✨ Series: Getting to know the wonderful Continuous Delivery Community
Location: Belgium, Brussels
Who are you?
Hey, my name is Olivier, I work as an Engineering Manager at SUSE, mostly on Kubernetes-related projects such as Rancher. I am also a CNCF ambassador.
On the side, I am involved in various types of OSS projects, like conferences such as FOSDEM, or development projects such as Updatecli which I created.
In the past, I spent a significant amount of time working on the Jenkins project where, among other things, I was the Infrastructure officer.
Since I’ve been working from home full-time for many years,, it’s essential to me to have hobbies that bring me outside.
I love doing sports like running, ice hockey, and also playing board games with friends.
When staying home, I enjoy listening to loud music while programming or playing video games.
Every choice is a renunciation, and there are many more things I would love to do.
What did you want to be when you were a kid?
Due to movies like Indiana Jones or Jurassic Park, I dreamed of becoming a fearless
adventurer, but then, very young, I got hooked on computers and left my dreams of a beautiful Fedora to learn how to break and fix computers.
What led you to a career in tech?
Even though it happened smoothly, it wasn’t without uncertainties either.
As a student, I worked in many non-tech related jobs but ultimately, the tech field was the most appealing to me. As a self-taught learner, I decided to quit my computer science studies to work full-time on my passion. I was lucky enough to meet the right people at the right time, and I am very grateful for the trust they gave me.
Do you remember your first open source contribution?
I am not sure, but I think my first open source contribution was many years ago when I shared with the OpenVZ community a script to back up and restore OpenVZ containers.
How did you get involved in the Continuous Delivery Foundation?
I had the opportunity to follow early discussions about the Continuous Delivery Foundation, then I saw it taking shape. That was a great learning experience as there are many areas that we don’t think about when we start contributing to an open source project like legal, governance, sponsoring, etc.
Several years later, the Continuous Delivery Foundation still has a great impact on my projects.
What is your favorite thing/project/tech to work on?
As an engineering manager, I don’t have a lot of time to code at work, which forces me to carefully think about how I spend my time.
I like to automate repeating tasks, so I can keep exploring new areas while being confident that my existing projects are self-sustained and require minimal care from me. Every time I start working on something new, one of the first things that I ensure is that I have the right pipelines in place by leveraging CI/GitOps/dependency management tools, and then it’s just exploring technologies that are new to me.
Tell us about the thing you’re most proud of and why?
As I built my toolbox over the years, there is one tool that stands out above the others by not finishing in my project cemetery.
I created Updatecli to automate my Git repository updates. I took the declarative approach, so I could have “update” policies that perfectly match my needs regardless they are GitOps, Dev, or documentation projects. I saw my open source project growing to a point where not only small and large organizations adopted it, but they also started contributing to it.
I see people asking questions and others answering them.
It’s utterly satisfying to watch this project grow.
Updatecli now has features that I myself don’t even need.
What is the best connection you’ve made through open source?
Hard to tell as I made so much. I have both virtually and physically met a lot of people over the years.
That’s the magic of open source communities, we are just a few contributions away from great open source maintainers.
What is your #1 top tip for getting involved in the community?
Always favor small and well-scoped contributions over long and unclear ones.
Just do them and publish early even if unfinished to get feedback from the community.
Complexity comes with experience!
What’s your favorite open source conference?
My heart balances between KubeCon and FOSDEM, with probably a preference over FOSDEM.
I learned a lot from KubeCon, it’s a great conference to meet awesome people and to go deep into cloud native technologies. But as a very curious person, I love how many different kinds of topics are covered at FOSDEM. From the Distribution Devroom maintained by some colleagues to the testing and Continuous Delivery Devroom which I contribute to maintain, passing by the Golang Devroom, or the Community Devroom. The amount of content is just awesome and, bonus point, it’s totally free. So regardless of people’s financial situation, everybody has a chance to attend.
For me, nowadays, it’s a great opportunity to talk IRL to friends and colleagues.
Where can people find you?
The following links are where I am mostly active (order matters):
- GitHub: https://github.com/olblak
- Matrix: @olblak:matrix.org
- Mastodon: https://fosstodon.org/@olblak
- Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/overnin/
- Twitter: https://twitter.com/0lblak/
What’s happening next?
Don’t miss FOSDEM on February 3–4 in Brussels, Belgium. The Testing and Continuous Delivery Devroom will take place on Sunday, February 4. View the schedule.