Chris Short

Bottom line up front (BLUF):

Open source software has done nothing but provide opportunity after opportunity in my life. It should be cared for and maintained so that everyone willing can benefit from it as much as I have (hopefully more). I want my time on the OSI board to be spent on three key areas:

  1. Get through the open source identity crisis, we seem to be having by clearly defining what open source is and isn't.
  2. Continue to develop and spread the message about the positive benefits of open source software and its practices has on organizations and people.
  3. Ally with friends of OSI to take its, "To promote and protect open source software and communities further" mission to the masses.

I'm happy to answer any questions you may have and can be found on a number of platforms. But, the best ways are to reach out through email, Twitter, LinkedIn, or on Freenode message ChrisShort.

Thank you and I look forward to serving you,

Chris Short


I started in tech at the age of 15 as an MIS Technician in a Microsoft shop. Windows NT 4.0 was brand new. This was my first job in tech. I was learning a lot, but I felt limited by the software. Fast forward three years, I was working for an internet service provider when I discovered Linux (Red Hat Linux 5.1 was my first distro). It felt liberating to have a standard toolset that included almost all of the tools I needed to do my work out of the box. Open source software felt right and spending time learning about licenses and how the ecosystem worked was important. But, then the bottom started falling out...

The dot-com bubble burst and with no other options, off to the US Air Force for a technical role I went. Once in technical training, it was surprising to see how unstable and insecure the systems were (these were government systems, right?). I got in trouble one day for exploiting an oversight in the schoolhouse systems to message every classroom simultaneously kicking off dozens of messages flying across the network completely disrupting all learning. I got my butt chewed, sure. But, then I helped explain what I did and how to mitigate that risk and a few others. Months later, at my first duty station, an opportunity to learn by taking part in Joint Expeditionary Force Experiment 2000 was my assignment. This Experiment was to test new ways to adapt to changing conditions in the battlespace, which included red/blue infosec teams trying to ward each other off.

We hit a problem with some new network gear and the monitoring system we were using. There were many interfaces across the network that we couldn't monitor because our monitoring system required additional licenses to monitor SNMP devices. We knew attacks were imminent and the government acquisition system was not going to work in our favor. Enter open source software: I ran an idea up my chain of command. Upon approval, a mentor and I went off and grabbed a handful of spare parts off an equipment shelf. We cobbled together a modest Linux server. I spent a week carrying around a book titled, 'Unix Hints and Hacks' much to the chagrin of senior leadership. "Who was this hacker in our NOSC experimenting with new equipment and that evil Linux thing?"

Within a few days, we had used nmap, MRTG, Apache httpd, and a handful of other open source tools to better lock down the network and build a network monitoring and utilization dashboard system. That would allow us to see anomalies graphed in real-time and react to them accordingly. Attacks did come, we were able to see an influx of activity at the network boundary and begin the work to thwart it while paying closer attention to internal systems for signs of compromise. The experiment ended in great success. Since we had created the only place in the Air Force that could monitor this new gear, my work center inherited directly from the vendor a bleeding-edge VoIP system for us to tinker with before it went for testing in early 2001.

I spent eleven years in the Air Force talking about the benefits of open source platforms and the opportunities that can spring from them. In the ten years since being medically separated, I've embraced many open source projects. Two open source projects (and the communities around them) have completely changed my life; Ansible and Kubernetes. So much so, that I made it a point of contributing back to both ecosystems through personal and work time. That work time went from as allowed by an employer to my full-time job when I joined Red Hat in 2018 on the Ansible team.

There I worked as a product marketer with an extreme fondness for the Ansible community that had helped me so much technically. After a year of doing Ansible work while continuing to work in Kubernetes' SIG Contributor Experience, I joined the OpenShift team and now spend my day working on and volunteering with Kubernetes and its beautiful community. I am currently helping build out the Kubernetes Upstream Marketing Team while being on staff for KubeCon Contributor Summits and New Contributor workshops. The volunteer role as a CNCF Ambassador has given me the tools and skills to help people onboard in the community faster and I'm very grateful for it.

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Created by ChrisShort on 2020/02/14 12:48

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