My First Week at HP

Last week I started a new job and I’m very excited for the opportunity to work with the OpenStack team at HP. This new position is different for me in a couple of ways. HP as a company is larger and has a much longer history than the start-ups and smaller companies I’m used to working for. There are pros and cons to that, but I think for right now in this field the pros outweigh the cons, especially because of the work that I will be doing in the new role.

I thought very hard about whether to accept the offer because HP is gigantic. My immediate group is part of the cloud division, which is a relatively small division within HP overall, from what I have learned so far. While small for HP, it still includes more people than all of the companies I’ve ever worked for over the last 18+ years combined, several times over. The team I’ll be working with day-to-day isn’t that big, though, so I’m looking at this as an opportunity to see what working for such a big company is really like while still being a part of a smaller group.

Another important factor for me is the nature of the role itself. I have been involved in “open source” since college, well before it was even called that. In the late 90s I found Python, and since then I’ve been increasingly involved in the community, contributing modules, documentation, and apps, as well as organizing meet-ups and speaking at conferences. During all of that time, I was working on various closed source applications for day jobs in banking, on-line publishing, and data center management and, as with many developers, my open source contributions came out of my spare time. Open source has become more mainstream industry-wide, but that change has come more quickly in some areas than others. I’m excited that at HP I will be spending close to 100% of my time on upstream open source work.

As part of the cloud team, my primary focus will be on improving OpenStack, especially through the Oslo and Ceilometer teams. I expect to find plenty of opportunities to contribute to projects that are not part of OpenStack, though, since we use a lot of tools created by the rest of the community, and as I’ve written and talked about in the past, the OpenStack community should be thinking about how we can give back to projects that have helped us.

My first week was fairly smooth and bore out most of my expectations. There was the usual amount of paperwork to fill out, including a few minor hiccups caused by my rushing the process so I could sign up to attend CloudOpen in a couple weeks. Another typical new-hire task was setting up my development environment. However, unlike with any other job in the past, because I am actually working on the same project I was the week before, I already knew the code base and was able to follow my usual code review and bug triage routine for Oslo on Monday, my first day of work.

On the whole, I think things are off to a good start!