Why Open Source Software Is Like Burning Man (Only Better)

Monty Taylor is wearing blue jeans, a corduroy jacket, a pair of pink-rimmed sunglasses, and a T-shirt that says “What the F**K Is OpenStack?”

The sunglasses are a statement. He’s indoors now, out of the sun, and they’re propped atop his head, Bud-Greenspan-style. He wears them with a certain irony, well aware they don’t quite match the vintage jacket — and that’s why they look right at home.

The T-shirt works in much the same way. Taylor wears it only because he knows exactly what OpenStack is. He’s one of the key software engineers at the heart of the project, a sweeping effort to create what you might call a Linux for the age of cloud computing. When you take a second look at the shirt, you realize the “What-the-F**k” asterisks aren’t really asterisks. They’re clouds.