So. I wrote this article for Opensource.com.. So I am calling it a blog post :) I have another article coming too from the superuser blog about the upstream training I did in Barcelona. I also have another article I wrote when I first started at the foundation so maybe I can put that here too. You can’t say I haven’t been writing, I just haven’t been writing here. Working on that.


A new kind of match-making: Speed mentoring The Women of OpenStack introduce groups of newcomers to mentors. Posted 18 Oct 2016 Kendall Nelson

My primary focus is to make contributing to the OpenStack community easier and more fun.I’m an upstream developer advocate for the OpenStack Foundation, and this work includes bringing new people into the community, making sure members of the community feel valued, and reducing conflict and removing roadblocks to contribution. It’s also part of my job to smooth the path for newcomers just starting to get involved in the community.

In many cases, people looking to contribute often don’t know where to start—a mentor can point new people in the right direction and help them feel involved and engaged.

A mentoring program The Women of OpenStack recognized this need for mentors and started a mentoring program that matches mentors with newbies based on the type of mentoring they need and other factors like: what area of the community they are interested in, where they live, what sort of interaction they would like in their mentoring sessions, if they want technical or career help, and more.

We are currently running our second round of enrollment in preparation for the OpenStack Barcelona Summit, with the target of enrolling people four times a year (before each Summit and Project Team Gathering). OpenStack Summits and Project Team Gatherings alternate throughout the year, occurring about every three months giving people the opportunity to meet with other Stackers face to face. We hope to get as many people as possible enrolled and matched before the Barcelona Summit. Then, hopefully, many of our mentors and mentees can start their relationship with a face to face meeting.

Currently, we have over 150 people signed up to be mentors and mentees.

How it works We send one introductory email to the mentor and mentee informing them about the match. Then we give the pair space to make their own decisions about how and when to meet. We want them to decide what is best for them. Around three months later we check in with a short survey, but mostly we leave the pairs alone to develop their relationship and trust they will come to us if they have questions.

Lately, we’ve been discussing what ‘graduation criteria’ could signal the end to the relationship. We hope to have more guidance for mentors and mentees on this soon.

Speed mentoring The Women of OpenStack have a Speed Mentoring event that we hold at the Summits. The goal is to start the Summit by introducing groups of newcomers to mentors, so they are sure to make a few connections at their first Summit. A few volunteer mentors come and talk to groups of mentees, answer questions they have, and give guidance about where they can go for more help. It’s been successful in the past and we hope to continue to grow the event.

Get involved Are you interested in signing up to be a mentor or mentee? Fill out this form. Do you want to attend the Barcelona Summit Speed Mentoring event? It will be Tuesday October 25 at 7:30 AM. Please sign up and RSVP.

For more information on different types of mentoring in the OpenStack community? Please see our wiki. For more information on helping to grow and evolve the mentoring program we hold bi-weekly meetings on Wednesdays at 8:00 UTC in the #openstack-meeting channel on IRC.


–Kendall

Background images from Subtle Patterns (Subtle Patterns) / CC BY-SA 3.0

Hello again. Wow, this makes two posts in a month, let’s see if I can average that shall we?

It’s been over a year since I graduated from the University of Minnesota. That year went so incredibly fast it’s amazing. It’s funny how you work so hard to get through elementary school middle school high school and then college. Always working towards a singular goal: starting your real adult life. And then when it gets here you don’t know what to do it because the goals are so much more hazy.

I’m sure I’m supposed to have goals now. Don’t know what they are though. Kind of just focusing on living my life. So instead of goal planning in this post, why not just focus on the things that have happened in the last year whether they are goals or not? Here is a list of things I have accomplished in the last year without having planned a single one of them.

