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We are publishing a series of profiles on the winners of our recent community contest, and today we're starting with the grand prize winner, Joe Julian. Joe has transformed the #gluster IRC channel in the 2 years since he started participating, and he also maintains his own repository of RPMs for 32-bit builds of GlusterFS: we don't support 32-bit builds, and he stepped in to fill this gap. You may have seen Joe's picture before, like when he won the Gluster award for 'Hacker of the Year' - an honor we bestowed on him last year. Included in this post is his picture that he took upon receiving his prize, a Motorola Xoom. I'll post the picture of him with his new award as soon as he receives it :)
What follows are excerpts from an email interview I had with Joe:
How long have you used GlusterFS? What was it that led you to try it?
I implemented GlusterFS at Ed Wyse Beauty Supply in March of 2009 as a result of a total failure of DRBD to meet our system's needs. When DRBD became corrupted, since it was a block level failure, this (if not for our backup routines) would have resulted in a massive data loss. It did result in about 18 hours of critical system downtime as I restored and brought systems back online. I looked for solutions that would store whole files so if there was a problem, it wouldn't affect everything. I wanted to find a solution with no single points of failure. GlusterFS was the only solution I found that met all my criteria.
What should everyone know about your participation in the GlusterFS community (if they don't know already)?
Why do you participate in the Gluster community?
I participate in the Gluster community because I was frustrated that when I needed help, there was nobody there. It's more of an aggressive assault on the general lack of help I got. You've heard of passive aggressive, well I take it to a whole new level... Besides that, by helping other people learn about GlusterFS, and by helping identify problems, I learn more. The more I learn, the better I do my job. The more bugs I report, the better the system works for Ed Wyse Beauty Supply.
What was a Gluster Community Moment (tm) that you'll never forget?
I went to OSCon and met with a bunch of people whose names I'd only heard, or that I've talked to on IRC. I felt, for the first time, that I was now a part of the open source community that has made everything I do possible. It was all because of my participation with Gluster. People actually knowing who I was was pretty unexpected. As huge as my ego sounds on IRC, I'm a fairly humble guy. I don't really feel like I do anything for this inconceivably huge open source movement, even though I've been a consumer of it since kernel-0.96. I'm just a guy that hangs out and BSes with people on company time. To be included felt pretty cool.
Bonus: Other than yourself, who's your favorite Gluster community member, and why?
I can't say there is a favorite community member. Everybody that helps makes me happy. This silent channel with 16 people is now a thriving community with over 100. There are so many people giving back, it's incredible. Every single person that answers someone else's question adds themselves to my favorites.
Editor's note: I'll say it now - Joe Julian is my favorite community member, because he laid the groundwork for all future community participation. What he's been able to accomplish in #gluster is nothing short of phenomenal. Hats off to Joe and the rest of our community members who make this one of the most friendly open source communities around.