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The Life & Journey of a Professional Open-Source Developer

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My story of becoming an open-source developer, with lessons learned.

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The Life & Journey of a Professional Open-Source Developer

  1. 1. The Life and Journey of a Professional Open-Source Developer Bob McWhirter
  2. 2. Note! At any point, ask any questions you want.
  3. 3. Director of Research & Prototyping
 JBoss Middleware, Red Hat Project co-lead of WildFly Swarm At Red Hat for almost 10 years
  4. 4. How did I get here?
  5. 5. via open-source!
  6. 6. Studied theatre at university building scenery
  7. 7. Moved into graphic design. On paper. Newsletters. Menus. Business cards.
  8. 8. Remember, this was 1997
  9. 9. Then websites… And someone wanted a shopping cart.
  10. 10. WTF is cgi-bin?
  11. 11. And Apache?
  12. 12. Perl? You’ve got to be kidding me.
  13. 13. *sigh*
  14. 14. I’d done Apple //e BASIC in 3rd grade
  15. 15. And Logo
  16. 16. Perl
  17. 17. C++
  18. 18. ACE Washington University
  19. 19. Use. Learn. Find bugs. Submit patch.
  20. 20. Makefiles Not awesome. Not fast.
  21. 21. Academic writings are form of open-source.
  22. 22. Wait, what happened to my hammer? Or menus? Or business cards? Or websites?
  23. 23. First Software Engineering Job
  24. 24. ACE iFleet Giant Build Cluster Bake Bob
  25. 25. Hired!
  26. 26. Linux Emacs C++ Java Loved Open-Source Released Open-Source
  27. 27. werkflow JDOM dom4j Jaxen XPath jakarta-* (apache)
  28. 28. Second Software Engineering Job
  29. 29. CAPS Logistics
  30. 30. The Java Guy at a DCOM shop.
  31. 31. Lots of free time.
  32. 32. • Business rules • Heuristics for solving vehicle routing & scheduling • ILOG JRules was too expensive • Lots of academic papers available
  33. 33. • Strong project leaders • Autonomy • Better tools (JIRA, Subversion) • Commercial-friendly • Not Apache Software Foundation
  34. 34. • Consulting around open-source strategies • Helped clients (JotSpot, BEA) work with OSS communities
  35. 35. I missed engineering
  36. 36. TorqueBox JRuby on JBossAS
  37. 37. Hire the JRuby guys
  38. 38. Microservices with WildFly
  39. 39. Lessons Learned:
  40. 40. Start with small contributions.
  41. 41. Documentation and bug reports are contributions.
  42. 42. Contributing to forums & lists are contributions.
  43. 43. Implement from specifications or RFCs.
  44. 44. Communication is important.
  45. 45. Learn tools to communicate across space and time.
  46. 46. Good bug reports
  47. 47. Good commit messages
  48. 48. Good emails
  49. 49. Friendliness is important.
  50. 50. Scratch an itch.
  51. 51. Someone else probably has the same itch.
  52. 52. Strong opinions, Weakly held.
  53. 53. You can be a commercial-friendly open-source zealot.
  54. 54. Continuous self-promotion.
  55. 55. (like this today)
  56. 56. Champion others.
  57. 57. Open-source builds reputation.
  58. 58. Closed-source jobs make you “go dark”.
  59. 59. Open-source helps you learn.
  60. 60. Open-source helps you make connections.
  61. 61. At Red Hat, we hire from the community.
  62. 62. Community is everywhere.
  63. 63. To recap:
  64. 64. • You can learn via open-source • You can improve via open-source • You can make a career of open-source
  65. 65. Thank you! Questions?

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