Innovation on the menu at the Red Hat User Group event in Minneapolis

Marc Skinner presenting to Red Hat User Group attendees in Minneapolis

It was my first time at the Red Hat User Group in Minneapolis — as well as the Surly Brewing Company where the event was held.  Not having been there before, I did not realize the size of the facility and was impressed by its imposing structure along with the name in full capitals outside the building.  I could see the TCF Stadium and the Surly Brewing Company signs bright and clear on a beautiful day in Minneapolis.  As I entered the facility, I could feel the aura of innovation at play — as mentioned on their site, “it is an environment where beer harmonizes with food to empower trailblazing pairings.”  I began to perceive striking similarities between concepts and mindsets germane to the world’s best Open Source company to work for and the Surly Brewing company.  Perhaps, it is with good reason that the Red Hat User Group events in Minneapolis have been held at this venue for about 3 years now.  Join me in a toast to the Red Hat User Group session as well as Red Hat associate Marc Skinner who has been coordinating these sessions with intriguing topics for some time now. Topics that bring forth innovative ideas through the collaboration that happens between the open source enthusiasts who attend these sessions with an open mind. A venue where innovation is on the menu.

Innovation in progress at the microbrewery

Skinner is the Executive Chef of sorts for these Red Hat user group events in Minneapolis.  Surly’s Executive Chef Jorge Guzman and his chef de cuisine develop an elevated and ambitious dining menu that changes frequently and challenges diners’ tastes.  Skinner is no different.  He basically puts together a compelling “menu” of topics that pair up fascinating intersections: cloud and security, analytics and IoT, development and operations — just like Guzman brings together pairings of flavor profiles of both food and beer.

I came to this event to have intriguing discussions about microservices and landed up taking a minor digression into microbreweries.  Not being a beer drinker myself, I was fascinated by that term and learned a new term, microbrewery. As mentioned here, it is a brewery that produces small amounts of beer, typically much smaller than large-scale corporate breweries, and is independently owned. Such breweries are generally characterized by their emphasis on quality, flavor and brewing technique.  I also learnt that Surly Brewing Company is one such microbrewery! Why am I not surprised that its general characterization is fascinating similar to microservices.  Pair down the definition and you can almost equate it to the concept of microservices.  Hello, Red Hat!

I walked around the Surly Brewing Company and experienced what is mentioned on their website.  “The restaurant’s minimalistic aesthetic features cedar wood accents on the walls with black walnut tables to create a graceful yet casual space with a non-pretentious atmosphere. We’re trying to take things to the next level but there’s no need for suits and ties, folks.”  To me, this defines the culture of this enterprise.  An open culture very similar to the one embraced by Red Hat that values careers of achievement and not advancement.

Containers matter when it comes to microservices.

The underlying technologies that enable the containers as well as the platform on which they are provisioned all go towards making it a reliable, secure, enterprise-grade solution.  Just like the Surly Brewing Company.  The environment that hosts these Red Hat Group event makes it a wholesome experience for the attendees (yours truly for sure).  Thus, it is not just the intriguing concepts shared by Red Hat associates and customers at these events but also the venue where these events are hosted that makes it an environment primed for innovation.

Venues matter when it comes to such events.

As far as Skinner goes, I really don’t know about his actual culinary skills.  But, I would certainly be glad to speculate on that with you over some innovative food at the Surly Brewing Company, next time you are at the event.  And I also look forward to a good conversation on microservices

Can’t contain my excitement!

Follow Nadhan on Linkedin and Twitter.

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