SCALE 20x venue

Speaker Interview: Jordan Sissel

The SCALE Team caught up with presenter Jordan Sissel, an engineer at Elasticsearch, who will be giving a talk on “fpm: Package Software and Be Happy.”

Q: Could you please introduce yourself and tell us a little about your background?

A: I am Jordan Sissel and I am an engineer at Elasticsearch. My background has lots of computering in it. I went to college and studied computer science and economics. After college, I went into systems administration because operations seemed awesome - and it is awesome! I found my love of programming helped greatly in coding my way out of outages and annoying tasks. Today, I am the lead on the Logstash project at Elasticsearch and have two lovely kids and a best friend for a wife!

Q: You're giving a talk on “fpm: Package Software and Be Happy.” Without tipping your hand on the actual talk, can you give us an idea of what we might expect?

A: Packaging is one of those gritty tasks you might tackle if you're trying to deploy software. Packaging is also one of those possible friction points between software developers and systems administrators - few teams will agree on what tools to use for packaging. Further, as someone heavily involved in open source, I am frequently asked, "Can you provide an rpm of XXX?" or similarly for other platforms.

Fpm was a way for me to code my way out of the packaging problem. It codifies all the tedius details of packaging formats and features so that I don't need to deal with them. I can just say, "Hey, make me a debian package called 'mystuff' containing these files here" - and voila! A package appears.

Because fpm aims to simplify the act of building packages, that simplicity will let me provide lots of cool demos of how fpm is used in the wild. I'll be making lots of packages, live on stage, and showing how they'll install with tools you are likely already familiar with!

Q: Is this your first visit to SCALE? If so, what are your expectations? If not, can you give us your impressions of the event?

A: This will be my second SCALE event. I spoke at SCALE11x about Logstash. My experience last year has set a very high bar for SCALE12x! The hotel is a great venue and the cost of attending the event, by a non-local like myself, is super reasonable. The talks were of high quality, and I spent quite a bit of time hanging out with other SCALE attendees getting nerdy talking about technology.

Q: Is fpm a new package format?

A: I get this question frequently! Happily, the answer is, "No!” Fpm simply provides you with a simple way to build the package formats you already use. Come to the talk and you'll see lots of great demonstrations and examples of this cool tool.

Q: Is there anything else you'd like to add?

A. I am excited and honored to be a speaker at SCALE 12X.

[SCALE Team interview by Hannah Anderson]