What role can open source play in career development? How does one contribute to and create new open source projects? How do you build a community around an open source project? We chat with Ben Pfaff, Principal Researcher at VMware Research to explore these questions. Ben is a systems researcher focusing on Software Define Networking.. He was one of the first employees at Nicira Networks in 2007 after completing his PhD at Stanford. There, he founded and led development of the Open vSwitch and OVN projects. He also contributed to the OpenFlow and P4 specifications. In January 2020, Ben joined the VMware Research Group. He is a Senior Member of ACM and a Fellow of the Open Networking Foundation. Ben has been a free and open source software developer since 1995, as a contributor to Debian and GNU and other projects.