Over the course of my time working in open source communities, I’ve become pretty good at a few things:
- Connecting people, ideas, stories, and other communities
- Getting participants to believe they can do awesome things, empowering them to make them happen, and getting roadblocks out of their way
- Listening some more
Listening is first for a reason: Without it, there are no stories to share. No people to connect. It provides me with a bit of situational awareness for both the communities in which I participate, and other communities as well. And it helps me develop a sense of empathy for what people experience, both the good and the bad, either as end users or contributors. I like to know what is working — and I like to know what isn’t working, so it can get fixed.
The truth is: I love seeing people feeling happy. Feeling accomplished. It’s one of the best things about working in open source — knowing that your work, or even the work of another community, has helped to empower people to get things done. And as a good listener, I always take note of what other projects are making people happy — and as I’ve shared elsewhere previously, one of those is Ansible.
Ansible is helping a LOT of folks feel very happy — to the tune of nearly 12,000 stars on GitHub at the moment. Some of that can be attributed to its ease of use, allowing users to quickly implement things that previously had simply been out of reach. But more poignantly, the underlying theme to the stories that I’ve heard has been that because it’s easy, because they were able to quickly accomplish things, they now had more time to focus on the hard stuff: Culture. Learning to communicate ideas and stories across multiple teams. Breaking down silos. Ansible got out of the way and enabled them to be successful beyond just the technical bits.
And it’s built by an open source community that embraces the very same principles: empowering people to contribute by making it ever easier to do so, and then getting out of their way so they can get stuff done.
I’m incredibly delighted, and a little bit honored, to share that I’m joining the team at Ansible as a Community Architect. I’ll be doing what I love to do: listening, connecting people and ideas and communities, and making sure people can get stuff done. And doing so with an terrific group of folks, including Greg DeKoenigsberg, my boss-to-be and someone to whom I give great credit for telling me I could do amazing things (and then got out of my way.)
I officially start August 3rd, but in the meantime: you can catch me at OSCON next week, largely in the hallway track, and also running the Ansible BoF Thursday night. I promise to not keep you out pasture bedtime.
Come and find me and tell me your stories.