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Revelations from Rob

Ed. Note: You may recall our recent interviews with student developers Corbin Simpson and Trevor Bramwell, as well as our interview with student systems administrator Mike Cooper. This week, we're bringing you an interview with Rob McGuire-Dale, another of the Lab's student developers. Rob was kind enough to share his thoughts with us through an interview with Anthony Casson, the Lab's student writer. Stay tuned for more interviews with our students in the coming weeks.

The Eternal College Tradition - Road Trip!
Rob in Death Valley, courtesy of Elizabeth Trautman

How long have you worked with the OSL, and what brought you here?

I started working at the Open Source Lab in December 2008. I had recently discovered the social ideas behind open source, and I liked the idea of a free flow of information and ideas, and contributing to something for the "greater good" as opposed to personal gain. Working at the OSL sounded like an excellent opportunity to explore this new-found interest. Since then, open source has become a personal passion, and an important part of my life.

What projects are you working on now? What consumed most of your time in the past?

I'm currently working on Ganeti Web Manager, a web interface and advanced permission control system for Google's Ganeti virtual server cluster management tool. Previously, I was one of the main developers for Touchscreen, an interactive kiosk framework written entirely with web-based technologies. Last July, Peter Krenesky and I gave a talk on Touchscreen at Open Source Bridge, an open source conference in Portland. I've also been a part of several Drupal-based projects for the web sites of GOSCON (Government Open Source Conference), the Open Source Lab, and the County of Polk, Oregon.

Did the OSL experience help you with your Boeing internship?

My experience gained from the Open Source Lab absolutely helped with my work during my internship with Boeing. The OSL taught me a lot about working on collaborative, team-based software engineering projects, as well as giving me experience with working within open source communities. Through my work at the OSL, I learned how to use utilize project management software, revision control systems, and various forms of communication tools to effectively work with others to complete project tasks. I was able to utilize these skills to work well with my team at Boeing.

Is open source your future? What are your plans?

Open source is most definitely in my future. I strongly believe in the vast benefits open source has to offer to the greater community, both in the public and private sectors of society. I plan on continuing to contribute to open source for as long as I can. In addition to my planned contributions to independent and personal projects, I also plan on getting more involved in Boeing's internal open source group, exploring open source opportunities within the Peace Corps and HFOSS (Humanitarian Free and Open Source Software), and staying involved with the OSL.

Many thanks to Anthony and Rob for this interview!

See our news archive for other OSUOSL news stories.