Thanks to you, I’m much obliged…

…for such a pleasant stay.

When one prepares to retire from the Fedora Project Leader position, there are two places in which to look for inspiration in writing their “departure advisory”:

  • Past notices of intentions to retire, such as those of my lovely predecessors Max Spevack and Paul Frields
  • Led Zeppelin lyrics

And thus, this blog post will draw a bit from both of those — but I will look to Page/Plant to kick it off:

“And to our health we drank a thousand times… it’s time to ramble on.”

(Note: A thousand times may be an inaccurate estimate.)

I’ve been in the Fedora Project Leader role for a bit over two years now, and was the program manager for Fedora for nearly a year and a half before that; needless to say, Fedora has been my full time and lots of my other time job for a long time now. Being in this role certainly is humbling and daunting at times, and amazingly gratifying at others, but it has also afforded me an almost overwhelming opportunity to learn about anything and everything going on in open source outside the Fedora universe, with the hopes of bringing those people, projects, and ideas into our folds. Some of it is incredibly interesting, and some of it brings incredibly creative thinking into solving problems that we face in the technology space today — and, like those before me, it has also led me inevitably into exploring new opportunities.

With Fedora 20 well behind us, and on the road ahead, it seems like a natural time to step aside and let new leadership take the reins. Frankly, I shouldn’t even say “the road ahead” since we’re well-entrenched in the process of establishing the features and processes, and it’s a rather busy time for us all in Fedora-land — but this is precisely why make the transition into new leadership as smooth as possible for the Fedora Project community is so important.  It’s a good time for change, and fresh ideas and leadership will be an asset to the community as we go forward, but I also want to make sure it’s not going to distract us from all the very important things we have in the works.

I’ve informed the Fedora Project Board already of my intentions, and my friends, Red Hat management and family are all aware and supportive of my decision to move onwards. Red Hat engineering and management, as the employer of the FPL, will obviously be involved in the transition process, and the Fedora Board will continue to be advised and consulted during the process as well. While what it is *exactly* that I’m doing next is still to-be-determined, I will be sticking around to help with transition tasks, general FPL-edification, and generally ensure a smooth turnover into the New World, after the proverbial torch is passed.

And “after” is a key word here, of course: Today is not my last day, or anything like that. I’m just letting everyone know of my plans to, well… Ramble On.

Stay tuned for updates.

Fedora 17: The beefiest release yet. With a side of awwwwwwww.

For those who missed this morning’s beefalicious news: Fedora 17, “Beefy Miracle,” has been released into the world, ready for consumption by freedom-lovers everywhere.

You can read the full release announcement here, but that’s not what this post is about, really.

One of the things I truly, ahem, relish about our community is our ability to play well with others.  And I think we’re doing an exceptional job of that lately.  It’s easy to look at a list of features and say, “Woo! We haz something,” but looking at the ties and bonds we are making from the Fedora Project to other communities is what’s really impressive.  When you look at things like having JBoss AS7 in F17, or having the newest version of OpenStack in F17, it’s not just “in” — it’s really apparent that we’re not just packaging something up, but we’re building bridges between communities.  People who have never been exposed to Fedora before may take their first proverbial bite, so to speak, because of their participation in these other communities; conversely, people who have never used JBoss AS7, or any of the other of the number of projects that you see in F17, may finally give it a try, simply because it’s available, and it works.  It’s mutually beneficial, and, well, it’s just rockin’.

And for that, and for so many other things: I thank you all, for being stellar community superstars, for being amazing friends, for embracing others with open arms, for scratching that itch and reaching out to other communities, and for staying up all night (multiple times), and showing the world what the open source way is truly about.

In conclusion: I promise that no corn was harmed in the making of this blog post, despite apparent corniness levels. Corn can be used for corn dogs, who are relatives to the Beefy Miracle. And we wouldn’t want that.

Go out. Download Fedora 17. Enjoy this release.  Lots of mustard — and you know that that means progress. 🙂

Adventures in FPLing: The two-week mark, and what I do all day

I’m approaching the two-week mark in FPL-hood.  Now that I’m kind of over the “learn about all these new things” hump, getting through transitioning tasks, and the talk to Media People stuff, I think I’m settling in a bit more into the actual Getting Things Done part of the job. Which is pretty cool, and a nice place to be.

