Nate Johnston

Associate Manager, Software Development Red Hat
I only discuss politics in person. Managing a group working on OpenStack for Red Hat. Married to Heather, father of Evelyn. Frustrated historian.

Self Introduction

My name is Nate, and I am a husband, father, and manager of a team of software developers. My wife and daughter are the lights of my life. I live in Sterling, a town in eastern Loudoun Country, Virginia.

I have been in the tech industry since I graduated from college in 1997. I have worn many hats: system administrator, software developer, software architect, SRE, and now manager. Mostly I have worked in the telecommunications sector, for such companies as MCI, AOL, and Comcast.

I enjoy playing games - both board games and role playing games.


Calvert's Glen HOA Revised ACC Amendment Proposals

This is a revision to the originally proposed amendments to the Calvert’s Glen HOA Architectural Control Committee guidelines.
5 min read

Fedora Silverblue part 1

This is likely to be the first in a series of notes on my experience with Fedora Silverblue.
4 min read

How I Do Email: Revisited

I wrote about how I moved away from GMail last year, so I wanted to revisit the efficacy of the setup.g
1 min read

Getting Fired

Recently I saw on Twitter a prompt to share your worst/most hilarious getting fired stories. I have a pretty good one from more than twenty years ago, so I figured I would write it down.
5 min read

Calvert's Glen HOA ACC Amendment Proposals

This documents the proposed amendments to the Calvert’s Glen HOA Architectural Control Committee (ACC) guidelines proposed by me in 2021/2022.
4 min read


Associate Manager, Software Engineering

Red Hat · WFH
2020 - Present
Manage a geographically distributed team of open source software developers working on cloud computing projects within the OpenStack project. Balance the needs of a major cloud software vendor with an ‘upstream first’ development policy and a focus on Open Source. Lead my team to add a major new component to the product offering. Unlock the ability to use Agile practices, and actively participate in process evolution and reengineering.

Principal Software Engineer

Red Hat · WFH
2018 - 2020
Code contributor and driver for OpenStack Neutron. Participated in upstream and downstream software development and support.

Principal Product Developer

Comcast · Reston, VA, USA
2016 - 2018
Team lead and software developer programming primarily in Go and Ruby working to engineer a holistic datacenter automation solution for Comcast. Helped build a Spinnaker-as-a-Service offering to offer hosted Spinnaker at enterprise scale. Responsible for designing, deploying, and full lifecycle support for containerized applications running in both Kubernetes and Mesos. Replaced the HP Server Automation service with off the shelf open source systems. Designed, deployed, and supported a large multi-tenant Puppet Master infrastructure. Responsible for creating technical designs, code reviews, and ensuring code and operational quality.

Principal Software Developer, OpenStack

Comcast · Reston, VA, USA
2015 - 2016

Python development fully focused on the Networking within OpenStack. Core reviewer for the FireWall-as-a-Service (neutron-fwaas) security component in OpenStack. OpenStack election official.

  • In the Newton cycle, I led the neutron-fwaas team to implement FWaaS v2, a significant new version of the project. I coordinated heavily with the neutron team, and contributed heavily to both neutron and neutron-fwaas.
  • In the Mitaka cycle, I was part of a team of developers across multiple companies that collaborated to implement DSCP management within the Quality of Service (QoS) framework in neutron. I also presented about DSCP at the Austin 2016 OpenStack summit.

Principal System Architect

Comcast · Reston, VA, USA
2011 - 2015
Developed and deployed a groundbreaking server quality assurance and auditing system to ensure consistent delivery of quality server resources. Established a more rigorous data model for the operational CMDB that tracked server inventory and assignments, to ensure data quality and clarity of relationships between data sources. Worked to engineer a holistic datacenter automation solution for Comcast. Supported the HP Server Automation service while working to replace it with off the shelf open source systems. Developed and deployed information gathering and processing systems as well, detecting information about servers and reporting on them through ETL data transformation.

Principal System Administrator

Comcast · Reston, VA, USA
2010 - 2010
Comprehensive system administration, focusing on Solaris, HP-UX, and Red Hat Linux platforms.

Principal System Administrator

America Online/AOL · Dulles, VA, USA
2001 - 2009
Comprehensive system and application administration, focusing on the unix and linux platforms. SRE before it had a name.

Senior System Administrator

SingleSignon.net · Reston, VA, USA
2001 - 2001
Running everything in a small IT department while also performing quality testing for a startup creating a certificate management appliance.

Web Services Engineer

CAIS Internet · McLean, VA, USA
2000 - 2001
Running everything in a small web hosting center. Created a system for customer asset management and location.

Internet Engineer

Broadwing · Reston, VA, USA
1999 - 2000
Advanced services including Netflow processing and other advanced network support tooling.

Internet Engineer

Internet MCI · Reston, VA, USA
1997 - 1999
Running infrastructure services for MCI Backbone Engineering department including a Route Registry, DNS, SMTP, and other essential services in addition to Solaris desktop support.

Software Developer

Sterling Software · McLean, VA, USA
1997 - 1997
Developing database administration tools for a Nosql database.