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VMblog's Expert Interviews: Codefresh Talks Logical Extension to Hacktoberfest - Fixvember's Time Has Come


We've always appreciated Hacktoberfest and the idea of incentivizing people to contribute to open source.  But when we got wind of what Codefresh was doing around "Fixvember" and their focus on the contributions of DevOps, we had to find out more.  And so, VMblog reached out to Dan Garfield, Codefresh Chief Technology Evangelist, to learn more.

VMblog:  What is Fixvember?

Dan Garfield:  Five years ago, the founders at Hacktoberfest identified the need, opportunity and positive energy ("Quantity is fun, Quality is key") to compel a community of coders to improve open source software through meaningful contributions. Since 2014, Hacktoberfest has had over 400,000 pull requests, and 46,000 challenge completions. This is an impressive contribution and reflects an important substantive and cultural change for the open source community.  Naturally, as an open-source tool developer, we were excited by the prospect of all the new features added from the collective open source software community. But, we also immediately thought of all the features added that probably didn't come with tests! It is just a logical extension - whose time has come - to have a DevOps follow-up in November to fix open source code. Thus, "Fixvember DevOps Hackathon," a community-based effort to help open source with DevOps best practices, was born.

VMblog:  Why now?

Garfield:  Acquisitions are occurring on a large scale, with Microsoft's purchase of GitHub and IBM's acquisition of Red Hat in 2018 alone. Open source software is finally feeling the love and respect it should have gleaned from enterprises years ago. It is not by chance that open source has "arrived" - the open source software community has remained committed to the principles of shared software and developed a remarkable library of software that makes it absurd for small and large organizations alike not to leverage. Code-contributing events such as Hacktoberfest and Fixvember bring together the community to continue the mission of high-quality code contributed by and available to all. Fixing bugs may not be as slick as adding features, but it sure makes using code much easier, and some are happy to take on the challenge (and get a custom t-shirt!).

VMblog:  Does Fixvember help software engineers gain better DevOps skills?

Garfield:  DevOps has gone mainstream. DevOps engineers are now among the highest paid engineers in the industry and by nature solid problem solvers.  By highlighting DevOps through Fixvember, we hope to expose all software engineers to its role and importance in the engineering process as well as exposing more engineers to these ideas and best practices. DevOps engineers can bring their expertise to open source projects and collaborate with engineers at varying skill levels. For many participants, this will be the first time they get a pipeline setup and they can add to it as time goes on.  

VMblog:  What does this effort do for the software?

Garfield:  The beauty of quality DevOps contributions is that any improvements you make to DevOps processes will pay off indefinitely. Quality is as important as quantity, but together furthers the mission of open source by making the software in the cloud accessible, robust and easy to use. With today's DevOps automation tools, the engineer no longer needs to be a Master of the Dark Arts to create pipelines. Automation can make the software engineering process twice as productive, by enabling, for example, the ability to release twice a day versus once a day, or even once a week. Tools like Codefresh are built for open source DevOps with support for modern technologies like Kubernetes, Docker, Helm, and Istio. It also enables engineers to release with more confidence and reliability with the potential for cutting open source project times in half.

VMblog:  How does it actually work?

Garfield:  Participants are given a few options to earn the coveted t-shirt in their mission to improve open source software: 

  • Create Automated Pipelines - Create or improve an automated pipeline for an open source project.
  • Improve Testing - Improve code validation by writing better tests. Add security, UI, performance, and integration testing to open source repos.
  • Fix Bugs (!) - Bug fixers aren't only for core maintainers. Find an open source repo and start tackling the bugs they already know about.

If the participants want to jump into suggested software, we have teed up a number of opportunities from Helm Chart repositories to Docker console UI and Dashboards. There will be no lack of compelling opportunities. If interested, you can sign up here. It runs until November 30 at midnight PT.


Published Wednesday, November 14, 2018 7:23 AM by David Marshall
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