All good things must come to an end. I can say with no equivocation that the last three years have been the most rewarding from a work perspective than any other job I’ve ever had. When I accepted this challenge in May, 2011, I had no idea that the project and community would blossom as they have. I had no idea how many great people were already in place to push this project to the forefront of open source development. I had no idea how many great partners we would find who share our vision for open source storage. I also, of course, didn’t know that Gluster, Inc. would be acquired within months of my arrival, which drastically increased the velocity of the project and community. I didn’t know any of that – what I did know was that there was a pretty cool project called GlusterFS and it seemed like the way forward for storage.

After we were acquired, we knew there would be a bit of angst from the community about whether we would still actively support other distributions outside of the Red Hat arena. I’m proud to say that we have done that, with active contributions from various community members for Ubuntu, Debian, NetBSD and OpenSUSE builds. We always strove to make gluster.org a truly open community and, in some respects, “bigger than Red Hat.”

Along the way, we created a board consisting of active community members and organizations. We made the project more transparent and active than ever. We greatly increased the degree that the community is a collaborative experience beyond just the immediate development team. And we greatly increased the reach and scope of the open source storage ecosystem. I can look back and feel privileged to have worked with such amazing visionaries, developers and community evangelists.

Now it’s time to turn the Gluster community over to someone who can build on what we’ve done and take it even further. I’m staying at Red Hat but moving on to other projects and communities. The ideal candidate should know their way around open source projects and communities, should have an unyielding desire to push things beyond the status quo, should know a thing or two about business strategy, and should understand how to identify which organizations should invest in a community and sell them on the vision. As I’ve mentioned before, today’s community leaders are the equivalent of startup executives, having to mesh together product management and marketing, business development and strategy, sales and messaging into a cohesive whole.

Are you the next Gluster Community Leader? Drop me a line on IRC – I’m “johnmark” on the Freenode network.