  • I got a patent written up and filed. Hopefully more to come but we shall see.
  • I broke up with my boyfriend and now I’m living alone which actually is pretty awesome. I love not having to clean up after anyone but myself.
  • I started working on an open source project that turned out to be one of the most awesome and rewarding things I’ve ever done.
  • I got my car paid off. Woo no car payment!
  • I started paying on my student loans and have made double payments every time. I’m still in a lot of debt but I’m making good progress which I guess is what counts.
  • I traveled to a bunch of new States. I went to Tennessee and North Carolina and Colorado and Texas. All for work stuff but still.
  • I joined the Society of Women Engineers and went to their National Conference.
  • I started going to dubstep shows and went to my first three day EDM Music Festival.
  • I spoke at the Austin OpenStack Summit. I did 2 talks to at least a hundred people both times. That’s a lot of people. More than I’ve ever spoken to before anyway.
  • I started building a network of co-workers and friends that literally spans the continent and I’m working on spanning the globe. I now have friends in California and Colorado and North Carolina. I have a friend in Israel as well.
  • I started hanging out with one of my college professors and she lives in the same apartment building as me now with her husband. Probably among one of the coolest people I know.
  • I interviewed at 3 different companies and ended up coming out of it with a new job that I am more excited about than any other project I’ve been given to work on.
  • I also started a personal website and blog.

For not having had any real goals in this last year, I’d say I’ve accomplished an awful lot. And yeah I can see how someone would look at that list and be like oh well she just happened to be given all of those awesome opportunities and I’m not that lucky so I can’t. The thing is though I wasn’t handed any of those things. None of that stuff happened by accident. I had to step outside my comfort zone think outside the box and really stretch and work hard to do every one of those things. And you can do it too, so there.

–Kendall

Background images from Subtle Patterns (Subtle Patterns) / CC BY-SA 3.0

So I feel really bad that I haven’t been doing anything on here lately. Life’s been pretty busy. So I will just stream-of-consciousness this post and hopefully from here on out I will get on a better schedule of putting up more regular content. Fingers crossed.

What’s been going on with me? Well. I made it to a year and IBM and I had a change in my role there shortly after the Summit. Sadly, it ended up being something that I wasn’t really interested in and I didn’t really really enjoy doing. So I started the job hunt.

The wonderful thing about working on OpenStack is that you meet tons of people from tons of different companies. So, I started looking within my network if there were opportunities to continue working in the community. I talked to several of my friends in Cinder about whether their company was hiring or not and I kinda came up with a few tiers of companies that I was interested in pursuing.

I ended up lucking out and not having to go past my first tier. There were three companies in that first group: Pure Storage (a reasonable option), AT&T (the most realistic choice), and the OpenStack Foundation (a longshot, but I thought it would be pretty cool).

I had an initial conversation with a recruiter at Pure Storage and she was awesome to talk to, but when we started talking about logistics it came down to me having to move to Seattle. Now, I’m sure Seattle is an awesome place to live and all, but I’m not all that interested in leaving Minnesota. So things stopped with them after that first conversation.

With AT&T I went through a few rounds of interviews with one of the guys that I had interned with there a few years ago and that all seemed rather promising. Again though, it came down to our final conversation where I found out I would have to move to St. Louis. St. Louis is an awesome city, don’t get me wrong; I’ve lived there before and I have tons of family there which is a lot of fun. But I really didn’t want to leave Minnesota.

While I was interviewing with AT&T, I had also started interviewing with the OpenStack Foundation. I didn’t really think that anything would come out of that because I kind of look at the Foundation as a place where only the best of the best go. I definitely didn’t think that I would be good enough to make it to another interview. Life has a funny way of surprising us though and I made i through round after round of interviews. All in all I had 5 rounds; the last round was with two people. With each one I became more and more excited, while telling myself that it probably wouldn’t happen and I shouldn’t get my hopes up too much.

And then it came. I got an email from Thierry with an offer on it. I could not believe it. I wanted to explode I was so happy.

This opportunity that I’ve been given, to work at the Foundation, and bring people into the community and build people in the community up like people have been done for me. I honestly can’t think of a better job right now. Being able to give back to the community that has taught me so much in less than a year couldn’t be more rewarding or fitting for me.

I was surprised at how loyal to cinder and openstack I became and just a few months. Loyal to the people and the project itself. I don’t know if it’s the people in Cinder or seeing how a ton of huge companies can come together to work on a single thing, but I want to give back and help other people see how wonderful open source and OpenStack itself is.

–Kendall

Background images from Subtle Patterns (Subtle Patterns) / CC BY-SA 3.0

Hello all. However few of you there may be… The summit was quite the whirlwind experience.

Sleep (Not!): Everyday I got up at like 6:30 so I could be headed to the convention center by

  1. Sleep wasn’t really a thing that happened much considering I wasn’t going to bed till midnight at the earliest. It was still awesome though. So if you are planning on going to the summit, don’t think you are going to get sleep if you want to build relationships with the community and be involved in all the daytime stuff too. It’s impossible.

