Getting to Know Jason McKerr, Director of Ansible Core

March 24, 2016 by Carrie Drummond

Knowing the members of our Ansible community is important to us, and we want you to get to know the members of our team in (and outside of!) the Ansible office. Stay tuned to the blog to learn more about the people who are helping to bring Ansible to life.

This week we’d like to introduce Jason McKerr, who joined Red Hat in January as the director of the Ansible Core team. Jason has been in the space before as the VP of Engineering for Puppet. Before Puppet he worked at SocialCode (The Washington Post Company) and MyWebGrocer as both a software architect and manager. And back in the day he was the first Operations Manager at the Open Source Lab at OSU.

What’s your role at Ansible?

The title says “director, Ansible Core team” but the role is really about working with all of the various user groups and communities around Ansible. The first priority is getting new features, bug and security fixes, and releases out the door - and to that end we published our first public roadmap for the 2.1 release. Additionally, I am really focused on getting Ansible into Red Hat product development cycles.

We are also clearing out the backlog of tremendous submissions to Ansible. To address backlog, we’ve recently given commit rights to a number of new contributors who have already had a significant impact on Ansible. We’ve tripled the size of the Ansible Core team that works at Red Hat. Greg DeKoenigsberg and Robyn Bergeron have started community meetings for managing module submissions to the project. 

Why did you choose Ansible?

The Ansible project and community is one of the most vibrant in open source, and Red Hat is one of the only true open source companies out there. The Ansible Core team is a fantastic group of engineers with incredibly deep knowledge in a number of spaces.

With use of Ansible growing so quickly in general, and exploring new spaces like networking and Microsoft Windows, there is a great opportunity for the team to have a real impact on information technology industry-wide, just like Puppet and Chef have before us.

This is really a “trifecta” job for me: A great team that is in the configuration space and is open source.

What’s next for Ansible the project?

Ansible is both a technological project and a significant business for Red Hat. The project is going to focus first on getting new work out the door. Our priorities are on new features and fixes, increasing our community presence and the community’s presence in Ansible, and helping Red Hat drive Ansible Tower and other complementary product impacts.

With those priorities in mind, we’re really focused on delivering Ansible 2.1, clearing the backlog we created during our 2.0 work, bringing on new community committers, and integrating Ansible into Red Hat and its products.

What else should we know about you?

I live in Northern Vermont on Malletts Bay and love the cold winters. I play hockey and like to play in the snow with my family. My wife is a biologist-turned-nurse, and we have a daughter and two dogs.

Aside from that, if you’re in the Ansible community, please find me on Freenode in any of the Ansible channels as newtMcKerr. On Twitter I'm @newtMcKerr.

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Carrie Drummond

Carrie is the Marketing Coordinator at Ansible by Red Hat. Carrie came to Ansible after spending the last five years in the marketing and public relations field. She’s an avid hockey fan, mother of an #Ansipup and responsible for most of the Ansible swag online and at events. She can be found on twitter at @carriedrummond.


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