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Meet the Speaker: Joel Vasallo Cloud DevOps Manager at Redbox

Posted by Jenny Medeiros on Oct 8, 2019 2:14:22 PM
Jenny Medeiros
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This is part of our ongoing series of speaker interviews to help the open-source community get to know the people stepping on-stage at our upcoming Spinnaker Summit.
After our last chat with the founder of futuristic farming company—Aerobotics, now we're drawing insights and curious tidbits from the ever-enthusiastic Joel Vasallo, Manager of Cloud DevOps at the leading movie and video game retail company, Redbox. If his fun profile picture made you click, his answers will make you stay.
Let's start with your professional background. What led you to DevOps?

I've been in this space for many years now, and have been in the Spinnaker community since its OSS release back in 2015. Before that, I was an Asgard user!
What got me into DevOps was mainly the opportunity to automate the boring stuff and make delivery software delivery better. I was once the guy on call at 2 AM to fix a production critical deployment using multiple shells across a distributed environment. While it was cool, I never want to impose human gates to fixing "most" technical issues. If it can be described, it can be automated. This gives developers the ability to focus on the harder questions/problems in our day-to-day operations.

What's your favorite thing about working as a Manager of Cloud DevOps at Redbox?

First off, my teammates who help make all the magic possible. Second, working hand-in-hand with engineers to build an awesome delivery platform for various aspects of our business. Third, just empowering our engineers to build, deploy, and own their software.
Since Redbox is a major retailer for movies and video games, what are your top personal picks?
I love Halo and various Blizzard Games like Diablo, WoW, and Overwatch! In terms of movies, I love documentaries and dramas—basically anything with a good story. My most recent movie watch was Joker.

What inspires you the most about open-source culture?

The collaborative nature. Really, it's awesome to see a group of professionals work together in their own important and respective ways. Answering questions in the community, writing blog articles and documentation, implementing features in a core platform/project; all important work that needs to be done in lockstep for a successful project. Plus, paying for OSS with support and just being a good net citizen!

What's your biggest accomplishment at the company so far?

I think our accomplishment for this year is still to come. Our engineers keep pushing the boundaries every week and are truly doing great things. I'm also looking forward to our increased usage of Kubernetes as we grow/transform our on-demand platform even further! From my team, I'm looking to keep growing our OSS contributions as well as our tech blog!
Curious question: what was the last series you binge-watched?
Just finished binging Chernobyl! Amazing mini-series.
We're excited to have you back for this year's Spinnaker Summit! What's your favorite thing about it?

I've been coming to the Spinnaker Summit for 3 years now (ever since they were hosted at Netflix in Los Gatos). The most important, and my favorite thing, about the Spinnaker Summit is meeting the new faces in the community and just talking about the project as a whole. It's a rare opportunity to catch up with community leads and folks you don't always see face-to-face. It's a wonderful time!

In your upcoming talk, you'll be talking about transforming software delivery using Spinnaker. Why would you say this a must-see session and what are you looking forward to the most?

First off, there are so many amazing sessions at this year's summit. I'm really humbled to be presenting alongside such great engineers and their talks! My session is mainly aimed at the solution and idea around how to fit Spinnaker into an organization—based on my experience. I'm covering a wide range of topics from development to security, so I'm hoping people can take away something relevant to their domain! Spinnaker is extremely extensible, in my opinion, I think there's value in both the technical side and the business side.
What I'm looking forward to the most are the questions and the discussion afterwards :)

Any wise words for anyone on the fence about joining you and the open-source community at the Spinnaker Summit?
If you're checking out KubeCon, and have the ability to attend Spinnaker too, I totally recommend coming out to the Summit. If you're in charge of delivery to various platforms such as AWS, K8s, etc., Spinnaker has a lot to offer you in one common interface. Additionally, this is the best time to just chat with core community members and see how Spinnaker can be used in your day-to-day!

If someone wants to approach you at the Summit, what's a good ice-breaker they can use?

I'm generally a friendly person, so come on up and let's chat! In terms of icebreaker, tell me about your experience using Spinnaker! If you aren't using it yet, what are you hoping Spinnaker can do for you?

Now that you know Joel a bit better, connect with him on LinkedIn and add his upcoming session to your calendar to see him in action. You can also get a peek preview of his talk here. We're excited to see you at Spinnaker Summit! If you haven't saved your seat yet, it's not too late. Click on the button below to register!




Topics: Spinnaker, DevOps, Cloud, Interview