N. Harrison Ripps aka nhr on irc and github

This interview with N. Harrison Ripps is the third in a series of interviews with the engineers and and community members working, often anonymously, behind the scenes on the OpenShift Origin Platform as a Service Project. Harrison is a senior software engineer on Red Hat's OpenShift Origin team with a background in user interface development and custom software design.

You may have already met Harrison on IRC as "nhr" seeking feedback on the OpenShift Origin User Experience; he's recently taken on the task of creating more targeted documentation and defining "user roles" to help guide OpenShift Origin user experience road map. We decide to remove his cloak of invisibility and ask him a few questions.

What has your role been in the OpenShift Origin Community?

I've worked on a lot of different aspects of the OpenShift UI since I started with the OpenShift team last year. I was the tech lead for the recently announced OpenShift Online GA release, and now I'm shifting gears to focus on the OpenShift Origin project to help make the Origin experience as seamless and easy as the Online experience.

What's contributions you've made to the community that you are most proud

Most of the OpenShift Origin-specific work that I've done to date has been around test coverage and UI infrastructure, so I'm excited about getting involved with work that is targeted directly at the Origin Community. I'll be working with Krishna Raman, the OpenShift Evangelists and everyone who wants help make Origin a true turn-key open source cloud development platform. If you're looking for me online, I go by "nhr" on IRC and github. You can find some of my code commits in Origin Server and the rhc utility as well.

What makes OpenShift Origin different from other PaaSes?

For one, I don't think that any other PaaS really offers the same level of code portability, much less brags about it. We really believe that part of being the easiest PaaS to use is the ease with which you can move your projects on and off of that platform. Also, the fact that you can develop apps on any OpenShift system (Origin, Online or Enterprise) and migrate them to any of the others with no changes means that we're just as flexible within the platform as well.

What makes OpenShift Origin great in your humble opinion?

Two things. First and foremost, it's simply the best PaaS technology and second, it's Open Source. OpenShift Origin's entire philosophy encourages code portability and ease of expansion, and our approach to multi-tenancy means less overhead and more apps. And being open source means that we can openly share ideas with anyone that is passionate about the potential of cloud-based services.

What do you see as the most important or interesting thing on the OpenShift Origin roadmap?

Well, I'm going to be focused on helping to make the OpenShift Origin "unboxing" experience better, and I'm pretty excited about that, but I also can't wait to see what people come up with to build on our v2 cartridge API. I worked in data analysis for years and, personally, I'd love to see cartridges that add some solid reporting engines to Origin-based apps.

Who should come to OpenShift Origin Community Days?

Our community day events are a great chance to meet some of the folks at the heart of OpenShift Origin and to share ideas with people at all different experience levels and backgrounds. If you've never been involved with open source before, I think that jumping in with pull requests and community support questions can be a little intimidating, so being able to talk with people face-to-face can really help you get up to speed.

So what are you waiting for? Sign up for the next Community Day is coming up soon, July 27th in Mountain View, California - and meet the OpenShift Origin engineers and community members in person.

If you'd like to find out more of what Harrison's been up to in his 'spare time' check out this cool geolocation app called "FarmStand" that is up and running on OpenShift, built on Node.JS and MongoDB using the Google Maps API. The source can be found in github here:  https://github.com/nhr/farmstand-nodejs-mongodb-example. Harrison is also an avid gamer and a long-time member of the Central Massachusetts Search and Rescue Team (CMSART).

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