I am running for an OpenStack Foundation Gold Director seat

I am a current OpenStack Foundation Board Director representing the EMC Federation and the OpenStack Foundation Gold Members. Every year, the OpenStack Foundation Gold Members elect their 8 Directors (also called the Gold Member Director Selector election) to represent the entire 24 of the Gold Membership. I am running again, as I want to continue to represent the OpenStack Foundation Gold Membership in 2015. There are some common questions that I have answers to below.

  • Who is Sean Roberts?

    I have been working within the OpenStack community for over three years, with over two years as an OpenStack Board Director. I have been elected three times to represent the OpenStack Foundation Gold Membership. I have also held the Chair of Finance and Tax Affairs committee positions, in addition to being a member of the DefCore and Gold Membership committees. I have strong relationships with many of the Gold Members and have been active with the Gold Member tagup meetings. I look forward to continuing to serve as your Gold Member representative on the Board of Directors.

    I am a Senior R&D Manager at VMware within the Network Security Business Unit. With a Bachelors Science degree in Computer Engineering from San Jose State University, I have over twenty years experience in the technology industry. I have worked at Yahoo, Stanford, Genentech, and Electronic Arts.

    I am also involved with OpenStack projects. I am currently managing the Congress policy project and am the acting Project Technical Lead for the Training-Guides and Trainers projects. The OpenStack Foundation has recognized me as an OpenStack Ambassador, which leads the OpenStack user groups worldwide. In my spare time, I lead the San Francisco OpenStack user group with over four thousand members.

    “I enjoy working with all the different people involved with OpenStack. There is constant state of optimism and a drive to improve. If I had to pick one thing that makes me feel renewed and happy about my work, it would be helping people to improve themselves. I am always humbled, when I can help someone find a new job or gain a new skill. This is what keeps me going.”

  • What is the EMC Federation?

    EMC, VMware, Pivotal, RSA, and VCE are closely affiliated companies that represent parts of the stack that many customers need. It makes sense to coordinate that stack for customers. EMC decided to form a loosely grouped Federation to represent the combined interests of all five companies.

    I am a VMware employee representing the entire EMC Federation on the OpenStack Foundation Board of Directors.

    For more details on what the EMC Federation represents, Randy Bias (formally of Cloudscaling, now acquired by EMC) has an excellent post here http://www.cloudscaling.com/blog/openstack/the-emc-federation-joins-the-openstack-foundation/.

  • Why is Sean Roberts a good candidate?

I have a close relationship with OpenStack. I have been working within the OpenStack community for over three years, with over two years as an OpenStack Board Director. While still at Yahoo, I started discussing Foundation options with Rackspace in 2011. I participated the early meetings, working with the legal team required to put the bylaws together. I worked on rewriting bylaws sections, reviewing, and debating changes with the broader legal team. That very important day on 28 August 2012, when we held our first Foundation Board of Directors meeting, I was there getting my first of many committee assignments. I have been very active on the Board of Directors, attending over 20 meetings in the past two years. I have held the Finance and Tax Affairs Committee Chairman position and been a member of the DefCore, Gold Membership, and Executive Director Hiring committees.

I have developed insight and patience over the past two years on the board. I always assume good intent. I listen much more than I speak. I pay close attention to what actions are taken. I take the time to work through contentious issues. Being an effective leader and director requires nuanced skills that take experience to develop. I believe strongly that my successful board leadership stems from working collaboratively while focusing on results.

I have strong relationships with other leaders from non-profits such as IEEE, OSI, ODL, Linux, and ONF.

I understand that the OpenStack Foundation Board of Directors are responsible to make strategic decisions around legal, financial, and trademark issues. This allows the OpenStack Foundation staff and the OpenStack community to focus on creating and promoting the best OpenStack releases possible.

I believe the OpenStack Foundation Board of Directors most important task for 2015 will be improving OpenStack’s branding and interoperability through DefCore and RefStack. More information can be found here. This will be a landmark achievement for our community.

You can find my OpenStack Foundation profile here as well. It has slightly different questions with similar answers.

Fellow OpenStack Foundation Gold Members, I ask for your vote on 07 January 2015, so I can continue to represent the Gold Membership through 2015.

[Updated 08 January 2015: The election results are in https://sarob.com/2015/01/openstack-gold-director-selector-election-results-for-2015/]

Why I left Yahoo for VMware

I work in the open source community with OpenStack. This gives me the freedom to do my work at Yahoo or any of the other great companies that are doing work in this field. It’s a role I relish and have a lot of fun doing. I have not always been this committed to open source and its ideals. I thank Joshua McKenty, Jonathan Bryce, Mark Collier, Lauren Sell, and the other great people of the OpenStack community for my conversion. Now that I am of the converted, I have a long list of ideas and projects I want to develop and work on. Yahoo was a good place for me to start, but it is time for me to move on to be able really focus on OpenStack.

That being said, I love working at Yahoo. If I could go back in time and change things, I would not. The sometimes bumpy path has allowed me to grow and learn. Many of the friends and colleagues I have now are a direct result of the indirect path I have taken. Yahoo has changed my life in many positive ways. I know Yahoo will continue to grow and thrive. Since Marissa Mayer has taken the helm, we the employees have felt and believed in the surge in pride and enthusiasm.  There are many good people at Yahoo that I will be leaving behind. It’s been a great 4+ years and it’s time for me to take on some new challenges.

Preeti Somal will be taking over representing Yahoo on the OpenStack board. She will be a strong voice on the board and I welcome her. I will move to VMware working with Martin Casado and other Nicira people. VMware and Nicira have a long history of development and innovation. I will be part of a new chapter focusing on open source and OpenStack. I am looking forward to being a strong partner with OpenStack.

I will continue to support the same training and congress projects in my new role with developers and code. The support of the SFBay OpenStack user group, OpenStack Ambassadorship, and the leadership of the community training guides will go with me to VMware. I am firmly committed to making OpenStack world-class and moving to VMware will allow me to focus on doing just that.

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