Hello, my name is Ryan Corder and I'm addicted to Open Source.

Hi Ryan...

A tired joke, but the truth if there ever was one. Free/Libre/Open Source software is a passion of mine and I'm proud of it. This is hopefully the first of many, many posts that I will make dedicated to the topic of all things Open Source.

I'm not new here, just new to blogging at F5 Networks. I've actually worked at F5 for almost three years now. Prior to my current position, I worked at companies of varying size; from a I-am-the-IT-department-sized web startup to a 5000+ employee tech company. At the latter, one of my responsibilities was to manage F5 BIG-IP devices and probably didn't hurt my chances of getting my job here. I moved across the country to work here and haven't regretted a minute of it.

One of the first things I started checking into upon my arrival was how involved we were with the Open Source community. Sorry to say, it wasn't much. We use parts of Open Source software in our platforms; we have customers that use our platforms in conjunction with their own Open Source deployments; we even have our own successful community in DevCentral, where we encourage users to share in the forums, publish their solutions and iRules, and generally give back to the community. As for the larger Open Source community, it didn't seem we had a role.

I mean to change that.

My goal here is to help. I want us to have a role in the Open Source community. I want us to be involved in Open Source projects. I want us to help people out by providing real guidance in using our technology with their deployments. With any luck it will be a smashing success and I'll be able to keep advocating the benefits and joys of Free, Libre, and Open Source Software. Fortunately, I have support. My boss has been incredibly patient and receptive to the constant stream of advocacy about the benefits of Open Source; and not just in terms of tangible things such as code, but also the philosophy behind it. I am thankful that they put up with my never-ending opinions on what is "the right thing to do" and my general hippy-esque views on software freedom. As you can probably guess, my views don't always line up with those of a company that makes it's money by selling non-free software and hardware :) I also can't thank them enough for sending me to OSCON the last few years. It is something I always wanted to attend but was never able to until I started working here at F5.

So, what are we doing? The good news is that we've already started.
  • I am working on several Open Source-related projects and will be following up this post with others soon (I'm sure they will excite at least a few people).
  • My teammate and fellow Open Source co-conspirator, Nojan Moshiri, has already published a deployment guide for the Apache Web Server (pdf). This guide serves as a set of best-practices for deploying Apache behind F5 BIG-IP LTM and WebAccelerator. This is our only application-specific deployment guide concerning Open Source at the moment, but I promise there will be more coming.
  • I generally annoyed a certain set of people, trying to convince them that Open Source is a good thing, and they bought it. The result? Our very own Open Source forum on DevCentral. In all honesty, the DevCentral team is a good bunch of folks and didn't need much convincing. In fact, one of them said "OK!" before I even finished my sentence :)
  • This weblog, along with Nojan's will serve as a space to discuss and announce things that are Open Source related.
  • And last but not least, is the DevCentral wiki. We will be posting iRules and other useful things there as they get developed.
That's it for now. Thanks everyone and remember to keep FLOSSing.