Michelle Noorali: Helping Users and Developers Consume Open Source
Swapnil Bhartiya | 02 August 2018
Open source events create the best interaction points between developers and users, and one person you’re likely to meet at these events is Michelle Noorali, one of the most visible and recognizable faces in one of the biggest open source communities: Kubernetes.
Most modern software development, which is by default open source, is done by people spread across the globe, many of whom have never met in person. That’s why events like Open Source Summit are extremely important in creating opportunities for interaction for the people who are managing, developing, and using these open source projects.
Noorali, Senior Software Engineer at Microsoft, says she loves meeting people at events and learning about how they are using cloud-native tools and what they need. “I am trying to see if those tools that I work on can also meet other people’s needs,” she said.
This direct interaction gives Noorali a unique perspective for understanding the pain points. For example, “It’s really hard to pick from all of the cloud native technologies and figure out how they work together because at the end of the day, you are trying to deploy and run applications in the cloud or on bare metal,” she said. “The second point is how do I expose my developers, my teams to this stuff and get them to actually use cloud native tools, without having to learn about everything from scratch.”
Knowledge and support
Open Source is about day one, you get the technology that’s being created by a massive community, but you need support for day two, when you are actually using and managing it. That’s where companies like Microsoft, Red Hat, SUSE, Google, and Mirantis come into the picture, helping users consume these technologies.
Beyond support, there is a huge need for knowledgebase to help users understand these technologies. “In the case of Kubernetes, you have to learn what a pod is; what is deployment, what’s a replica set. Before you even get to that, you have to learn about containers — how to build images and where to store images,” she said. “I am working on making this whole situation a lot easier for developers to understand and use.”
At events like Open Source Summit, Noorali also comes across unique use cases. “I got super excited about one user who is building platform as a service for robotics on Kubernetes,” she said, “I am also excited about seeing specifically weird business use cases and how people pick and choose technologies and put them together in this space.”
These events not only bring users and developers together, they also bring together companies who cooperate on technologies while competing on products and services. You see companies like Google, Red Hat, SUSE, and Microsoft under the same roof, helping each other.
“You don’t want to work on a project by yourself; you need to work with other companies, and it’s nice to see them come together,” Noorali said. “I’ve had a good experience with the community, and I’ve been really involved for a while now.”
Learn more and connect with your peers at Open Source Summit, coming up this month in Vancouver.
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