PODCAST

The OCTOpod: Conversations with SUSE's Office of the CTO

Alan Clark - Office of the CTO, SUSE

Host Alan Clark sits down with leaders and experts in the tech community in the OCTOpod: Conversations with SUSE's Office of the CTO (that's OCTO). Alan has spent his career in enterprise software with a focus on open source advocacy and emerging tech. He’s contributed in many ways – from code to chairs, from networking to cloud. He has served on the Open Infrastructure Foundation, the Linux Foundation, openSUSE, Open Mainframe project, and many more. He’s met lots of great people along the way, and in Season One, he’ll sit down with a few of them to talk about the latest trends and challenges in open source. These include findings from a report on Why IT Leaders Choose Open, how to manage a community, the importance of diversity and inclusion in open source, and much more.
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Introducing The OCTOpod
Jul 15 2021
1 min
Why IT Leaders Choose Open Source with Brent Schroeder
Welcome back to season one of The OCTOPod, where we are continuing our conversations about open source! Today, you’ll hear from Brent Schroeder about why IT leaders are choosing open source. As Global CTO, Brent is responsible for shaping SUSE’s technology and portfolio strategy in support of emerging use cases in areas such as Hybrid Cloud, IoT, and AI/ML. He drives technology relationships with numerous industry partners, participates in open source communities, as well as evangelizes the SUSE vision with customers, press, and analysts. In this episode, Brent unpacks some of the main findings from SUSE’s recent research report on why IT leaders are choosing open source and we discuss how COVID has accelerated innovation in IT, the role of open source in helping corporations achieve their business objectives, and some of the primary motivators driving explosive growth in this area, plus so much more! Tune in today.Key Points From This Episode:Brent shares a bit about the SUSE research report on why IT leaders are choosing open.Why this report is of interest for developers; the value of being on the same page as leaders.How the pandemic has accelerated innovation in IT, from technologies to processes.Key investment areas for IT leaders, including multi-cloud strategy and edge computing.How IT has evolved from cost center to enabler of business opportunity and differentiation.Brent on the role of open source in enabling these new initiatives and driving innovation.His thoughts on how the involvement of big tech players can benefit the community.What COVID has taught him about innovation in technology; why innovation is not an option.Some of the innovative technology Brent has seen being adopted, like containers.How user-centric open source forums are influencing business leaders and IT leaders.The top three motivators driving explosive growth: velocity, flexibility, and cost efficiency.Links Mentioned in Today’s Episode:Brent Schroeder on LinkedInSUSE‘Why Today’s IT Leaders Are Choosing Open’FINOSAlan Clark
Sep 29 2021
22 mins
Women in Open Source with Lynne Chamberlain, Denise Schannon, and Katie Gamanji
Today, Alan Clark hands the reins over to special guest host, Katie Gamanji, Ecosystem Advocate for the Cloud Native Computing Foundation (CNCF). Katie’s mission is to ensure that end users are successful while also bridging the gap between practitioners and projects within the ecosystem. With Linux and SUSE recently celebrating their 30-year and 29-year anniversaries, Katie is joined by two remarkable women in the open source space, who share their contributions to Linux, the challenges they have faced in their careers, and the inspiring stories of how they overcame those challenges to get where they are today. In this episode, you’ll hear from Lynne Chamberlain, President of Regulated Industries at SUSE Rancher Government Solutions, an industry veteran in the federal space with more than 20 years of executive experience. Lynne plays a critical role in enabling open source adoption with a specialization in enterprise Linux, Kubernetes management, and edge solutions to accelerate the pace of innovation within the U.S. government. We are also joined by Denise Schannon, Director of Engineering for the Cloud Platform team and responsible for delivering the SUSE Rancher product. While at Rancher, she has spanned multiple roles, including QA, technical writing, training, and project management, before settling into engineering management. Tune in today to gain some valuable insights and actionable advice from Lynne and Denise!Key Points From This Episode:Lynne and Denise share their experiences of working with Linux and in open source.The contributions Lynne has made to the open source community that she is most proud of.Why Denise says she is most excited about contributing toward documentation.Hear about one of Denise’s biggest challenges: battling insecurities as a doc writer.The challenge that Lynne had to overcome: helping her government customers understand open source as a secure, viable product.Denise shares her experience of working at Rancher while also collaborating in open source.Learn more about SUSE RGS, Lynne’s role there, and how open source factors in.Find out how Lynne got introduced to programming, Linux, and open source by accident.Why Denise pursued a career in open source and her experience as a woman in tech.Denise opens up about how her abilities have been doubted because of her gender.Lynne emphasizes the importance of staying true to yourself as a woman in a male populated industry like tech.Denise on why she is pleased to see how far women in tech have come.Lynne on why she believes that the open source field is open to initiating more women.Lynne’s advice for women starting careers in Linux and open source: pave your own way!Denise echoes the value of finding your support system and leaning on it; just go for it!Links Mentioned in Today’s Episode:Lynne Chamberlain on LinkedInDenise Schannon on LinkedInDenise Schannon on TwitterSUSE Rancher Government SolutionsSUSERancherKatie Gamanji on LinkedInKatie Gamanji on TwitterCloud Native Computing Foundation (CNCF)SUSE and Rancher CommunityKubeCon + CloudNativeCon North America 2021" rel="nofollow">
