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First Ever ManageIQ Design Summit - Oct 7-8

As we wind down the Anand release cycle, the next one is winding up: a vote to determine the next release name, a call for feature blueprints, and a call for participation for the very first ManageIQ Design Summit.

And we have some very special news about that last bit: Booz Allen Hamilton, along with Red Hat, have stepped up to sponsor the design summit, to be held at the Sheraton Mahwah hotel in Mahwah, New Jersey on October 7 & 8. This being the first one, we want it to be small, informal, and - most importantly - productive. If you have ideas about the direction of the ManageIQ project, this is the place to present them. If you are a ManageIQ user, this is a place to give feedback face-to-face with the people who build it.

This is a special time for the ManageIQ community. The first release is very soon under our belts, and the next will be the first one fully developed in the open source way. If you care about how the ManageIQ community is governed, this will be a chance to plan one aspect of the community that's just as important as the code. The design summit will be your chance to define what the ManageIQ Community will become.

To respond to the call for participation, submit an abstract today. We want to hear from all parties: community members, partners, users, developers and customers.

For developers who want to propose new features for the next release, submit your blueprints, and we will discuss them at the design summit.

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OSCON 2014: From a Slightly Different View

Since 2005, I've attended nearly every OSCON in one capacity or another, including speaking on open source in government, open source health IT, and open source foundations 101; moderating panels; or just doing booth duty for one of my favorite non-profits. This year's event coincided with my first month as a Red Hat employee and as a member of the Open Source and Standards team (OSAS).

In addition to the insight I gained by meeting with many of my team members who were attending and contributing to the conference, other highlights for me included:

  • Attending the ManageIQ BoF and learning that the US National Institutes of Health (NIH) is currently evaluating deploying it (which also afforded me the opportunity for a government-oss-geeky sidebar thereafter)
  • Sitting in on the CentOS session, which had a pretty packed room, a great presentation by the CentOS team, and interesting audience participation
  • Meeting with Prof. Steven Jacobs and Remy DeCausemaker of Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) and learning more about their Minor in Open Source program, which Red Hat has underwritten
  • Meeting with Oregon State University Open Source Lab's (OSUOSL) Lance Albertson and Professor Carlos Jensen, and learning more about what they're up to in leveraging their operations to create educational opportunities for students on campus and beyond, and hearing how they're using CentOS and GlusterFS
  • Seeing a host of old friends who were wildly supportive of my move to Red Hat.

As for OSCON, the increased number of community-focused sidebar events is worth noting. In addition to the traditional Community Leadership Summit preceding OSCON (which Jono Bacon announced would spawn at least six new “CLSx” event locations in the coming year) and all the usual BoFs, OSI board member Allison Randal launched and led a new OSI FLOSS Foundations “Entities” discussion at Mozilla PDX, and a Community Metrics Working Group session was conducted at Puppet Labs.

The OSAS team members' work to support Red Hat's upstream communities is well known and, from the feedback I received in Portland, very much appreciated. Less understood is the Open Source and Standards group as an entity, and the significant Red Hat investment it represents to the community. I hope to help close that gap in the coming months as I go through my own discovery process.

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Flock 2014 Fedora Conference: Live Streaming Schedule and Video Archives

Flock 2014, the conference for Fedora contributors, is being held from August 6-9 in Prague. If you couldn't attend in person, but you'd like to follow along remotely, check out the Flock YouTube channel for live streaming and video archives.

Videos from Wednesday, August 6

Videos from Thursday, August 7

Check back for an update on the August 8 streaming schedule as it becomes available.

Visit the Fedora Magazine site for reports from the event and links to IRC channels, and follow the #flocktofedora hashtag on Twitter.

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Containers Aren't the Extinction Event for Operating Systems

A little while back, I made the argument that any hype or positioning around virtual machines versus containers was very much a fake conflict.

Containers, after all, have a wonderful set of uses, particularly for application developers who want to use Just What They Need, and then get on with what they want to really do: develop for the application, not mess around with the changing libraries and failed dependencies that seem endemic to operating systems, whether on bare metal or virtual.

