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.


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