Sep 20 2021
31 mins
Open Source for Good with Kevin Fleming
Bloomberg has been fostering open solutions for the financial industry for quite some time, so it should come as no surprise that they also have been actively engaged in the open source community, with an eye toward promoting more rapid innovation across all aspects of the organization worldwide. Today, we're talking about open source for good with a Member of the Bloomberg CTO Office, Kevin Fleming. Kevin focuses on Bloomberg’s technology community engagement, including the company's involvement in open source projects and standards. He has been an open-source developer and project manager for nearly three decades and, in today’s episode, he shares what the term ‘open source for good’ means to Bloomberg and how it fits into the company’s strong philanthropic history. Tuning in, you’ll learn about the reciprocal relationship Bloomberg has built with the open-source community, some of the hurdles Kevin has had to overcome in implementing the open-source programs at Bloomberg, and the main benefits of these programs for Bloomberg and other organizations, plus a whole lot more! We hope you’ll join us.Key Points From This Episode:How Bloomberg benefits from open source technology, including better tools, community participation, and skill building for their engineers.The reciprocal relationship that Bloomberg has built with the open source community.How the concept of ‘open source for good’ fits into Bloomberg’s strong philanthropic history.How the program changed over time and what they learned from its successes and failures.Learn about Tech at Bloomberg, the company’s innovation communications brand.Kevin describes the time and resources that go into user experience design at Bloomberg.How open source software has evolved to become increasingly end user facing.Some of the hurdles that Kevin has had to overcome, such as figuring out how to educate ‘non-technologists’ about open source.The main benefit of Bloomberg’s open source programs: continuous education for software developers in a rapidly evolving landscape.Why Kevin is hopeful that we’ll see more Fortune 500 companies taking on similar programs.The spirit of collaboration rather than competition that could grow this idea.Links Mentioned in Today’s Episode:Kevin Fleming on LinkedInKevin Fleming on TwitterBloombergTech at BloombergApache Software FoundationPython Software FoundationSoftware in the Public Interest (SPI)SolrHadoopProject Jupyter SUSEAlan Clark
Sep 2 2021
27 mins
Documentation and Open Source with Anne Gentle
There is a perception in the tech world that developer documentation is boring, and it can be a major challenge to get people to contribute to open source docs. Luckily, today’s guest, lifelong learner Anne Gentle, is always up for a challenge. Anne’s open source journey began by volunteering for organizations such as One Laptop per Child, and getting involved with book sprints. This was a way for her to learn about innovative techniques being used in open source which she was missing in her job as an everyday technical writer. The value she gained from entering the world of open source documentation, and the value she could see it provided to organizations, inspired Anne to write a book; Docs Like Code. In today’s episode, Anne shares some of the principles she covers in her book, explains the parallels that exist between documentation and software development, dives into some industry changes which have transformed documentation over the past few years, and offers valuable advice for anyone interested in getting involved in open source.Key Points From This Episode:Anne explains where open source and documentation intersect.Why Anne chose to get involved with open source volunteering.A variety of other reasons that lead people into the world of open source volunteering.Growth in the number of open source writers over the years.Using GitHub as an example, Anne explains the value of open source to organizations. Why DOCSIS code techniques pair well with open source.The motivation behind Anne’s book, Docs Like Code. Industry changes which influenced the documentation changes. Parallels between software development and documentation.Advice from Anne regarding putting systems in place for writers.How the CICD has been helpful for documentation.The factor that is vital to successful documentation.What Anne wished she knew more of before entering the open source world.Anne’s biggest surprise when she started working in open source.How the open source ethos is applicable to Anne’s current role. Valuable advice from Anne for anyone interested in open source.Google's Season of Docs program, and the impacts that Anne expects it to have.Links Mentioned in Today’s Episode:Anne Gentle on LinkedInAnne Gentle on TwitterAnne Gentle on GitHubDocs Like Code WebsiteCisco DevNetWrite the DocsA guide to getting started in open sourceSeason of Docs programJust Write ClickOutreachy InternshipsOne Laptop per Child
