Limitless Potential: Using Modularity in Programming to Spur and Sustain Open Source Innovation
Thomas Hatch is the creator of the Salt open-source software project and CTO of SaltStack, the company behind Salt. He has spent his career writing software to orchestrate and automate the work of securing and maintaining enterprise IT infrastructure from core data center systems to the very edge of the network. Thomas has decades of experience implementing global infrastructures for the largest and most complex organizations in the world, including the US intelligence community. In 2012, Tom received the Black Duck “Rookie of the Year” award and a spot on GitHub’s Octoverse list (and again in 2013) for leading a project with the highest number of unique contributors, competing with projects from Android, Mozilla, and OpenStack. More recently, CSO Magazine chose SaltStack SecOps as one of the hottest new products at RSA 2019.
Tom is the creator and principal architect of SaltStack. His experience in datacenter and systems management include teaching RHCE track courses for Red Hat, designing and deploying automation systems for the US intelligence community, designing and creating large scale SaaS systems for the music industry and the development of the worlds most scale-able automation suite. Tom's software and designs are used worldwide to automate some of the largest and most critical infrastructures today.
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Open source projects, often hailed (accurately) as a catalyst for creativity and for technical innovation, often stagnate as they mature, unequipped and unable to solve new problems for a simple reason: as these projects scale, they require a corresponding scale of maintenance, a dynamic that forces often-brilliant developers to dedicate increasing portions of their time to managing the sprawl, rather than innovating.
As the creator of Salt, one of the most popular open source projects in the world, Thomas Hatch understands this dynamic better than most. In response to the stagnation often associated with open source projects, Thomas created Salt POP - Plugin Oriented Programming - with the goal of infusing creativity into Salt projects, and others, and shifting the programming paradigm. Instead of unwieldy, sprawling projects that drain creators to a proportionally increasing degree that tracks the scale of the program, Thomas created a programming model characterized by modularity.
Because modular environments are more pliable and extensible, modular programming empowers teams to collaborate and interface more effectively, even as they enable large scale development. Essentially, such a paradigm builds a freedom and flexibility into the process of development that traditional models can’t achieve. Moreover, such a dynamic frees creators from the parasitic relationship that come to characterize many open source projects as they require more and more of their creator’s time and energy.
In this talk, Tom will talk about why he created POP and how he’s applied it to several new projects to make a positive impact on the sustainability of Salt. In particular, he’ll focus on Umbra, a module designed to attach to data streams, prepare them for machine learning, and then attach to the outbound data stream, lending visibility to the AI/ML-based decisions that are almost always made in the “darkness” of a program where a developer has little visibility.
The audience will learn why it’s important to build modularity into the programming of open source projects, as well as how the POP approach can be applied to other projects for greater long-term success, deployment and impact. Further, a wide range of people benefit from Tom’s insights on this topic, a group that includes SREs, DevOps engineers, IT operators, Automation architects, Security strike teams, VPs and directors of infrastructure operations and security, SOC managers and directors, systems administrators, and others.
The time zone for this talk is Coordinated Universal Time (UTC).
- 2020 May 1 - 17:30
- 30 min
- openSUSE Virtual Summit
- Open Source