Screaming in the Cloud

Episode 21: Remember when RealNetworks used to-- BUFFERING

Are you about to head off to college? Interested in DevOps and the Cloud? Is there a good way for someone like you who is starting out in the world of technology to absorb the necessary skills? The Open Source Lab (OSL) at Oregon State University (OSU) is one program that helps students and serves as a career accelerator. OSL is a unicorn because OSU is willing to invest in open source.

Today, we’re talking to Lance Albertson, director of OSL at OSU. OSL does a variety of projects to provide private Clouds that are neutrally hosted on its premises. The lab also gives undergraduate students hands-on experience with DevOps skills, including dealing with configuration management, deploying applications, learning how applications deploy, working with projects, and troubleshooting issues. OSL is for any student who has a general interest or passion for it, and a willingness to learn.

Some of the highlights of the show include:

  • Workflow focuses on what students need to learn about Linux and giving access to various repos; then they experience the lab’s configuration management suite
  • Interview Process: Put out a posting, student submits an application online, each candidate is reviewed, student is given a screening quiz,
  • If a student passes the screening process, they are brought in for an in-person interview for personality and technical questions
  • Students tend to initially have the least amount of experience and most difficulty with a repository that has multiple people committing to it and dealing with PRs
  • Spinning up VMs and understanding how configuration management is connected, how services communicate, and how to set up an application
  • Round-Robins and System Sprint Meetings: Focus on discussing and documenting processes, issues, suggestions, comments, and other information
  • Younger students are mentored by Lance and the older students; every generation has to evolve because the environment and industry evolve
  • OSL made OpenStack work on POWER8, PowerPC, and PowerPC little-endian; gateway into Cloud - having OpenStack instance to offer services
  • Vast majority of OSL’s revenue comes from donations; no direct support from the university; finding companies to serve as sponsors is beneficial to all
  • Future of OSL: Providing more Cloud-like services; creating a more internal, private Cloud’ and containerized ways of running or deploying applications


Brought to you by Corey Quinn of Screaming in the Cloud