Businesses and IT organizations have seen an amazing transformation over the past decade as the pace of business has increased and as smaller competitors have gained the ability to step in and disrupt the status quo. A company’s ability to differentiate through new offerings and new technologies has become table stakes for continued growth and profitability. There’s even a great short book on the subject, The New Kingmakers. Developers continue to sit in the epicenter of this change as new applications and frameworks have matured and made new service offerings a possibility—and SolidFire has been at the heart of this revolution. Now we’re stepping it up to 11.

Late last year, I formally announced our SolidFire Developer Community. This platform allows our customers, partners, and engineers to communicate and assist one another with their development efforts. I have been very active, albeit in a limited capacity, fostering participation in the new community.

I’m happy to announce that this year I will be fully focusing my energy on precisely this task. As the Developer Advocate for SolidFire, now a part of NetApp, I will be engaging developers with our customers and partners to help them realize all that is possible with SolidFire, allowing them to maximize their success in delivering services and managing the platform programmatically.

It is always an interesting conversation when talking with customers about SolidFire as a development target. Traditionally, storage has been an infrastructure layer bereft of extensibility. As such, it’s become accepted that what you’re delivered is what you get and that any change, not to mention a programmatic change, is generally painful and time consuming.

Clearly those conversations have resonated, and our customer base is leveraging SolidFire in many unique ways through their development efforts. If you’re interested in hearing a little more on this conversation right now, then check out my guest appearance on the NetApp Tech ONTAP podcast.

Beyond customer engagements, this role will also find me engaging with the community on a variety of relevant topics such as automation, DevOps, containers, and delivering more services in the next generation data center. I’ll accomplish much of this by producing technical content, attending conferences and meetups, and sharing thoughts and information on social media. Yes, there will be memes. Not too many, but not too few. There will also be various commits on the SolidFire GitHub page.

Stay tuned in 2016 and beyond. It’s going to be a phenomenal year for NetApp and SolidFire. If you see me at a show, please stop by and say “hello.” Join us on the developer community at developer.solidfire.com, and feel free to follow me on Twitter. Follow me at @josh_atwell, or send me a note to let me know if you’d like to see me at an event near you.

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Josh Atwell

Josh Atwell is a Cloud Architect for SolidFire focusing on developing VMware and automation solutions. Over the last 10+ years he has worked very hard to allow little pieces of code to do his work for him through various automation tools. Most recently Josh worked as a vArchitect for VCE where he worked with customers to architect solutions to meet their infrastructure needs. He also served as a VMware and cloud champion, as well as being selected as a technical team lead. Prior to VCE Josh worked at Cisco on the Virtualization Infrastructure Operations team where he focused on automation for VMware, Cisco UCS, and architecting Splunk for all of IT. Josh is a contributing author to the popular Mastering vSphere series and the upcoming Devops for VMware Administrator book. He is highly involved in the virtualization community where he's been active leading technology based user groups and the vBrownBag podcast. Josh holds a degree in aerospace engineering from North Carolina State University and has maintained residence in the Raleigh, NC area.