Aug 26 2021
28 mins
Diversity and Inclusion in Open Source with Amy Marrich
The focus of today's discussion is the important conversation and project of diversity and inclusion in the open-source space. Joining us to share her expertise and experience on the topic is Amy Marrich from the CHAOSS Project and someone who has dedicated much time and energy to creating more accessible and comfortable spaces for a wider range of people. In our chat, we get to hear how Amy became curious and got involved in this side of open-source work before she unpacks some of the layers of why these goals are so important. Listeners will get a basic understanding from our guest, as she provides some very helpful definitions and reflections, that are great departure points, no matter your knowledge level. Our guest also weighs in on how she measures the success of the work she does in inclusion and diversity, and to round things out, shares an inspiring anecdote that illustrates the importance of this work!Key Points From This Episode:A basic definition of diversity and inclusion and how these concepts have evolved. Why the ideas and practices of diversity and inclusion are important in the open source world. How larger social issues tie into the tech and software professions. The coming to light of the relevant issues, and Amy's experiences and discoveries.Best practices and current initiatives that are helping the diversity and inclusion cause.   Determining priorities and the most critical issues to address at any time. The surveys that Amy and her team use to measure the success of initiatives. Amy's thoughts on the current state of things and how far we still have to go. Addressing individual concerns of exclusion and the importance of speaking up  A success story from Amy's work that shows the impact of people feeling welcome and safe. Why Amy prioritizes comfort and belonging and uses this as the main measure of success.Links Mentioned in Today’s Episode:Amy Marrich on TwitterCHAOSSCOTA OpenDevZuulStarling XAirshipThe CentOS ProjectAlan ClarkSUSE & Rancher CommunityTODO Group https://todogroup.org/
Aug 19 2021
19 mins
The Value of Mentoring in Open Source
Mentoring is part of many organizations and companies, but it can be a controversial practice. In today’s episode, we talk about the value of mentoring in the open source community. Our guests today are Rossella Sblendido, who directs the engineering department SUSE, and Sayali Lunkad, a software developer at SUSE and a self-proclaimed open-source enthusiast. Rossella has been a mentor and Sayali has experience as a mentee. We hear about what makes a good mentor and why it is a role you have to learn to inhabit. Sayali shares what being a mentee was like and the value that comes with being given opportunities to learn. Rossella and Sayali respond to some of the common criticisms around mentoring and suggest how these relationships can be successful. Our conversation also touches on what mentors gain from the relationship, opportunities for mentorship in open source, and advice for either aspiring mentors or mentees. Key Points From This Episode:How mentoring works in the open source world and the purpose it serves.Who usually sponsors open source mentoring programs.Responses to some of the common criticisms around mentorship programs.The primary responsibilities of a mentor, and attributes that make a mentor effective.Sayali’s experience as a mentee, and the project that she worked on.The attribute Sayali found most helpful during her mentorship program.How Sayali came to the OpenStack Outreachy program,Why Rossella decided to become a mentor.Some of the reasons Sayali would recommend mentorship opportunities for upcoming developers.The availability of mentorship programs in open source.Advice for aspiring mentors and potential mentees.Final words from Rossella about mentoring.Links Mentioned in Today’s Episode:Rossella SblendidoSayali LunkadOutreachyLinux FoundationGoogle Summer of Code
Aug 12 2021
20 mins
Creating an Open Source Startup with Sheng Liang
There are many potential benefits to adopting the open-source approach to building a start-up and here to discuss some of these and his experience in the field is SUSE's President of Engineering and Innovation, Sheng Liang. In our conversation, we get to share in some of Sheng's wisdom and business know-how, talking about pragmatic solutions to common issues from the world of open-source and start-ups more generally. Sheng explains why he thinks open-source is a smart path for businesses but is not the answer to every question. He gets into why the agility of open-source can also be of benefit to companies in their early phases, and the lessons that he learned during his work at cloud.com, prior to joining Rancher Labs and SUSE. Sheng makes the point that without developing a relationship with your users and creating something that people actually care about, your ideas will never have an impact, and believes that being able to pivot when a great idea does not connect should always be an option. So for all this and more from our inspiring guest, be sure to listen in!Key Points From This Episode:The beginnings of Rancher Labs and Sheng's experience of starting an open-source company. How the open-source philosophy figured into the initial plans for Rancher. Differentiating an open-source approach from other business models.Sheng's perspective on when going the open-source route is smart for business. Addressing the problem of the number of non-paying users in the open-source model. The two typical communities that open-source markets to: developers and users. Balancing innovation and stability at a new start-up; Sheng's best advice to this end. Sheng's approach to keeping the start-up spirit alive within Rancher now that it is a part of SUSE.The most important considerations when deciding about whether to follow an open-source route. Advice from Sheng about software startups and the central question of creating engagement.Weighing the feedback your company receives and what to take most notice of.Links Mentioned in Today’s Episode:Alan ClarkSheng Liang on LinkedInCitrixcloud.comChris AniszczykLinux FoundationCNCFRed HatElasticMongoDBConfluenceHashiCorpKubernetes
