Meet the Experts - Jeff Scheel, Linux for Power Chief Architect
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By: Jeff Scheel.
I hope you "Think" our Power Linux community is starting to come together. It's taking some time to bring the pieces together, but we're making progress. Since Rome wasn't built in a day, hopefully you'll understand if the Think Power Linux community takes a couple months.
Speaking of Rome and building, did you know that IBM's effort with Power Linux is over 10 years old. Yes, I was one of the original team members focused on putting Linux on the iSeries. That mission grew into the ppc64 kernel and glibc that ultimately became the core of today's shipping RHEL and SLES distributions. During that time, I've held lots of leadership roles, including manager, release architect, and various other IBM-speak titles which won't mean much to most people. I even managed to get one patch accepted into the kernel, quite an accomplishment for an IBM Manager. About 5 years ago, the Linux for Power mission merged into IBM's larger Linux Technology Center where we now work. This move combined our team with teams focused on doing platform independent Linux work as well as enabling IBM's System x and System z platforms -- effectively giving us access to a worldwide extended team of over 400 developers in over 40 countries. It's been lots of working getting this far, but also alot of fun working with a terrific team.
I've been with IBM 20 years. I started working on I/O adapters writing microcode for SCSI bus controller chips. Then, I joined the team which brought logical partitions (LPARs) to the iSeries (formerly AS/400) systems. This code base eventually became the design point for what we now call PowerVM on Power Systems. After getting our LPAR function under control, the next logical step was to add Linux to a partition and despite my doubts about the project, it's turned into quite the opportunity to impact the business. With one exception, a 2 year 'sabbatical" where I worked with the Blue Gene team on their Blue Gene /P product, I've been working with Power Linux.
Today, as the Chief Architect, I wear a variety of different hats. I like to tell folks that "architect equals fireman, traffic cop, politician, salesman, referee, switchboard operator, janitor, or as my colleagues affectionately call me, just a 'basic slug.'" Seriously, my day-to-day role is deciding how we spend our resource and setting technical direction. That means I help decide where the code gets written, but not actually writing the code. It also means that you'll find me filling in around the outside of the projects, giving presentations, answering questions, helping out where I can.
My personal focus this year is on our ecosystem. I'm helping where I can to get the Think Power Linux community off and running. Therefore, you'll find me creating wiki pages like the "Knowledge is Power" topic, writing blogs like this one, and answering posts to the message board. If you need help, check out the information in the community and then post to the message board if you can't find the needed information. I'm watching all posts and working to ensure that they get answered. If that doesn't work or if you want a more personal dialogue, feel free to drop me an email at the address in my profile (see the "General info" tab).
In the spirit of "ecosystem", I'd like to leave you with a couple useful Power Linux links:
Hopefully, you'll find at least one to be worthwhile.
Thanks for taking the time to read our blog. Hopefully, I've put a little more of a virtual "face" behind the name. Look for more posting from other Experts in the coming months.