My favorite thing about being one of the new Cloud Foundry Ambassadors at this year’s Summit? ambassador boothIt might have been when Sam Ramji stopped me in the hall, bowed slightly with his hands in Namaste position and greeted me as “Ambassador” (very IRL Star Wars kinda moment). It also could have been the shifts I spent working in the Cloud Foundry Ambassador “Peanuts-style” booth with my buddy Ed Saipetch (pictured with me). Either way I have to say that I was honored and humbled to be invited to serve in this first wave of Cloud Foundry Ambassadors to help Cloud Foundry newbies navigate the Summit and the community overall. Our role was to help people get oriented, answer questions, find appropriate contacts and in general help individuals feel welcome and fit more comfortably in the community. I love this concept. Sure any newbies could get help by stopping at the registration desk or stopping anyone at the Summit for that matter to ask a question but isn’t it much less intimidating to approach someone who is self-identified as willing to answer questions and engage to help? I think so.

Because some might be curious about the types questions and discussions the Ambassadors had at the Summit, I thought it was worth sharing a few highlights from my interactions. In general I have to say that I was always sad when my “replacement shift workers” showed up at the Ambassador Booth because I was never ready to leave my post! Ambassadors on stageI enjoyed speaking with everyone who stopped by with questions and discussions that covered a variety of topics from “where can I find the Margaret Atwood Lounge” to more meaty topics such as bringing Cloud Foundry to higher education and how to effectively network in the CF ecosystem. Here are a few highlights that I wanted to share:

Networking in the Cloud Foundry Ecosystem

One particularly engaging participant wanted to better understand how to engage and network within the community as an end user of Cloud Foundry technology. In particular, he wanted to know how his small company could reach a broad number of technology providers in the hopes of finding a partner to deliver Cloud Foundry based solutions? Well, the CF Summit is certainly a great place to start as this event is typically sponsored and attended by the leading CF developers and solution providers in the industry. The “Foundry” (expo hall) provides a fun and interactive environment to speak with providers and see first hand demonstrations of their CF implementations. The question however went a bit further – once returning from the Summit, what is the best way to interact with providers? We discussed the fact that CF has an open and interactive Slack channel where anyone can join and certainly pose general questions to the community. Other great sources of information include the Certified Providers page on the CF website as well as the Case Studies page. To engage locally, Cloud Foundry meetups can be a fantastic way to network with providers, users and developers in your community. To find local meetups, check out this Cloud Foundry Foundation website where meetups worldwide are tracked. So many ways to engage the community right from the Cloud Foundry home page, I encourage anyone to jump in today to learn more!

Cloud Foundry Tech in Higher Education

Another engaging discussion at the CF Summit was around driving Cloud Foundry technology into high education. Specifically, how can we provide university level developers with education and access to Cloud Foundry technology to grow their skills before they even enter the workplace thereby growing the Cloud Foundry skills base as well as nurturing the skills of up and coming developers. This is a fantastic idea in my opinion. In my own local school district, high school students are being taught “for fee” technologies such as Microsoft office products so why, WHY would we not work together to drive freely available open source software into at least the university level ecosystem of budding developers. My buddy Ed Saipetch enjoyed entertaining this question as well so we spent some time brainstorming methods to offer internships and early access to Cloud Foundry development. Stay tuned – we would love to spearhead new programs to enable and support university level students.

As you can tell, it was indeed an honor, privilege and a huge amount of fun to serve in this first wave of Cloud Foundry Ambassadors at this past CF Summit. I can’t wait to join in the fun at the upcoming CF Summits to help more new members feel welcome in the community!ambassador pin

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