Apache Infrastructure Team

Monday June 27, 2022

Strengthening the Infra team

Since before the start of COVID-19, the Infrastructure team had one open staff position. We have been able to fill it this year with a strong addition to the team, Chris Wells.

Where do you live?

Birch Run, Michigan, USA. I was born in Flint, Michigan, but I have moved around a bit between then and now. I lived in Southern California and Perú for a little while and attended school at Northern Michigan University in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. After all that, I realized that I’ve always felt most comfortable in Mid-Michigan, so, here I am.

Family members?

A wife, four children, three cats, three budgies, and a dog.

What was your start date?

January 1st, 2022

Where were you working before here?

The Genesee District Library. I served as the IT Manager for the library, which is the third largest in Michigan by total population served. I used to tell people that “if it blinked or beeped, and it stopped doing either, we would fix it.” Across the 19 buildings of the library system our three-person team took care of public/staff workstations, phones, surveillance cameras, printers, and all the servers and networking equipment required to connect them. We also did staff training programs and liaised with outside vendors.

Is this your first time working as part of a remote team?

This is the first time I’ve worked asynchronously with a remote team, but not the first time I’ve worked remotely. Before working at the library I worked with a small hosting company doing sysadmin type work. While at the library I advocated for a rotating hybrid schedule (2 days onsite, 3 remote) for my team in an effort to reduce the chance of our whole department being quarantined/sick simultaneously. 

What was the attraction of the ASF for you?

The ASF is the nexus point to so many projects that get used in so many places. Knowing I could help move that work along was very exciting.

Have you been involved in the open-source world before now?

I have been using open-source software since the mid-90s, when I discovered Linux. I have only begun contributing to open-source projects within the last 10 years, and even those contributions were pretty minor. It feels really good to change that.

What do you bring to the work? 

I have a strong distaste for miscommunication, so I try to be an effective communicator. Additionally, I love solving problems and helping people get the resources they need.

Any big surprises so far?

I think the biggest surprise so far has been how nice it is to work in an environment where I don’t have to know everything and the work is spread out. In my last job I managed a very small team and we were stretched pretty thin most days.

Will you be at ApacheCon North America 2022, and can people meet you there?

I am planning to attend ACNA 2022 and look forward to meeting a bunch of people. 

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