March 16, 2017

517 words 3 mins read

One Cerner Associate's Contributions in the Tech Industry


Micah is currently a software architect in Population Health Development in Healthe Intent Development at Cerner. In 2013, Micah Whitacre received committer status on the Apache Crunch project, and is now a Project Management Committee (PMC) member of the project.

How has Cerner been been involved in Apache Crunch?

In 2012 and 2013, Cerner started using this project within several solutions. We also wanted to give back to the community and decided to invest time in helping answer questions and concerns, and overall project needs. We wanted to get involved in small community like Apache Crunch since it brought great value to our Cerner solutions.

What does it mean to be receive committer status on Open Source?

In 2013, I was selected as a committer on Apache Crunch. In reference to the technical aspect, Apache projects have some form of criteria for when to accept a committer to a project. Election to being a committer is the result of consistent and high quality contributions to the project, through documentation, code, or helping to build the overall community.

Being selected as a committer was an unexpected honor. It’s also an additional responsibility for my involvement with the project. I closely watch for questions and make enhancements and functionality code changes. There are fourteen other committers on the project as well.

What does it mean to be an Apache Crunch PMC?

After being a committer for over a year, I was selected as a PMC of Apache Crunch. The goal of a PMC is to set the pace and the direction of the community, as well as facilitate how the community is interacting. PMCs help drive releases and help grow the committee. Some of my other responsibilities also include participating in discussions about voting people into the community, new releases of code, and which functionalities need to get fixed.

What are your favorite parts about being a committer?

One of the coolest parts about being a committer is making new connections with larger tech community. It forces you to build new relationships and talk to people you may have not spoken to before. It’s cool being able to meet new people who don’t work at the company you’re working for. I also enjoy being able to look at the project as a whole and figure out the right way to solve something, rather than solving it right now.

I’ve also spoken at ApacheCon twice on Apache Crunch, which have been awesome opportunities.

How else are you involved in the tech industry?

I also like to be involved in our development culture at Cerner, helping improve our internal community and increasing awareness of Cerner in the industry. I’ve been a member of the planning committee and have spoken at our internal conference, DevCon, given internal tech talks at Cerner, and have also spoken at industry conferences like Kafka Summit 2016 and 2014. I’ve also written an Engineering Health blog (Scaling People with Apache Crunch). I am an open source reviewer for Cerner projects, helping review and provide feedback on Cerner open source projects prior to them being published.