The adage “knowledge is power” is usually a very good one. After all, the more you know about what’s going on, the more you can usually make a better decision about the things you need to get done.
In an open, collaborative environment, methods such as more transparent processes can lead to more efficient knowledge sharing. which in turn can lead to more effective decisions and outcomes.
But such systems also have people involved, and when that happens, sometimes the most ideal open framework can be thwarted from its intended goals.
These were just a couple of variations of hashtags that propagated through the chat channels shared by Red Hat associates and upstream community members during the course of the DevConf.cz and FOSDEM events, as a flu-like infection went off like a bomb among our friends.
Companies are now taking pride in their rankings for providing their employees with flexible, relaxed, and comfortable working hours to help them manage their lives better. In return, employers get access to the best talent from across the world without having to consider the geographical constraints. It is happening now more than ever, and needless to say that no one is perfectly equipped to tackle the emerging unexplored challenges that come with it.
Of course, we saw this coming. We knew there would be problems with the incompatible working hours, the difference in work cultures, technical problems with connectivity, etc. What was inadvertently overlooked was a simple fact that “humans are social animals.” We have been conditioned to rely on society around us for every kind of exchange and we do need a social confirmation of some sort to stay motivated and driven.
I’m often asked about the timing of linux.conf.au as it generally occurs during January, or early February, when a lot of people in Australia and New Zealand are taking a summer break. My response is that the timing is perfect as it provides a much needed mental jump start at the beginning of the year, and always leaves me excited about the amazing things happening within our Open Source community.
The 2019 linux.conf.au in Christchurch NZ, I’m very pleased to say, did not disappoint in this context. It easily stands as one of the best conferences I’ve been to in the last 10+ years, and I already can’t wait for next year’s conference in the Gold Coast of Australia. In addition Red Hat continues to sponsor the conference each year, and several colleagues had speaker slots.
A lot of people think New Years Resolutions are doomed to failure, so instead of going down that path, lets do something that will create the opportunity for progress. Let’s all stop licking cookies.
To paraphrase my colleague, Dave Neary, cookie licking is when you volunteer to do something and underestimate the commitment required. Then, instead of stepping back so someone else can do the work, you keep the task marked as yours, preventing someone with time from taking it. This can also manifest as staying on as part of a leadership group you don’t have time for, thereby creating a block on consensus and decision making when you don’t have time to show up.
There’s big news coming out of KubeCon Seattle today: our team is donating a keystone project to the Cloud Native Computing Foundation (CNCF), ensuring that project’s longevity and success. The open source etcd project has been donated and accepted into the CNCF, a neutral foundation housed under The Linux Foundation to drive the adoption of cloud native systems.
Open sourcing code is always at the forefront of Red Hat’s goals, whether we start new projects like etcd, which has been open since it launched in 2013, or opening projects whenever we acquire software that is closed and proprietary. We have done it so many times it is second nature. We open sourced oVirt after we acquired Qumranet, Aerogear after picking up FeedHenry, and Ansible Tower after adding Ansible to our ranks. We are firmly committed to the open source model of collaboration and innovation, so when we do have closed code in our portfolio, it’s not a question of “if” we will open source the software, but generally “when.”
The news that IBM has signed an agreement to acquire Red Hat made an impact throughout the business world Sunday, leaving many to speculate what the future will bring for Red Hat. Specifically, some are wondering what this acquisition will mean for the many upstream projects in which Red Hat participates and sponsors.
Our CEO Jim Whitehurst imparted a strong sense of direction for Red Hat as it starts on this new journey, with a comment that directly relates to upstream communities: “Our unwavering commitment to open source innovation remains unchanged. The independence IBM has committed to will allow Red Hat to continue building the broad ecosystem that enables customer choice and has been integral to open source’s success in the enterprise. IBM is acquiring Red Hat for our amazing people and our incredibly special culture and approach to making better software.”