Coffee Sessions #164

Open Source and Fast Decision Making: Rob Hirschfeld on the Future of Software Development

Rob Hirschfeld, the CEO and co-founder of Rack N, discusses his extensive experience in the DevOps movement. He shares his notable achievement of coining the term "the cloud" and obtaining patents for infrastructure management and API provision. Rob highlights the stagnant progress in operations and the persistent challenges in security and access controls within the industry. The absence of standardization in areas such as Kubernetes and single sign-on complicates the development of robust solutions. To address these issues, Rob underscores the significance of open-source practices, automation, and version control in achieving operational independence and resilience in infrastructure management.



In this episode

Rob Hirschfeld

Rob Hirschfeld

CEO and Co-founder, RackN

Rob is the CEO and Co-founder of RackN, an Austin-based start-up that develops software to help automate data centers, which they call Digital Rebar. This platform helps connect all the different pieces and tools that people use to manage infrastructure into workflow pipelines through seamless multi-component automation across the different pieces and parts needed to bring up IT systems, platforms, and applications. Rob has a background in Scale Computing, Mechanical and Systems Engineering, and specializes in large-scale complex systems that are integrated with the physical environment. He has founded companies and been in the cloud and infrastructure space for nearly 25 years and has done everything from building the first Clouds using ESXi betas to serving four terms on the OpenStack Foundation Board. Rob was trained as an Industrial Engineer and holds degrees from Duke University and Louisiana State University.



Demetrios Brinkmann

Demetrios Brinkmann


Demetrios is one of the main organizers of the MLOps community and currently resides in a small town outside Frankfurt, Germany. He is an avid traveller who taught English as a second language to see the world and learn about new cultures. Demetrios fell into the Machine Learning Operations world, and since, has interviewed the leading names around MLOps, Data Science, and ML. Since diving into the nitty-gritty of Machine Learning Operations he felt a strong calling to explore the ethical issues surrounding ML. When he is not conducting interviews you can find him making stone stacking with his daughter in the woods or playing the ukulele by the campfire.