Although we have a nice wiki page about the FPL position itself, and what it vaguely entails, there’s not a concrete list of “what the FPL does,” and certainly FPL to date has brought their own personality to the job, and as such, has had their own list of tasks and to-dos.  Of course, there are things the FPL does that wind up being fairly obvious to the community; some of these are actually laid out on the handy-dandy FPL schedule.  Most of the scheduled stuf revolves around PR-things, like ensuring (by writing it) that Red Hat puts out a press release at release time, that we’re doing Feature Stories on some of the more high-profile features, that we’re sending USB keys with previews of the new release to press folks, etc., though there are other things (checking in with election wrangler to make sure elections happen, and the like).

But, of course, those aren’t the only things, and attending/running board meetings isn’t the “other thing,” either.  Not everything the FPL does is going to be front-and-center obvious to the whole community; not everyone is on every mailing list, not everyone is in all irc channels at all times.  Transparency is important in this job, and I’d like to do as good as humanly possible in that regard; while blogging, obviously, is one way to keep everyone up to date on what I’m up to, it’s not comprehensive.

To that end, I’m experimenting a bit with a wiki page I made, that essentially is my “to-do/done” list – you can check it out here. My hope is that it will provide a nice record of what I’m planning to do and getting done, and give a reasonable, without being completely obnoxious in detail, view of what the job entails.  I’ve got it divided up into fairly-immediate (week-ish), short-term (month-ish) and long-term goals; we’ll see if that format works out well, or not.

Feedback welcome, of course. 🙂

Transitions, Soapboxes, and the like…

Well, hi there.

By now, most of you have probably heard that yours truly is the new Fedora Project Leader. I’m not going to get too preachy or soapbox-y here, but I have a few things to say:

Big shoes to fill, I have before me.  Some of the smartest and wisest and most inspiring people I know have sat in this seat; over the years since I joined the Fedora Project, they’ve become dear friends, co-workers, the peeps I can count on for advice, and guidance.  (And in many cases, people from whom I can extract money in a poker game.)

These are interesting times, folks, and we have a TON of stuff going on in Fedora right now that is on the hockey-stick path to Awesomeness.  The *rest* of smartest and wisest and most inspirational people I know are the diverse group of contributors who drive the Fedora Project forward every day; you all are the Doers, the people who make things happen, the people who take ideas and turn them into actions.

And so, I intend to wear those shoes proudly.  While I don’t plan on following in the footsteps of anyone (because, you know, that would be walking in circles, which isn’t highly productive), I do aspire to step with the same spirit that those before me have — honestly, transparently, communicative-ly (new word!), with humor, and with care. And I aspire to Get Stuff Done, sans red tape.

And I fully expect all of you to call BS on me when I’m not. 🙂

As for the imminent future: YES, in terms of Getting Stuff Done, there are things I’d like to Get Done. I don’t want to be Cloudy about it, but I see many ARMs up in the air, wondering what we might be getting done for our Users and Developers — and to that end, I’ll be spelling out a few of those things in the coming days. (Hint: THERE MAY HAVE BEEN HINTS IN THAT SENTENCE.) I think we have a tremendous number of shorter-term tasks to tackle as well; making it easier to get things done, improving processes, improving contributor onramping — all in the name of generally being a more agile community.  I will come out and say that one of the things that is important to me, personally, is recognizing those successes when we hit them, and being able to measure them, and as such, one of the things that I want to tackle is statistics — figuring out what we track, why, if it even makes any sense, what we do with the data, if we can make it actionable.

But that is just me. I recognize that I can’t go anywhere without others — the Doers, the Owners.  What is important to you, where you want to go, what you want to achieve, are the things that truly drive the Fedora Project. I’m here to listen, and help you get there, and hopefully help make it easier to do so.

In other news:

I would be an IDIOT to not capitalize on eyeballs with a bit of advertising right now.  Thus, I bring you:

Impending Milestones, Schedule Reminders, and General Pleading

The complete Fedora 17 Schedule is viewable, in all of its meaty glory, here.