Anthony Shaw – Featured Salt Contributor

May 12, 2017 - Mike Place

The Salt Contributor Profile Series

With PyCon 2017 coming up, we thought it would be a good time to highlight the work of Anthony Shaw, a prolific open source contributor to Salt, Apache Libcloud and many other projects. The full interview is below. Next week Anthony will be busy at PyCon and can be occasionally found at the SaltStack booth, #350, or just ping him on Twitter at @anthonypjshaw.

Tell us about yourself.
“My name is Anthony Shaw, aka @tonybaloney. I live in Avoca Beach near Sydney, Australia. I work at Dimension Data/NTT, an IT services company as the director of innovation and skills development. My job is to make sure our 30,000 employees have the skills they need to support our clients as they move to DevOps, cloud and automation. My job involves quite a lot of travel, so when I’m at home I enjoy spending time with my family at the beach or ocean swimming. When I travel I love to unwind on long international flights committing to my favourite open-source projects.”

Tell us about your work with Salt.
“I found Salt through Salt-Cloud. Dimension Data has a public cloud with its own API and we had requests from clients for Salt integration. After some investigation, colleague and I put together a driver and I was impressed with the simplicity of development but most importantly with how responsive and welcoming the project contributors are. Since I’ve been working with Salt I have contributed support for a number of systems that our clients use, typically large enterprise and governmental organizations.

“Over the past year I’ve contributed a number of new modules, and fixed and added tests to existing libraries such as:

  • Cisco Network Services Orchestrator (or “NSO”) a network device configuration system (see the PyNSO module) as a proxy minion, state and execution module
  • A module for the Windows PowerShell 5 “PSGet” installation system that was introduced in recent versions of Windows Server
  • Added a ServiceNow module to integrate with common IT service desk queues
  • Added a way of quickly extending salt using a “salt-extend” command

“Currently, I’m working on some exciting modules for managing infrastructure resources deployed across multiple clouds using Apache Libcloud for the Salt Oxygen release.”

Tell us a little about your work with Apache Libcloud.
Apache Libcloud is a multi-cloud abstraction API written in Python. It is used by a number of open source and commercial projects to abstract the complexities of multi-cloud orchestration. I got introduced to Libcloud when I added Dimension Data support but over time found myself reviewing and patching other support for other clouds and when I soon became one of the core contributors.

“Just this month I was inducted into the Apache Software Foundation as a member, so am hoping to help other open source projects, support the ASF and help more people avoid platform lock in. Libcloud recently just hit its 2.0 release and we’re working hard to continually update our cloud support for platforms that seemingly change every week. My passion within Libcloud is the testability, stability and maintainability of the code base whilst trying to offer support for as many platforms as possible.”

You’re also active in the non-profit world. Tell us a little bit about that work.
“I’m a fundraising activist for the Qhubeka charity that works with children in communities of South Africa and helps them gain mobility and independence. 500,000 school children in South Africa travel more than 10kms to school, many of whom have to walk. If I had to walk 20km a day to work, I wouldn’t perform at my best, nor do these children. Sixty percent of children don’t even finish high-school. Qhubeka sets goals with the local schools for kids who are trying hard, studying and working with their community by rewarding them with a bicycle.

“My goal is to share my knowledge of cloud, software and DevOps with companies willing to pay for my expertise. But instead of a direct payment they make a tax-free donation to Qhubeka. I’m already working with some large companies as well as individuals, please see my fundraiser page

If you want to keep up to date with what I’m working on, you can follow my blog