Introducing 10 on Tech and Episode 001!

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We’ve long wanted to start a podcast, but felt that the space has continued to get more crowded and doing yet another hour-long show about enterprise IT could wind up falling on “numb” ears. Although we’ve stalled on the project many times due to this concern, we’ve continued to have the desire to produce something helpful. On a personal scale, podcasts have been one of my top three career tools for growing myself and staying informed. At ActualTech Media, we want to be able to give back and provide that same value I just described to others who may be just getting started, may operate in other areas of technology but have an interest in enterprise IT, or may be industry veterans but just lack the time to research the things this show will cover on their own.

Speaking of lacking time, one of my biggest frustrations with consuming podcasts is that many podcast producers choose to dive very deep into a topic for an hour – sometimes even two or three hours in the case of some podcasts I frequently listen to. I simply cannot consume everything I want to because they take too long. We’ve decided to take a cue from friends like Justin Warren (who produces the Eigencast) and Keith Townsend (who produces CTO Chats). We enjoy both of their shows because they contain potent, valuable conversations in a very brief window (20 minutes, give or take). We think this works well and we want to produce something with the same format.

10 on Tech

So allow me to introduce you to 10 on Tech! “10” is for ten minutes. Our goal is to take ten minutes (again, give or take a few) to discuss something relevant to the industry with a guest who is authority on the topic. We want listeners to be able to listen to the entire show on the way to the store! You’ll see familiar names from the IT community as guests, as well as hopefully be introduced to some folks you aren’t familiar with yet but should be! As far as your hosts, I will be primarily hosting the show, but it is a collective ActualTech Media production and may also be hosted by expert moderators like Scott D. Lowe or David Davis! In some instances, we may also break from guest interviews to do an ATM round-table style recap of a conference or major industry happening.

The podcast will be available on iTunes, Google Play, Sticher, and elsewhere as soon as it’s approved by the respective companies. Hopefully that will be this week sometime. But the show is available on SoundCloud immediately! So without further ado, please enjoy the inaugural episode of 10 on Tech with Kyle Ruddy of VMware about the VMware{code} team. You’ll also find a full transcript of the show below the player in case you’d rather read than listen!

Show Transcript
James: Hello everybody and welcome to the show. I am James Green with ActualTech Media, and my special guest today is Kyle Ruddy. To some, you may know him as @ruddyvcp. That’s how I know Kyle. In later days, he is on Twitter as @kmruddy. Is that right?
Kyle: Yes. Correct.
James: Cool.
Kyle is a Senior Technical Marketing Engineer at VMware. I know that Kyle has been doing a lot of interesting stuff over the last couple years with automation in particular. It was not too far back that Kyle went over to work with the VMware team on a lot of automation-related stuff, and so we’re going to talk about that a little bit today. Kyle, anything else you want to say about yourself or what you do before I dive into asking you some questions?
Kyle: No, not particularly. I think you summarized it pretty well.
James: Awesome. Okay.
I know that you are part of, to my knowledge, a somewhat new team in the VMware company and it’s called VMware[code}. I know something like that has been around for quite awhile with EMC, and this seems to be very familiar. You’re contributing to open source projects and building cool new stuff.

As we see infrastructure and people that manage infrastructure looking to use and to move towards more of an infrastructure as code paradigm, I think some of this kind of stuff is really leading the way and you’re creating things that are going to help that become a reality. First off, can you just tell me a little bit about the VMware{code} program? What does it do? What kind of people are a part of the program? Who’s in it? That kind of thing.

