The open source ideals espoused on Inauguration Day
January 21, 2009
As were many, I was moved by the passion of Inauguration Day 2009 in Washington. But one phrase, in particular, from President Obama's speech resonated especially strong with me because I feel it captured the principle of which a majority of us believe in as open source developers and supporters (substitute public dollars with community-developed software):
And those of us who manage the public's dollars will ... do our business in the light of day - because only then can we restore the vital trust between a people and their government."
The words that are not said, but somehow implied, is that by being open, you mobilized an enormous workforce to assist, guide, and support your effort, thus making your cause even stronger.
One can't help but to wonder what government would be like if it were run on mailing lists, IRC chats, and web forums instead of behind closed doors. Time will tell whether Obama will steer the US government in that direction, or perhaps a more suitable variant. There's no doubting his intent that he is going to try. In fact, the first post on the new whitehouse.gov blog states this goal quite candidly.
I'm a Red Hatter!
January 05, 2009
It's a New Year and that means it's time for an announcement. I left a very cryptic blog posting about this news when it happened, so I've decided to post again and this time be more direct. Just before the turn of November last year (all of two months ago) I joined JBoss, a division of Red Hat, as a member of the Seam development team. I really wasn't planning on working for JBoss, even after I finished the book, because I was so focused on not being biased about Seam. But when I stopped to think about it, I realized that Red Hat champions the very same platform as I do: Linux, Java, and Open Source. Thus, I could do more with their support and vice versa.
Orientation week was a fascinating experience for me because, for the first time, I was in an office building where I wasn't the only one (or one of few) championing the open source model. I guess I will have to up my ante on being a rogue ;) And yes, you do actually get a Red Hat when you join the company. Previously, I thought it was just a joke.
In the spirit of open source, here's the letter I opened with when I joined the company:
Ever since programming blackjack and poker on the TI-85 calculator with his fellow classmates, Dan has believed in open, collaborative software development. But his introduction to Linux came four years later when his father, a market regulator executive, enlightened him with the recent success story behind the ticker "RHAT" and the promise its company made to change the computing industry forever. (Sadly, neither of them thought to purchase shares of stock at the IPO).
Fast forward a couple of months to the moment Dan became a Linux believer--at 3 AM in the morning waking his girlfriend (and future wife) to exclaim he had connected Linux to the internet through his cable modem (long before NetworkManager was around). Not once has he looked back, now proud of his 8 years of running Linux as his one-and-only operating system. As a result of a household mandate, his wife is now a 7 year Linux veteran as well.
Dan has spent his entire career working in enterprise software development, beginning as a junior PHP developer and eventually graduating to a senior Java EE developer, architect, visionary, and author of Seam in Action. Throughout that time, Linux has remained a hobby (some may even say crusade) of Dan's. But he was optimistic that someday his path would cross with Red Hat on a professional level. Today, he's proud to say it has. The first step was the joining of Red Hat and JBoss, which established a bridge in the industry between Dan's personal development stack, Java and Linux. The second was Dan's decision to dive deep into JBoss' middleware framework, Seam, which he accomplished by writing a book on the topic and dually becoming a member of the project. Dan quickly came to appreciate the high quality of software projects at JBoss and was honored to be offered a place on the team.
Dan hasn't done much other than focus on the book in the last year, but he looks forward to getting back to his non-tech hobbies, which include watching NFL football (Redskins), playing golf, snowboarding, traveling, and turning his house into an art project.
Vivre open source!