Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Faces of FreeBSD 2015: Erin Clark


Back by popular demand we're again sharing a story from someone involved in FreeBSD with our Faces of FreeBSD series. It may be a story from someone who’s received funding from us to work on development projects, run conferences, travel to conferences, or advocate for FreeBSD. Or, it may be from someone who gives back to FreeBSD financially or in another way. But, it is always from someone who is making a positive difference in the FreeBSD world.

Here’s a chance to get to know your fellow FreeBSD enthusiasts. Sit back and enjoy the next 2015 Faces of FreeBSD story.

Erin's Story

Tell us a little about yourself.

My name is Erin Clark.  I am 32 years old, and I live in San Jose, California.  I have had an interest in tinkering with computers since I learned to program in Logo in the 3rd grade on IBM PS/2 computers.  I pursued my passion in computers on into college where I received a Bachelor’s degree in Computer Science from Truman State University in Kirksville, Missouri.  In my free time I enjoy practicing martial arts, playing video games, and reading science fiction and fantasy novels.

How did you learn about FreeBSD and/or when were you first exposed to it?
My original introduction to open source unix was with Linux back in 2003. I was a user of Slackware Linux for a long time, but I discovered FreeBSD in 2009 through some friends and have been a user and proponent of it since then.

I use FreeBSD because it is very solid and secure and has a great selection of open source software that can be used with it from the ports collection.  I have always appreciated FreeBSD’s networking stack because it makes a great router or network appliance.  FreeBSD’s use of the ZFS file system is also very nice - ZFS snapshots definitely saved me a few times.  I also like that FreeBSD is very well documented; almost everything you need to know about working with FreeBSD can be found in the FreeBSD Handbook.

What is your involvement in FreeBSD?
I work with FreeBSD at my job at iXsystems as a developer for the FreeNAS project.  FreeNAS is a FreeBSD-based storage appliance that takes advantage of FreeBSD’s ZFS file system for a robust storage solution.  My current involvement in the FreeNAS project is developing the Command Line Interface for the next generation FreeNAS 10.

Before I was a FreeNAS developer I was a system administrator and I managed my company’s network of servers running mostly FreeBSD, which proved to be a very stable and powerful platform for hosting applications on.  As system administrator I also managed the desktops, many of which ran the FreeBSD-based PC-BSD which is very user friendly and reliable.

Final thoughts about the Project and community? 
I highly encourage donating to the FreeBSD Foundation, without them the FreeBSD project would not be what it is.  FreeBSD is an open source project which means we as a community have to pitch in so that it can continue to thrive.  I have donated to the FreeBSD Foundation and will continue to since I think it is a worthy cause to support.

As a woman who uses and develops with FreeBSD I would say that I think the project and community is welcoming to people of all genders.  I think there is still a need for more representation of women in the project since we bring our own perspectives and ideas.

1 comment:

  1. Fantastic! Erin really picked up FreeBSD like she was just changing bikes. I remember how she was dealing with work arounds on a project that many thought impossible. She's pretty brilliant and I see great things coming from her in the future!