At 36 years old, William Hurley has been involved in IT for more than half his life, starting after a car accident that left him badly injured. While recovering, he began hacking X-objects for MacroMind and later Macromedia Director in the open-source multimedia community, then went to work at Apple Inc. and IBM, where he was a master inventor and senior manager of targeted Internet applications. Later, he joined a string of start-ups, including Qlusters Inc., where he was chief technology officer; Symbiot Inc., where he was a co-founder and CTO; and HireStorm Inc., where he was the founder and CTO. He has combined his love for open source with his longtime work in IT systems management, which he has pursued at BMC since joining the company in February. Hurley has a unique MO that makes him as comfortable in the boardroom as he is on the legendary long green skateboard he often uses to commute to work -- and to get around at open-source conferences.
Hurley, better known in the open-source community as "whurley," talked recently about his background, his enthusiasm for open source -- and his skateboard. Excerpts from that interview follow.