Rob Szumski

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Product manager & experience designer with a passion for taming technical systems. Design thinking skills from my industrial design education are my superpower for solving UX problems in cloud infrastructure.

Keynote Speaker
I regularly speak at conferences including two KubeCon keynotes (2018 & 2019) and a Red Hat Summit keynote.

Technical KubeCon sessions include Kubernetes Multi-Cluster Operations and Collecting Metrics for Clusters with 5,000 Namespaces.
Director of Product at Red Hat
I currently lead Product Management for a pillar of OpenShift, Red Hat’s container platform, including GitOps (ArgoCD), Pipelines (Tekton), Serverless (Knative), and Service Mesh (Istio).

In 2020, I shepherded the Operator Framework into the CNCF as an incubating project.
Head of Design / PM at CoreOS
I previously led the CoreOS design team as we launched multiple new products, designed 4 conference spaces, and executed countless branding and web launches.

I transitioned to be the lead product manager of our commercial Kubernetes product Tectonic until our acquisition by Red Hat.
Technical enough to get
my hands dirty
I enjoy understanding infrastructure systems and I have designed many APIs and CLIs with an eye towards reducing technical debt and planning for the future.

Check out my Building an Operator tutorial, my talk on CLI design and thoughts on Serverless with Servers.
Industrial Design at Virginia Tech
I learned design thinking through the industrial design program at Virginia Tech. Physical product design heavily resembles technology:
  1. prototype always,
  2. the customer journey is measured in years
  3. must remain agile as the market changes
My thesis was a redesigned Emergency Communcation Device.
UX Designer at Rackspace
I was part of the core design team for the Rackspace Cloud. I made significant contributions to the entire cloud portfolio, as well as setting the direction for the foundational design strategy.

Rackspace co-founded the OpenStack project during this time and I helped to launch their OpenStack based cloud. This was my first taste of Open Source.

Incredibly proud of etcd, rkt, Container Linux, dex, and the rest of the open source projects brought to life at CoreOS.

I love talking customers through the design patterns that form the core of Kubernetes. Simple, smart, and futuristic compared to other systems.