About Amye Scavarda

Amye is the Gluster Community Lead at Red Hat. Previously, she was a project manager working in Drupal to expand out the world one website and infrastructure build at a time. Follow her on Twitter @amye.

On Humane Teams at Home and Around the World

Pivotal Meetup I had the pleasure last week of seeing Dan Young and Emma Jane Hogbin Westby's talk on Humane Teams at Home and Around the World at the Pivotal London Lunch meetup, and came away with a lot to think about: how different cities do meetups, the choices that we make about how we work with teams, and what information informs those choices.

It's always a delightful experience to see how different cities do different meetups. Even though it was the middle of the week and pouring down rain, over 60 people came to see the talk! The structure of the meetup is around topics interesting to tech, not necessarily the most technical deep dive. It's almost like a bite-sized DevOps Day feeling, in a really lovely space in the Pivotal office.

Read More »

On Difficult Conversations in Community

gluster Before I moved into community full time, I was a project manager working on a lot of different things. As a project manager, you tend to have a large portion of your day tied up in difficult conversations, and what I learned through is: always deliver bad news over the phone. Deliver over the phone, follow up in an email, but give people space to be able to react in person or as near to in person as you can, and have that hard conversation together.

Since I started this practice, video conferencing has gotten a ton better, and that 'near enough' is sometimes good enough! (I have other thoughts on what to do in days of amazingly bad connections, which is more common than you might think these days!)

Read More »

Online Communities Meeting Face to Face

gluster One of my favorite things about working in online communities is that you can spend nearly all your time with someone online but have no idea what they look like. I went out to dinner with a friend that I've known for ages from the DevOps community, and he went up to order and put it on the tab I had open—and he couldn't remember what my real name was. He came back to the table and we had a good laugh about it—how we've known each other for some time, we're good friends, but there's some things that you just miss out on.

The face-to-face meetings are really important because you get to know why someone reacts a certain way to ideas that are proposed—in person. It's really hard to hug it out over video chat, even though you can indicate a lot in email, in chat, and mailing lists.

Read More »

Encouraging New Contributors

gluster Open source projects survive off new contributions and new contributors, bringing new ideas and new focus to their work. A new project starts with one person or a few people putting code out for other people to use and contribute to, a successful project creates a pathway for contribution.

In Gluster, we've focused the past two years on making our infrastructure effective for contributing, and inviting more contributors into our infrastructure. Open source isn't just about opening up your code—it's about building a supporting infrastructure that invites people to contribute. For projects to be successful, the community needs to be able to participate in the governance, the documentation, the code, and even the hosting. Said another way, a healthy project can attract more diverse skillsets with more transparency.

Read More »

Announcing Gluster 3.10

Gluster logo The Gluster community is pleased to announce the release of Gluster 3.10.

This is a major Gluster release that includes some substantial changes. The features revolve around, better support in container environments, scaling to larger number of bricks per node, and a few usability and performance improvements, among other bug fixes. This releases marks the completion of maintenance releases for Gluster 3.7 and 3.9. Moving forward, Gluster versions 3.10 and 3.8 are actively maintained.

The most notable features and changes are documented here as well as in our full release notes on Github. A full list of bugs that has been addressed is included on that page as well.

Read More »

Communities That Aren't

Cranes in city skyline This is not about how to create communities and who is doing it wrong. This is about the perception of community and the difference between the perception and reality.

Here's what I know about communities:

  • They're hard to get into.
  • They're hard to get out of.

What in the what?

On the first rule: this goes for all communities. Move to a new neighborhood. Get into a new software project. Go to a new school. Move to a new city. Join a new company. All of these are "communities" in different ways. It's usually not the case that you show up and you're immediately seen as "a valuable member of the community"—you're an unknown quantity. You have to put energy into this community to be welcomed; to be able to contribute, you have to have spent time there.

Read More »

Embrace that Feeling of Ennui Around Your Stack—It's Fine

In the day of the great Slack outage, which left large parts of the internet unable to communicate with each other, we also discovered that a large part of our feelings had been hidden in the everyday discourse. It was actually easier to talk to each other about the various challenging aspects of our work than to be alone with it. (This happens every time a major component of our communication tools goes down. Twitter, Slack, pick a thing.)

It's like that discovery around language and monkeys: when a monkey is lost, they will lament the state of being lost instead of trying to find the rest of the tribe. When you can't communicate with other people who help you articulate your feelings of discomfort, it gets harder to deal with them. I see this as big factor to burn out—when you cannot articulate your values and where they are not aligned with the work that's being produced, you lose the ability to rationalize the difference between those things. You can't process the difference between what you see happening every day, your own sense of "the right way to do things" and where the overall group is going if you don't have a space to talk about it that everyone understands.

Read More »

Gluster Goes to FAST

Gluster logo We hosted a small meetup/birds of a feather session at USENIX’s FAST conference. FAST is a conference that focuses on File And Storage Technologies in Santa Clara, California.

Vijay Bellur, Gluster Project Lead, did a short talk on Gluster.Next, our ongoing architectural evolution in Gluster to improve scaling and enable new use cases like like storage as a service, storage for containers, and hyperconvergence.

Read More »