Open Mic Spotlight: Joshua Hesketh

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThis 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!

Joshua Hesketh is a software developer for Rackspace Australia working on upstream OpenStack. He works from his home in Hobart, Tasmania. Joshua is currently President of Linux Australia, previously the co-chair for PyCon Australia and a key organizer for He has an interest in robotics having recently completed a degree in mechatronic engineering. Check out his blog here

1. Finish the sentences. OpenStack is great for _______. OpenStack is bad for ______.

OpenStack is great for freedom. OpenStack is bad for proprietary competitors.

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

I’m self-taught – which might explain some of my bad habits! I learned a bit during university while picking up most of my knowledge from being involved in open source projects.

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

To me, open source is a superior development model in which everybody wins – from the users, to the developers and businesses involved. Much more value can be gained from using open source where you can build on the shoulders of giants, collaborate on complicated problems and avoid vendor lock-ins. As users you have the flexibility to use a product to its fullest potential whilst, as developers, having the ability to modify and customize it as needed.

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

I love working from home. I get to wake up to this view every morning. When I’m not at my home office I spend hours at my favourite cafe, Villino, working while enjoying a flat white.


5What drew you to OpenStack?

One of the big drawcards for me is the community within OpenStack which is really special. It’s such a large and active project, with hundreds of developers all working in unison. The sense of community is reflected in everyone being nice, approachable and willing to go out of their way to help solve your problem. Everybody is working towards the same goal – to better OpenStack.

This is one of the great success stories of the project – being able to scale its developer base so well. Granted, there are still issues in the getting started pipeline as a consequence of size, but overall the project is very well managed. I am a very big fan of the structure and operation of the OpenStack Foundation. The membership models and egalitarianism are very well set out.


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