Getting to Know Robyn Bergeron, Community Architect at Ansible

August 12, 2015 by Carrie Drummond

robyn-bullKnowing 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're happy to introduce you to Robyn Bergeron, who recently joined Ansible as a Community Architect. Her prior role was as a Developer Advocate at Elastic, where she worked closely with the ELK stack community. And many of us at Ansible know her from her days at Red Hat, where she was the Fedora Project Leader -- a role that her illustrious boss once himself had.

What’s your role at Ansible?

Open source communities work best when contributors are empowered and enabled to make things happen; the easier it is to contribute, the more likely they’ll continue to do so, and enjoy doing it. As a community architect, it’s my job to ensure that contributors, both long-time and new, are connected with the opportunities, ideas, tools, and people to make great things happen in the Ansible community, with minimal bureaucracy.

A good deal of my focus will be on growing the Ansible community’s relationships with other open source projects, both in code and practices. We have many strong ties to numerous project like OpenStack and Docker, and lots of incredibly smart, passionate people doing great work to grow Ansible’s usage inside those communities -- I’m just here to make sure they’re connected, loosely organized, and aware of all the magic they can make by working together.

Do you have any tips for aspiring open source contributors?

Be fearless, be bold, be transparent. Every open source project has varying degrees of ease or difficulty when it comes to getting started; it’s not always clear to potential contributors if they can contribute something new or different. The good news is that knowledge around how to have great open source communities continues to grow, and most open source communities are delighted to have a new person interested in contributing in any way -- so if you have a new idea, be sure to bring it up, and let others know what you’re going to be doing, or ask around if you’re looking for suggestions. And if you’re not a developer, don’t worry -- I’m not either, and there are always ways to contribute to your favorite project without writing code.

The easiest way to get connected? Check to see if there’s a contributor’s guide, like the one we have for Ansible -- it has all the ways to get started with code, being involved with events or meetups, where to hang out on the internet with other community members, and more.

What are your favorite community events to attend each year?

Every community event has its own personality and attendees that make it special; I get different types of stories and experiences from every event, which makes it incredibly hard to choose one over the other. That said, since being perpetually on the road and Getting Things Done aren’t always compatible, I have a few “don’t miss” events each year that tend to bring multiple communities, and thus, many people, together:

  • FOSDEM: The Free and Open Source Software Developers' European Meeting occurs every year in January, and is about as authentic as an open source conference can possibly be. Organized by folks locally and around the world, it draws in thousands of attendees, has content for everyone, and it’s in Belgium, which means great beer.

  • Configuration Management Camp: This event has directly followed FOSDEM for the past few years, with the community gathering in Gent, a lovely town near Brussels. It brings together contributors and users of the various configuration management communities, and I’ve probably learned more here than at any other event I’ve been to about what people are facing every day at their jobs.

  • DevOpsDays events: With a focus on bringing local (and far away!) community members together to share stories, best practices, and their DevOps knowledge, every DevOpsDays event is unique in its own way.

And, of course, AnsibleFest! We have one happening this November, and this will be the third one I’ve attended -- but this one will be even more exciting for me, personally, as it will be my first as an employee. Tons of learning and meeting great people, and I’m hoping for a great turnout in San Francisco this year.

Where can we find you next?

I’ve got a few trips coming up -- here’s where I’ll be!

  • The OpenStack Operators midcycle meetup -- this is in Palo Alto, California, August 18 and 19.  I’ll be there to listen, learn, and help out where I can!

  • DevOpsDays Chicago, on August 25 and 26. Find me at the Ansible booth, when I’m not live-tweeting great talks from the community.

  • Iterate.PHX, in my lovely hometown of Phoenix, Arizona, on September 1st. I’m giving a talk on the Democratization of DevOps, at the first-ever DevOps conference in the area. (Technically, it’s not a trip, but you can find me there nonetheless!)

  • And last, but not least, and probably not the last of things scheduled between now and then… I’m super excited to be attending the OpenStack Summit in Tokyo, October 27-30.

What else should we know about you?

My household is pretty much nerd central. My significant other, Steve, is a contributor to OpenStack, working on the Kolla (which uses Ansible!) and Magnum projects; my kids are avid video game players, and one of them seems to have inherited my love for making puns at opportune moments. In my spare time, when it happens, I read lots of non-fiction, and am perpetually building my vinyl collection. Finally: I work remotely, from Scottsdale, Arizona, where it will still be feeling like summer until November.

More questions for Robyn? Ask her on Twitter at @robynbergeron.

Ansible Team


Carrie Drummond

Carrie is the former Marketing Coordinator for Ansible. She can be found on twitter at @carriedrummond.

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