Kyle: Certainly. Yeah. VMware{code} is pretty new. It’s VMware’s attempt to really get a hold of the developer community as well as appeal to a lot of the administrators or vSphere admins who are now approaching more of a coding or a development background. Think of it as VMware diving in on devops, basically; appealing to developers, giving them access and abilities that they wouldn’t have had previously, really opening things up on the open source side. There’s things like the Slack channel. It’s actually surprisingly active. There’s quite a few people of all various types of knowledge in there, anywhere from myself, I still consider myself basically a vSphere admin, to developers who are creating the things that I’m consuming, to pretty much anybody you can think of that really wants to get involved into the community.
James: I saw that that was out there. If I’m not particularly fluent in code but if that’s something I want learn, can I get in on that and watch, be a looker in the Slack channel and learn from you guys?
Kyle: Absolutely. Yeah. It’s a great resource to just dive in, ask questions. There’s people asking 101-style questions. There’s people who are digging in really hardcore into some Puppet code. It’s across the board. Everybody there is very willing to help.
James: Okay.
Kyle: Everybody’s open to contributing and helping whoever get to the point where they want to be.
James: Cool. If you go over to the VMware{code} website, you can find a link to request an invite to that Slack channel so you can get in there and participate.
Tell me about some of the projects you guys are working on now. Obviously, there’s maybe some things that are still a little early to talk about, but the stuff that’s coming out, what can you tell me?
Kyle: On the code side of the house, there’s a lot of work going on around Photon and vSphere Integrated Containers. I’m not particularly involved with those; however, they are a tremendous interest to me. I greatly enjoy containers and seeing how that development process goes. One of the things that I’m more interested in and digging deeper into are the vSphere APIs. VMware knows that that’s an area that they need to improve on. There’s a lot of closed APIs that you can’t get to that are being used, and so they’re really working to expose those to the community to get those open sourced so they can be consumed easier, so that you don’t have just your VMware admins that are taking advantage of it, you can now get it to the point where even your developers are diving in and seeing VMware as more than just something that they run Workstation or Fusion on.
James: Sure. Cool.
Looking out here on the GitHub page, because obviously that’s one of the places that you guys commit a lot of stuff, I see projects related to all kinds of stuff. There’s Photon stuff like you mentioned, AppCatalyst. I see Docker stuff, CoreOS stuff, Chef, Puppet, Ansible, Jenkins. Besides VMware stuff, which is really important, those vSphere APIs and that kind of thing are going to provide a way to build out that infrastructure from that side, but then all this other stuff that tries to tie into vSphere stuff I see that you’re contributing a lot to their open source repositories that have to do with their products as well. That’s awesome to see VMware contributing back to the communities that leverage those tools.
Kyle: Oh, absolutely. That’s really how you get a little more well-known within the community. You can’t just open stuff up of you own and expect people to contribute to it if you aren’t a good advocate of that usage yourself.
James: Yeah. Sure.
I am only just a little bit familiar with the team. I saw some other people that are a part of what’s called a speakers bureau that I’m familiar with. I saw Josh Atwell and Trevor Roberts. How does one go about joining the VMware{code} team, first of all? Is everybody that’s on the team one of these speakers, or do you have people that are just in a basement gazing at their keyboards and they only code? Who makes up this VMware{code} team?
Kyle: Really anybody who’s interested in getting involved and they want to share what they know with the larger community.
James: Is this VMware employees, or can somebody that’s not a VMware employee join the Code team?
Kyle: No, it’s open to anybody.
James: Wow, that’s awesome.
Kyle: There are a lot of VMware employees that are involved with it; however, there’s people that are outside of VMware. I believe there’s a director from Pivotal that’s on there. There’s, of course, Josh Atwell from NetApp/SolidFire. There’s a couple other people on there as well. It’s just about do you want to discuss these things with the community. When I say these things, it can be literally anything. It’s just saying that you’re open and available to being a resource. That’s how I got involved with it. I just raised my hand and I was like, “Hey, so, I like talking about PowerShell and I like talking about automation. This sounds like something that would match my skillset quite nicely, and I think it would be advantageous for both of us. How about it?”
James: Yeah.
Kyle: Talking to some of the guys in the background and they were like, “Yeah, this is a great match. Let’s do it.” It doesn’t matter if I was working for VMware or if I was still a customer, the conversation would have gone the same way.
James: Sure. That’s cool. I didn’t know that it was made up of people other than VMware employees. Obviously from an open source standpoint, it’s cool for people from all different areas of the ecosystem to be contributing, so that’s great to hear.
If you want to learn a little bit more about VMware{code}, I know there’s a website. That’s Code.vmware.com. You can go and look at their stuff there. From that website, you can find the Slack channel so you can get on there and look at what they’re doing. I know there’s a Twitter handle. That’s @vmwarecode on Twitter. Any other resources to do with VMware{code} that you would direct people to besides those three, Kyle?
Kyle: Probably have them take a look at GitHub.
James: Sure.
Kyle: It’s kind of spread out all over the place, but for the most part you start out with VMware.github.IO.
James: Okay. Awesome.
Kyle, I really appreciate you coming on and talking about VMware{code}. I’m excited to hear about what you guys are doing. I think establishing that team and starting to publish some of that kind of stuff is really important in the direction that things are headed, and so I’m really happy seeing VMware doing that and organizing it, even though it’s not all VMware employees running it, and I’m excited you’re a part of it because I know that you’re excited about that stuff, particularly APIs, automation, that kind of thing. I know it’ll be exciting for you. Thank you for your time. I appreciate it.
Kyle: Thank you. Thank you for featuring VMware{code}. It’s great to see it start to pick up a lot more traction.
James: Cool. Have a good one.
Kyle: Thank you.
James Green

James is a Partner at ActualTech Media and writes, speaks, and consults on Enterprise IT. He has worked in the IT industry as an administrator, architect, and consultant, and has also published numerous articles, whitepapers, and books. James is a 2014 - 2016 vExpert and VCAP-DCD/DCA. Follow James on Twitter

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