Back when I was asked by Chris Stone (then Novell's vice chairman) to join the Linux Business Office at Novell, I honestly could count the number of employees on one hand that had any understanding and experience of open source. Brad Nicholes was one of them. Brad is an understated guy - he's not the sort of person to volunteer to write for this In the Trenches series. No, I had to go to him and solicit his involvement. I suspect even then he preferred to write code, but he agreed to do it, anyway.
I have a tremendous amount of respect for Brad. He was the voice of experience on Novell's Open Source Review Board, having earned the distinction of "member" with the Apache Software Foundation. He provided the best insight as to how Novell's forays into open source would be interpreted. Now, of course, the company has become very active in the open source world, but Brad continues to provide expert guidance with the OSRB and elsewhere within Novell.
If you get the chance to meet Brad, you'll like him as I do. He's a great person, and a great asset to Novell. Some of the insight below is among the best we've had on The Open Road.
Name, company, title, and what you actually do
Brad Nicholes, Senior Software Engineer, Novell. I'm currently working on the Data Center Automation product. In reality, I do a lot of different things. I have spent a lot of time over the last 6 years porting and maintaining the Apache HTTP server on the NetWare platform and I am a member of the Apache Software Foundation. I have started and managed a few smaller Open Source projects and contributed to others. I have given presentations at various conferences about Apache and Open Source in general. I am also a member of Novell's Open Source Review Board which is primarily responsible for reviewing Open Source usage and licensing issues within Novell. I have found that by participating in all of these activities, my job ranges from ?in the trenches? software design and coding to project administration to having to understand and consult with management about corporate policy and procedures as well as how legal matters can affect software development (especially in the Open Source world). … Read more