Mac
  • Giuseppe Paterno'
  • Ryan Petrello
  • Vincenzo Di Somma
  • Rosario Di Somma
  • Victoria Martinez de la Cruz
  • Ivan Jelic
  • Rossella Sblendido