Introduction to Dr. Thomas Di Giacomo, SUSE's new CTO


Today, SUSE has announced that Dr. Thomas Di Giacomo has joined the SUSE team as the Chief Technology Officer.  Below, Thomas introduces himself in his own words.

It’s very exciting to join SUSE.  Not only because of the Linux history SUSE has been part of, as one key contributor since decades with open source and its use for enterprise deep in its genes, but also because of what SUSE has achieved and become today.  And more importantly because of SUSE’s dedication and expertise as people, as a united team, and as interfaces with various communities & partners (and I’m not only thinking about SUSE’s parody song writing talents, but a unique list of know-hows too long to be detailed here).

ThomasDiGiacomoThe future looks no less exciting.  With more and more clear needs and benefits for enterprises, software-defined everything (or at least software-defined “some-of-the-things” where/when it makes sense) is growing quickly and SUSE already delivers very solid solutions there, with SUSE OpenStack Cloud, SUSE Manager and SUSE Storage noticeably.  Our next steps in those directions would support partners and clients even further.  Having said that, strong roots (read SUSE Linux Enterprise and its extensions at large), which are continuously taken care off, are obviously fundamental to grow new branches and to blossom.  Foundations expanded with innovation, together with real and total openness at heart, this is to me what makes SUSE unique in the open source world.

A few words about me since this post is an introduction.  My father loved technology; he was trying to get robots to do something in the 80s.  When I turned 8 or so, he offered me an Amstrad CPC464 with a BASIC book (for non-European readers, CPC464 was a C64-like computer with its own screen and tape deck, as well as a supposedly faster Z80 CPU but weaker on audio -and graphics too, one could argue-).  Since then, except for some real-life mandatory duties, I’ve never stopped playing with computers and technologies: on Atari ST (no offense to former Amiga owners) with some first steps in coding, graphics and music for the demoscene, on PC in the late 90s experimenting with RHL 5.0 and Gentoo, on SUN SPARCstation coding C-to-Assembly compilers/converters or client-server applications for instance, on MIPS-based Silicon Graphics (running IRIX at the time) developing real-time computer animation in C/C++ using lots of open source projects and libraries, etc.

This passion lead to a PhD in computer sciences, where I got involved in hardware and software lectures to students, theoretical work and software architecture/development for scientific and standardization bodies such as MPEG, as well as EU-funded industrial projects with large enterprises.  Once completed, with previous exposure to web & sysadmin on various distributions & software stacks, the city of Geneva hired me to deal with their Linux-based servers (both physical and virtualized for various applications e.g. CentOS for video streaming).

I later joined Swisscom as a service manager for their hospitality services, and evolved there as a software development manager, director of engineering and then VP/CTO. Products were used globally by small and large clients and partners, and consisted of a combination of our own network architectures and highly available hybrid cloud-based applications we were developing and IT managing in-house (all Linux-based with a combination of Ubuntu then Debian local physical servers and central private/public virtualized ones, SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 11 too for privately hosted ERP).  With the teams there, I was in charge of the engineering, development, IT, as well as product management, strategy & innovation, and a member of the executive team to support the company’s vision and engage with key players, partners and customers.

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