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What is my value to the OpenStack community, and why you should vote for me in this weeks elections – UPDATED

January 14th, 2013 · 1 Comment · OpenStack

First things first – Search your email for a email titled “OpenStack Foundation – 2013 Individual Director Election” from . It will have a click through link with your userid/pass to The OpenStack Election Voting Page  This is the email with your link to vote in the OpenStack Elections. As with democratic any process, voting is your chance to have your voice heard.

#### UPDATE ####

It has come to my attention that some people are having problems voting. If you haven’t received your voting email from the foundation please contact and they will rectify the situation.

#### End UPDATE ####

As I am writing this article, I am sitting on a plane headed back home from Denver. I was out here helping Scott Lowe (EMC) and Shannon McFarland(Cisco)  help kick off [present at] Denver’s OpenStack meetup group.

Colin Presenting at Minnesota OpenStack Meetup Group

Colin Presenting at Minnesota OpenStack Meetup Group

The presentation I am gave is one that I have given quite a few times now. It is titled “Surviving your first commit – an engineers guide to contributing to OpenStack”. It is a collection of lessons learned in my own journey with OpenStack. It is an attempt to remove barriers to contributing, and also to encourage community participation and adoption. The first time I presented on this subject was at the OpenStack design summit in San Diego. The original purpose was breaking down barriers to utilizing and contributing to OpenStack. However as I was developing my message and collecting the lessons learned I found that the most important element to success was organizing communities.

This was a lesson that I learned in the late 90’s when I first got introduced to Linux. I remember the first time I received Linux install media. I tried to install it and failed. A couple months later, a couple of us friends got together and got through our first install. Shortly after I had the web hosting at the ISP I ran (DKAOnline) migrated to Apache on Linux. By coming together as a community of geeks, we were able to lower the barriers of entry of Open Source software and get to a point where I could use Linux and other OpenSource software to power my business. (While I moved to the SF Bay long ago, the roots of that users group still lives on in Fresno as the Fresno Open Source Users Group).

I have carried that lesson forward throughout my entire lifetime in technology. Helping others helps yourself. Contributing to, and encouraging the creation of active user groups around emerging technologies is key to both your and the project you are working on a success. Increasing the use of a project creates a cycle that results in more companies with real world problems contributing back patches and fixes, improving the project in a way that is increasingly more relevant to all.

All of this user community talk centers around a key thought –

“What value can I bring to the OpenStack community and the foundation if I am elected to the individual board”

There are lots of things I CAN do and want to do. But it is important to consider WHAT I AM and HAVE BEEN doing. Over the past year or so I have been doing the following –

1. Evangelizing and increasing the adoption of OpenStack in user community through social media and the communities that I participate in.

2. Teaching people and companies about how to best contribute to OpenStack

3. Supporting and encouraging individuals in my own company (Nexus) to contribute to OpenStack as well as using it in our platforms.

4. Using my influence to educate hardware manufacturers on why the should ensure that their products are cleanly integrated with OpenStack as well educating and encourage them to commit development resources to the project.

5. Providing feedback from an Operators perspective to the board and developers.

6. Playing “Johnny Appleseed” helping people set up OpenStack meetup groups throughout the Nation

Right now I am an active member of the community, and wish to contribute more. I believe that Open Software and Standards are key to our technology industry being successful in the long run. The success of OpenStack and the OpenStack Foundation is key to making that happen.

I am doing what I can as an individual member of the foundation, as well as a leader in my own business to make this happen. My ask to you, is to help me take my contributions to the community to the next level by electing me to the individual board. 

The week of January 14-18 you have the chance to help me make this happen by voting for me to be an individual member of the OpenStack Foundation Board. If you believe in what I am currently doing, and want to help me do more, please do me a favor and cast your vote for me in the election.

Thank you,
Colin McNamara

Resources –

OpenStack Elections Candidate Page –

OpenStack Elections Direct link (Need link from email to vote) –


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