Category Archives: Uncategorized

thank you for your support



One of the penalties for refusing to participate in politics is that you end up being governed by your inferiors. — Plato

My last post here was an open letter to OpenStack.

The result was a number of conversations, some public and some private, about OpenStack’s history and direction.

Without solicitation, I was nominated as a candidate to the OpenStack board.

In follow up conversations, I have been convinced to actively campaign for this position and this is my attempt to do so.

While I believe the OpenStack board is not empowered to take actions directly, a board seat would legitimize my voice to provide perspectives that are currently under represented in the current conversation at that level.

That is why I was nominated and I would see that as my duty.

I have opinions and perspectives that oppose the status quo. I am now 100% confident that these should be given voice by virtue of the fact that I’ve had people who have bet their careers and livelihood on OpenStack thank and encourage me for articulating issues with OpenStack that they experience on a daily basis.

In the interest of full disclosure, I wanted to list my position and what I represent as a candidate:

  • I accept that the board shouldn’t be dictating technical solutions. I reject the idea that the board shouldn’t be concerned with or discuss technical quality.
  • Accepting and fully embracing the notion that the OpenStack Foundation and by extension the board are primarily concerned with marketing, I believe the best possible marketing is a high quality project that is a pleasure to use and operate.
  • I am against a proliferation of projects while core infrastructure functionality remains painfully unresolved.
  • I am not in favor of time based releases that prioritize dates above other considerations.
  • I promise to make the experience of the front line user and operator a primary driver in all actions and decisions I’m involved in as an OpenStack board member.
  • Towards that end, I will support my positions with users and operator case studies and publicly available information from the projects.

My goal is not to focus on anything negative, but to provide counterpoint and recognize that negative doesn’t get addressed by ignoring it’s existence.

If you believe I represent your interests enough to warrant a vote, I would be honored to have your support next week in the OpenStack Board Election.

Andrew Clay Shafer

P.S. I’m happy to respond to questions in the comments.



Winter Happens

Blow, blow, thou winter wind
Thou art not so unkind,
As man’s ingratitude.

-William Shakespeare

Fast approaching is my second winter as a home ‘owner’, where ‘owner’ really means I have a debt to a bank, but it keeps us warm and dry. Preparing for winter takes some effort. There’s a list of niggling things to do, like blow out the sprinkler lines and other fun stuff; most of which is quite minor and doable but has to be done. Or not… but the alternative to preparing for winter is almost always more costly in the long run.

All in all, we live a pretty easy life. With a gas furnace, indoor plumbing, and refrigeration, it’s practically luxurious compared to what 99% of the people who have lived on this planet experienced.

Imagine if preparing for winter was stockpiling enough wood and food for 3 months. And how about hay for the animals, who you need to plow the fields, once they thaw, of course. Ok, now what happens if winter lasts for 4 months? 3 months in and you are out of food, wood, hay and there is 4 feet of snow and 20 miles from the nearest chance to get more. And just to make it more fun, imagine if everyone else had also only been prepared for the 3 month version of winter. Good times…

So… where were we… oh, yeah, global economic collapse…

Winter happens… everything that goes up must come down. Cycles are inevitable.

The fundamentals of our economy are strong...

The fundamentals of our economy are strong...

What are you going to do? Curl up in a fetal ball and wait for sweet slumber? Hopefully, it’s not blizzard after blizzard from here on out (The DOW has to stop at zero, right?) and you still have a metaphorical month of wood and food, and some hope for getting more, but all signs point to winter, so there is no sense fiddling around with the grasshoppers.

Tim O’Reilly is fond of spreading the ‘create more value than you capture’ meme. (his recent web 2.0 ‘do stuff that matters‘ keynote now seems almost prescient, ‘reality bubble’ indeed… watch Tim at Boston Ignite too)

I really like that idea. If everyone was doing that, most of the problems on the planet would melt away.

I’d like to extend that idea just a bit…

Start by creating value but, ‘capture more value than you consume’.

Hopefully that can get us through to Spring…

Adversity draws men together and produces beauty and harmony in life’s relationships, just as the cold of winter produces ice-flowers on the window-panes, which vanish with the warmth.

-Soren Kierkegaard


Ok, the last few months have been insane…

August started with a week in Toronto at Agile 2008, which I started to write a post about.  Then I looked up when it was 2000 words and had at least 5 clearly deserving topics.  At about this point I realized I had too much real work piled up to justify untangling the topics, so I just left it as a draft, but I’m hoping to get through all those thoughts in the next few weeks.

August ended with the Utah Open Source Conference, which, all things considered, was pretty much awesome.  ~550 people came out of the woodwork for a local conference in a place where Linux battles with Sex, not too shabby.  I had a great time, reconnected with old friends and made a couple new ones.  Also got the opportunity to give my first hour long Puppet talk (slides), which I think went pretty well.  I underestimated the time it would take to get through some of the code examples, but that just left more time for questions, which filled out the hour.

I’ll do better next time 🙂


Once upon a time, I had grand plans to blog regularly. . .

But Puppet has taken over my life. . . in a good way.

We had a great time at the Puppet training

I did have a chance to write something as a guest for GigaOM.

Got a link back in this awesome podcast with Luke and Nigel from google.

And some email conversations generated Puppet in the clouds and this follow up.

We’re getting ready for Velocity, Cloud Camp and Structure in San Fransisco, 23-25 of June.

Come say hi if you are there.

Not Forgotten. . .

I’m apologizing to all my loyal readers (all three of them).

I haven’t forgotten.

Between Puppet, the wife coming down the home stretch of graduation from medical school, and a 4 month old baby, I just haven’t found the time to put thoughts together.

I just want to maintain the high quality you have grown accustomed to. . . ; )

But good things are coming, I’ve can feel a few posts bubbling below the surface; software process, software design, team building, an interview or two and maybe even some code.

Looking forward to traveling to Portland for our first Puppet training and then the O’Reilly Velocity Conference in San Francisco in June.

I’ll be better after the 24th of May, promise . . .

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