Matt offers his best advice for new OpenStack users in today’s Spotlight post.

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With over 15 years in IT, 12 being at Rackspace, Matt has taken on many different roles – technical, managerial and operational. These days find him on a complicated, but inspiring mission – to change the world by building and automating a platform that runs the largest OpenStack based public cloud there is. When he’s not juggling the challenges that comes with a global fleet of thousands of servers, he spends his time with his wife Tiffany and their three children. He loves travel and hopes he and his family can experience as much of the world as possible together.

Could you tell us about any experiences collaborating with OpenStack developers and community members?

Sure. I think helping to plan the first Operators mini-summit and the follow-up sessions in Atlanta top the list. Tom at the foundation and the good folks on the User committee were great at getting this ball rolling and have been really proactive in taking feedback from the first gathering and putting it to action. It’s been really rewarding to play a small part in helping them push some of those pieces along.

Looking ahead over the next year, what do you think is the single most important factor for the success of OpenStack users in 2014?

Building on the recent successes of increasing operator involvement and feedback. Now that so many people are deploying OpenStack, many at large scale, we need as much feedback as possible getting back to the developers so we can ALL make the product better.

Make one prediction for the future of OpenStack.

I think the ultimate success of OpenStack is tied to multiple public and private cloud providers being able to produce a common, global, platform that applications could be deployed to at a scale that Amazon or Google couldn’t achieve.

Where would you like to see the OpenStack Summit go in the next few years?

I think the additional Operator sessions and the Dev/Ops interaction sessions that were quickly worked out following the mini-summit were great additions. I’d like to see them expanded on in future summits

What is one piece of advice would you give new OpenStack users?

Dive in. Get involved. Ask questions. Get active. It’s not the easiest thing to do. This is a fast moving community and it often feels like you need a lot of background info to enter any particular conversation, but getting involved is the fastest way to learn.

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This post is part of the OpenStack User Spotlight series to highlight innovative users and operators from across the global OpenStack community. If you’re interested in being featured, please choose five questions from this form and submit!

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Image credit: "Lightbulbs" by Joe Goldberg