Speaker Interview: Mark Hinkle

Want to take a look into the future? The SCALE Team caught up with Mark Hinkle, who will be giving a alk on "Why Open Source and How We Are Shaping the Future."

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

A: My name is Mark Hinkle and I have been involved in open source since the 1990s first as a user of the “LAMP stack”, Sendmail, Bind and later as a desktop user. In 2000 I started working in the software industry and became a Linux Desktop zealot for a while (even publishing a book on the subject in 2006) and served as the Editor-in-Chief of LinuxWorld. Today I am mostly involved with cloud and virtualization at Citrix I run the Open Source Business Office and am on the boards of Xen Project, GlusterFS and am a committer of Apache CloudStack. My blog is inspired by open source www.socializedsoftware.com and you can find me on Twitter @mrhinkle cracking-wise on an eclectic collection of tech topics.

Q: You're giving a talk on "Why Open Source and How We Are Shaping the Future." Without tipping your hand on the actual talk, can you give us an idea of what we might expect?

A: I think that we have won when it comes to making software. In 2000 I was talking about how “Linux was good enough” today you’d be hard-pressed to see any sizeable IT organization that isn’t using Linux and other open source software. The model was successful due to mass collaboration made possible by pervasive, inexpensive Internet access and a hacker culture. We know see other industries besides IT borrowing these methodologies medical, biology, physics research and even government. I think it’s an opportunity for open source participants to help share their success and drive advancements in other disciplines beyond software like we have witnessed in open source software development.

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 is my seventh SCALE. I was always struck by how well run these events have been and the caliber of speakers that are drawn to the event. I am personally looking forward to Larry Lessig’s talk on Friday he’s one of my favorite speakers and am carrying a copy of his book, "Free Culture" to L.A. hoping for an autograph.

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

A: I think for those of you that aren’t aware one of the best educational values around is the Friday program at SCALE. From cloud computing, configuration management, MySQL to PostgresSQL if you want a great day of instructional content it’s well worth your time. 

[SCALE Team interview by Larry Cafiero]