Podcast: Ian Lawson – Mr Red Hat

What a weird title for a podcast episode you think. Actually, nothing could be further from the truth. Ian and I have worked together in two lives. In 2007 I took a sabbatical to go do hush hush secret stuff in the government space for a major vendor and met Ian and gelled immediately. We’ve worked together ever since and when I joined Red Hat I brought him in soon after. This is a coup because after a life spent in the shadows talking common sense doctrine to governments and people in positions of authority Ian is actually on the record and talking Open Source. To say he was outside his comfort zone is an understatement but it was lovely to have the chance to open a door sensibly and only talk about stuff which doesn’t see us carted off to jail for breaching each of our obligations as signataries of Her Majesty’s Official Secrets Act.

Ian had always worked in the proprietary rather sheltered world of data intelligence and manipulation. He definitely wasn’t a Linux user – at all, in fact I gave him his first Linux laptop. He didn’t get Open Source as nobody had ever explained or shown him, didn’t know Open Shift or how to even install Red Hat. A hugely talented versatile developer with a brain the size of a family car and the ability to hold a room in his hand he has become one of the most important hires Red Hat UK has ever made.

Ian, now immersed in Open Source was reborn, reborn with a new verve or vigour and is now truly Mr Red Hat when you put him in front of customers and with his almost unrivalled abilities with the understanding of data storage and data manipulation in the European space is always in demand to help bring projects to conception.

He was nervous as hell recording this, don’t know why – he’s the mac daddy when it comes to big data even if he does hate the term. We talk OpenShift, OpenStack, we pour scorn on some and heap praise on others. A very enjoyable recording session.

I urge you to listen on two fronts:

1) If you’ve ever wondered what Big Data meant come here Ian blow that concept wide apart
2) If you’re considering a change in career and want to understand the passion that drives Red Hatters to go to work – then this is for you.

 Download the podcast in MP3 format here – or alternatively browse the RSS.