Aug 5 2021
22 mins
Open Source: It’s Everywhere with Chris Aniszczyk
These days, open source has become pervasive across every aspect of our lives. From your refrigerator to your TV to your phone, almost everything you’re using incorporates some aspect of open source software. Today we welcome Chris Aniszczyk to the show. Chris is an open source technologist with a passion for building a better world through open collaboration. He's currently a CTO at the Linux Foundation where he focuses on developer relations and running the Open Container Initiative and the Cloud Native Computing Foundation. He’s also a partner at Capital Factory, where he focuses on mentoring, advising, and investing in open source and infrastructure focused startups. Chris’s CV also includes creating Twitter’s open source program and serving on the Eclipse Foundation Board. Today we discuss how open source became as pervasive as it is today and how it has changed over time. We talk about which types of companies or areas open source has not yet permeated and why, as well as the vast benefits of open source program offices. To hear more about the value of open source and the importance of keeping the ‘open’ in ‘open source’, tune in today!Key Points From This Episode:An introduction to today’s guest Open Source Technologist Chris Aniszczyk. Insight into how pervasive open source is in software today.How Chris first became interested in open source.Thoughts on how the definition of open source has changed over time.Why a vendor or a company may choose to not go with open source.The example of Netflix and how it uses open source to its benefit.Areas that open source hasn’t penetrated and the barriers to them. Insight into what an open source program office (OSPO) does.The growth of open source programs in companies. How OSPOs are making a difference in adoptions and software contributions.The role of OSPOs as impactful strategic players in business.How we can keep the ‘open’ in ‘open source’.How people or corporates could be more involved in or attuned to open source.Links Mentioned in Today’s Episode:Chris Aniszczyk Chris Aniszczyk on TwitterLinux FoundationOpen Container Initiative  Cloud Native Computing FoundationCapital Factory Twitter Open SourceEclipse FoundationSlackware GitHubGitLabKubernetesNetflixOpen 3D Foundation Alan ClarkSUSE & Rancher Community
Jul 29 2021
31 mins
What is an Open Source Community? with Thierry Carrez
Trying to define what an open source community is might sound like a simple task, but it is a layered, nuanced collective with many moving parts. Today's guest, Thierry Carrez, has been in the open source community for years and is currently the VP of engineering at the Open Infrastructure Foundation. In this episode, Thierry sheds light on some of the key traits that characterize open source communities. We hear about the importance of governance, principles, scope, and documentation and find out how everyone, even those who do not code, can contribute. As Thierry notes, it is not about your technical ability, but rather about adding value where you can and being an engaged member of a community. Building a sustainable community requires effort, but that transparency and collaboration make it a worthwhile endeavor.  Key Points From This Episode:The characteristics of an open source community; it’s more complicated than it appears. Two major motivations for why people contribute to an open source community. The three fundamental tenets every open source community needs, according to Thierry. How someone can get involved in an open source community. The bar for contributions is not very high, so any input is likely to be valuable. Some advice on the complex topic of starting a new open source project. Why open source that is owned by one body defeats the point of collaboration. The Four Opens principles and how they facilitate sustainable, inclusive communities. How you can build a reputation in the open source community.Tweetables:“An open source community at the very bottom is all the people who contribute to an open source project but obviously, that just kicks the can down the road and now the question is, what is a contribution?” — @tcarrez [0:02:10]“Even if you don’t write code or if your time is limited, you can definitely participate in and be part of a community.” — @tcarrez [0:12:51]“Having an open source project is ultimately to avoid the waste of having several parties develop the same thing on their side while they could collaborate and contribute and avoid wasting that energy by doing it as a collaborative project in open source.” — @tcarrez [0:16:02]“It’s really not about code, it’s really not about being a technical rock star. It is really more about being useful to others.” — @tcarrez [0:23:44]Links Mentioned in Today’s Episode:Thierry CarrezOpen Infrastructure FoundationAlan Clark
Jul 21 2021
23 mins
Introducing The OCTOpod

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