Comcast’s Megan Rosetti on why mentoring gets women into tech and which resources help newcomers most.

This post is part of the Women of OpenStack Open Mic Series to spotlight women in various roles within our community, who have helped make OpenStack successful. With each post, we learn more about each woman’s involvement in the community and how they see the future of OpenStack taking shape. If you’d like to be featured, please email [email protected]

Megan Rossetti is a project manager with the Comcast OpenStack operations team. She works with the team to set project priorities and meet ever-changing deadlines. In the last four years at Comcast, she has worked on a variety of different projects, and began her OpenStack journey in March of 2014. Since then she has been actively involved in several projects within the community. Follow her at @MegRossetti

What is your role in the OpenStack community?

Since the Atlanta summit, I have been a member of the Win the Enterprise business and marketing team. This team focuses on identifying market awareness and perception barriers to enterprise adoption. We also work closely with the OpenStack Foundation marketing team, create content and participate in events. We meet weekly and plan to have an additional working session in Vancouver.

I have also contributed to some bug fixing in OpenStack manuals with the help of my colleague Shilla Saebi, and am looking forward to adding more commits this year.

Why is it important for women to get involved with OpenStack?

It is important to encourage women to get involved with OpenStack and technology as a whole. Women bring talent, innovation and additional perspective to the problem solving and planning arena, which is critical in a team environment.

What obstacles do you think women face when getting involved in the OpenStack community?

The OpenStack community can seem very daunting in the beginning and I have found that women, and new team members in general, need to jump right in, ask questions and discuss solutions. There are multitudes of resources and support within the community that are readily available to new members. My recommendation would be to join the mailing lists or use ask.openstack.org to ask questions and get a feel of the work being done in the community.

I would recommend joining a team you are interested in to become more involved. Actively participate and speak up, there can be an initial hesitation when presenting ideas and solutions, and all ideas are important especially when problem solving and driving a project to completion.

What do you think can help get women more involved with OpenStack?

More exposure into the technical field through mentoring programs and open resources. In addition, it’s important to provide women the opportunity to learn OpenStack through their work. You may find that some of the best engineers do not start with OpenStack experience, but are able to learn quickly. I think the Women of OpenStack group does a great job of supporting women in this industry, and I have been fortunate to have great support within my team.

What is an interesting fact about yourself that no one else in the OpenStack community knows about you?

I was a volunteer firefighter and Emergency Medical Technician for approximately 15 years and the only female to complete my first level one firefighting class.

Finish the sentence:

OpenStack is great for innovators. OpenStack is bad for people who will not embrace change.

What do you think is the single most important factor for the success of OpenStack users in 2015?

Innovation, the ability to try new ideas, possibly fail, and keep trying.

Cover Photo by Skydive Andes Chile // CC BY NC