Max Spevack

max {at} | gpg key | website

Amazon Web Services

Manager, Linux Kernel & Operating Systems Aug. 2011 - present

As part of the EC2 organization, I lead the 15-person (engineers and managers) team accountable for Amazon Linux -- a custom Linux offering available as a public EC2 image and as an internal server OS for both AWS and Amazon's retail business.

The team's primary objective is building, testing, deploying, and operating multiple versions of Amazon Linux. This includes feature development and integration with EC2, building kernel and userspace packages, security updates, and deploying packages and images. In addition to the OS, the team owns the infrastructure and tooling that allows us to build packages, compose images, stage repositories, perform automated testing, and gather usage and operational metrics.

My focus is on building and growing an excellent team to deliver on the products discussed above. That starts with focusing on the team members, nurturing their careers and ensuring that they have opportunities and the feedback necessary to grow and be promoted. A healthy team enables us to focus on our customers, and I work to set a culture of ownership, precision, transparency, and organization for the team, ensuring that there is a prioritized roadmap and shielding the team from interrupts and distractions while adjusting our roadmap as needed based on the same.

I spent about a year simultaneously managing two distinct teams -- the Amazon Linux team discussed above, and the team responsible for qualifications of new EC2 instance types and platforms. During this time, the qualifications team developed tooling, test coverage, and reporting for the T2, C4, and D2 launches. I assisted with the hiring of a manager to transition the qualifications team over to, and I helped with onboarding, training, and a smooth handoff of responsibilities.

Finally, I spent 18 months as part of the EC2 Operations team, in addition to my primary role. I was responsible for a weekly summary of all EC2 operational issues and talking through a summary of customer impacting events, status of key metrics, and overall EC2 operational health.

Red Hat

Manager, Open Source Community Feb. 2008 - Aug. 2011
Fedora Project Leader Feb. 2006 - Feb. 2008

The Fedora Project is a collaboration between Red Hat and a worldwide community of free software contributors. Its flagship project is the Fedora Linux distribution. Fedora also serves as Red Hat's open research and development lab, and is the upstream for Red Hat Enterprise Linux and many other Linux distributions.

As Fedora Project Leader, I was responsible for day to day management of the Fedora Project, including both Red Hat employees and community contributors. This required both individual and team-based leadership in various areas, such as:

After two years as Fedora Project Leader, I led the process of splitting the role into several parts -- a continued Fedora Project Leader role, a new Fedora Engineering Manager role, and a new Open Source Community team, which I was given the opportunity to lead. The Open Source Community team was a global team, the goal of which was to facilitate the highly leveraged growth, development, and success of communities strategic to Red Hat's business and brand. Examples of this included:

A major part of these roles was public communication. I conducted interviews with LWN, Slashdot, and I was twice a guest on the Linux Link Tech Show. I blogged and I gave interviews to various websites. I spoke about the Fedora Project at many events, including keynotes at FUDCon, Ohio Linux Fest, the inaugural Athens Digital Week, and Southeast Linux Fest 2010.

During 2008 and 2009, I lived in Amsterdam for about eighteen months while leading Red Hat's community efforts in the EMEA region, in addition to my other leadership responsibilities.

Linux Systems Engineer Aug. 2004 - Feb. 2006

As a member of the Red Hat Network (RHN) group, I had a variety of leadership, QA, and engineering responsibilities.


Quality Assurance Engineer Oct. 2002 - Aug. 2004

As a member of the Security Services group, I worked on the "XML Trust Gateway" designed to protect web traffic according to configurable policies. Later, I was on the QA team for the Unified Authentication service, a platform for provisioning and managing two-factor authentication credentials. This was a long time ago, but primary duties were:


BS Computer Science, Stanford University, 2002.