Episode 8: A New Beginning

Some of you know that I recently left Red Hat. There are multiple reasons for this, mostly to do with a wonderful opportunity that came my way (more on that later).

First, Red Hat. I learned more in my 4 years there than at any other time in my career. I went from being just another community manager to someone who learned how to grow a community into a global ecosystem, essentially functioning as chief executive, CMO, and head of alliances for the Gluster Community for three years. It was an awesome job – and came with awesome responsibilities. Red Hat separates its community and product operations into “church” and “state.” There is a huge benefit to this: those on the open source (or “church”) side function independently and are authorized to make decisions on behalf of their respective communities with little meddling from the business or “state” side of the company. This allowed me great latitude in running the Gluster community and was a welcome difference from previous roles in other companies. After four years, however, I had outgrown this model and wanted to take on more of a hybrid business-community-product role. I was also ready to take on more responsibility.

And now, what you really want to know – where did I go? I’m so glad you asked!

I wrote a series of articles at Linux.com where I explored the art of open source product management, which should give you an idea of what’s been on my mind. I ended up speaking with a few companies about various opportunities, and in the end, I chose the one that felt right: EMC. Every company I spoke to ticked off all the checkboxes, but EMC seemed like the ideal fit for all sorts of reasons – some business, some personal and family. So here I am in the Advanced Software Division as the Director of Open Source Programs! First order of business is building out the ecosystem and product space around CoprHD, EMC’s first major foray into the wily world of open source.

But there’s more than just community and ecosystem development to work on – there are a host of best practices to wrangle, institutionalizing the open source way, and much more. As I’ve written before, making software in the open source way requires a cultural change, and it’s much more than simply pasting a license and pushing to GitHub. I’ll be building programs that make the relationship between community and product, ie. church and state, more efficient. There’s much to do, and it’s a fun challenge. Onward and upward!


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