Sys admins have similar issues with operating systems, with the additional hurdle of having to schedule and provision around updates and failed machines. In such a world, it would seem that containers, like 42, are the Answer to Life, the Universe, and Everything. Indeed, even oVirt has been containerized, with a prototype of the oVirt Engine running on Fedora 19 now available.

But even as I have been assisting with Project Atomic, watching the building success of cloud solutions like RDO and of virtual machine management platforms like oVirt, it seems unlikely that containers, as useful as they are, will be the final solution for all things IT.

Recently at OSCON, I gave a talk under my Project Atomic hat that put forth what I believe to be the one thing that will ensure the continued need for operating systems: innovation. To learn more, watch this short five-minute video from my Ignite OSCON presentation.

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OSCON 2014: Practice Makes Perfect — How Tech Events Make Women Feel Welcome

Watching how technology-related events have handled issues around diversity and the inclusion of women in recent years is like watching someone practice piano: it isn't perfect, but you can see and appreciate the effort being put into it. You also can hope that as awkward as it is now, if the effort continues, eventually we won't need to think about women at tech conferences.

Attending OSCON this year felt a little like watching a pianist play a piece that he's beginning to get the hang of. Women were present and they were speaking on topics other than how to treat women in tech. I attended Ruth Suehle's Raspberry Pi Hacks talk and it's a good thing I showed up early because the room was full to capacity. Other women presented technical talks on a range of topics, including: SWI-Prolog for the Real World (Anne Ogborn), Kraken.js (Poornima Venkatakrishnan), Debugging Lamp Apps (Jess Portnoy), and many more.

But we still are reading the sheet music and getting stuck in parts of it. I was surprised by the number of talks that were focused on women in technology. Don't get me wrong – the speakers were excellent and discussions on ways to get more women involved in STEM and open source were promising; however, it would be wonderful if the tech world were so full of women that a talk about “women in tech” felt as superfluous as a talk on how to plug in your computer – totally unnecessary because everyone already "got it".

And there were missed notes in other areas. I love vendor swag, and I think I picked up a t-shirt from almost every vendor that offered one, which means that I came home with 17 t-shirts (which nearly endangered the carry-on status of my bag). I got a woman's t-shirt from every vendor that had one, but I ended up with only five of those. I understand why – you get breaks with quantity discounts, and you can get a better price ordering 1,000 of one thing than 800 of one thing and 200 of another. But attending a tech conference as a woman does not feel "normal" when so few vendors have shirts sized for you.

At other times, the "practice" was more obvious, but our playing clearly showed improvement and that we were making strides. At lunch, the tables had signs allowing people to find others to sit with who had similar interests. There were two tables this year for women in open source, which is one more than last year. And although we did talk about the issues around getting more women into tech, we also talked about projects we were working on, how we got into our current roles, and which current technologies intrigued us.

Best of all, there were moments in which I no longer thought about the issues of women in technology and tech conferences, when it all came together and I experienced the "music". One of the most memorable of those moments was during Geek Choir, a Birds of a Feather session on Wednesday night. Approximately 16 of us gathered to sing a cappella, starting with simple warm-ups, and moving on to a simple song in unison, and then finally, more complex songs sung in rounds. To end our session, we sang Dona Nobis Pacem in a three part round while standing in the large atrium of the convention center. That may have been my most enjoyable moment of the whole conference: That I was a woman at a tech conference (or that there were only three of us in the Geek Choir) didn't matter. What mattered was that we'd all collaborated to produce beautiful melodies, no sheet music necessary.

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When Metrics Go Wrong

Metrics are great. They can give you situational awareness about what's going on in your community, help you identify issues that you need to fix, and prove the effectiveness (or lack thereof) of community initiatives. But sometimes things go wrong.

Good metrics should lead to action, but sometimes, if you're not careful, you can end up with results you didn't intend. The very act of measuring something, and communicating that measurement, creates an incentive in the community. And sometimes the incentives you create do not match the behavior you want to encourage. (This is called The Cobra Effect.)

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Gluster Site Relaunches

This week we are excited to give the gluster.org website a facelift. In addition to the updated graphics and layout, we are now using the Middleman site generator to allow the site to be statically generated.

In addition to a new look and layout, the site has new navigation and a “Spotlight” section on the front page. We are still maintaining a legacy version of the site, so any old bookmarks you have should work just fine.

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