Orientation at Red Hat started today. I had a great time meeting a bunch of new faces — in many cases, people I might not see again for a long while, if ever, since they are all going to different parts of the company. I was the one employee starting in the Engineering Division, so that was interesting. I got to tell all the other employees in our various break-time conversations about my new job.
We also got into a little bit of conversation at lunch about the continuing work to break down barriers in Fedora and exponentially grow our contributor base. I have a lot of ideas swirling about with regard to that topic, including how it relates to the decline of volunteerism in the USA overall, which I need to sit down and work out on paper.
Max also reminded me of something we need to change — the fact that the vast majority of people conducting the conversation (in blogs and other trendy venues) about principles they share with the open source community, are not connecting with our community as contributors. In fact, some of them don’t even seem to be aware we exist, except in the sense that they consume the products we create.
If you’ve got ideas on how to do this, I’d like to hear them. Then I’m going to ask you to get involved to help implement them. ?
So in short, I’m more excited about my new job today than I was yesterday — and i was pretty pumped already then. As one of my new coworkers said, and I’ll paraphrase slightly, “I used to be the only person around my office who cared about open source. Now I’m in a company where we all share the same passion.” Right on!
Not sure exactly what you mean by “the vast majority of people conducting the conversation….” I guess I have the opposite problem.. who are they and where would I hear from them?
What sort of contributors are you looking from them?
“are not connecting with our community as contributors.” – would you like to elaborate on this ?
Sure — although I’m paraphrasing Max, I think I can do his original comment justice. He was talking about all the people blogging and otherwise providing punditry on social trends, but who aren’t F/LOSS developers. Many of them are not involved to any extent in actual F/LOSS communities, but use the things we create to make their own messages. And although there’s nothing inherently wrong with that per se, many of them share enough of our ethos that we need to get them to bring F/LOSS into the conversations they’re starting with the rest of the world — you know, the part that doesn’t already know about F/LOSS. 😉