Talks: So my talks actually ended up going really well. My first talk at the women of openstack working breakfast was the one I was way more nervous for. I didn’t eat anything beforehand because I felt like I was going to be sick. I almost got there late because I thought it started at 8, turns out it started at 7:20. I was so warm because I was nervous that I was overheating in my blazer so I took it off. But even with all of that it ended up being really well received. As dumb as it is I was amazed by how many people tweeted things that I said and how many new followers I got as a result. I was almost moved to tears during it when I looked up and saw how my words were affecting one of my co-workers. It was amazing to feel the connection everyone had in the room while I was talking. It was an experience I won’t forget anytime soon.

As for my other talk it went pretty well too. I was a lot less nervous and I’m not sure if it was because it was my second one that day or if it was because the topic wasn’t just personal. I’m not sure. I felt really proud that I knew what I was talking about and that I could give that knowledge to the people sitting in the room, but it wasn’t the same as my first talk. It was definitely a different feeling altogether. And even though the slides had a freak out during the section I was talking during it all ended up going really well and I was applauded for how I was able to continue on even with that technical issue.

I’m definitely already brainstorming talks for the next Summit.

Sessions: There are a lot of really interesting sessions about a ton of different things. I was sad that I couldn’t make it to all of them and tried to pack in as much as I could. Even with all the planning I had done ahead of time though there wasn’t anything I could do when sections overlapped one another. I tried to go to sessions that the rest of the people I knew weren’t going to so that I could cover more ground. I guess I’ll just have to work harder at cloning myself for next time. I learned a ton at the sessions I did go to though. The session on Docker and Cinder together was really interesting even though John demo didn’t work out like we planned. I learned a lot about live migration and how’s that works with NetApp drivers. I got to see some of my friends up on stage talking about all of the things that have happened in Cinder over the last release and where we plan to go in the future releases. I got to be a part of a heated discussion about splitting the design Summit out from the rest of the summit. I got to hear the debate about multipath between Nova and Cinder contributors. All in all there were a lot of good talks but I went to and know what I wish I had been able to make it to.

New People: I got to meet so many new people! All these big names in Nova and other projects I actually got to be in conversations with. I got to meet people whose code I review! Two people in particular came up to introduce themselves to me and thank me for my reviews and it made me feel a bit like a celebrity. I was really happy that they knew who I was and appreciated the comments I made on their patches. It really made me feel like I add value to the project. I also got to meet a girl that works in Hungary on Nova; she is such a badass. Kinda my new hero.

Cinder Folks: All I can say is that I love these guys. I really don’t know that I could have found a better team to work with. They are so wonderfully supportive and inclusive. They are hilarious and fun to hang out with. I feel accepted and like I belong with them.

Bats: Supposedly there are tons of bats that live under the Congress St. bridge… like 750k of them. We tried two nights to see them take off. The second night we saw maybe a hundred bats. Not gonna lie, I was expecting something like batman where they all go blasting out of their dark holes together. Maybe we just didn’t time it right. Oh well, maybe next time.

Shooting: Shooting was pretty fun. Good way to bond with a smaller subset of the Cinder guys, though I wish more could have come along. Walt was awesome, he was so patient with all of us talking us through everything, making sure we were comfortable with how it all worked. I got to shoot a 44 Magnum, and two other handguns, but they weren’t as fun as the competition rifle and the AK-47. Those two guns were AWESOME. Duncan’s reaction to the Magnum was hilarious and I thought it was even more funny when he tried to shoot it one handed like Walt did. That thing was enormous and my hand hurt by the fourth round, but it was still fun. The Cinder folks do some cool stuff together.

-Kendall

Background images from Subtle Patterns (Subtle Patterns) / CC BY-SA 3.0

IT’S SO HARD to stay on top of this. I wish I knew the language this template was in better so I wouldn’t be stuggling to get things looking how I want so hardcore. Bleh. Anywho. Trying to get the portfolio to be a dropdown with the main page under that my CV and the pagesunder that being about stuff I have done or am doing. Fingers crossed that I can get that figured out in the next day or so. Time is a wastin..The summit is in a week..nervously bites nails

-Kendall

Background images from Subtle Patterns (Subtle Patterns) / CC BY-SA 3.0