Linux, musical road-dogging, and daily life by Paul W. Frields
Holiday Break 2017.

Holiday Break 2017.

My work with the Fedora Engineering team has been a whirlwind this year. Of course, with lots going on in the releases and infrastructure, between modularity, continuous integration, Atomic, and more, there has been plenty for everyone to do. With both new and departing folks on our team there’s also been people-related change as well. I can easily see and feel the incredible effort going on in so many parts of Fedora these days.

I now contribute in a few areas, such as the Workstation working group. My own biggest personal contribution to the project this year, though (outside people management), has been to the Fedora Magazine. Ryan Lerch was responsible several years ago for resuscitating the Magazine into a vibrant, useful resource for our users worldwide, and I was happy to jump in and help when I found out about the great work he was doing. This year we were also fortunate to have Justin Flory serving for a while as editor in chief.

Now Ryan and I are happily keeping things chugging along, though. This year we set a goal for three million page views. And as of yesterday, we hit it! That’s not just an accomplishment for the Magazine folks, though. It means that Fedora news and information is reaching more and more people worldwide every month. In light of reaching this goal, it’s nice to sit back and take a breath to enjoy the scenery.

And that of course brings me to my annual reminder about what the holidays mean for Fedora team availability. Once again, I’m going to crib from an earlier post:

My good friend John Poelstra is fond of saying, “It’s OK to disappoint people, but it’s not OK to surprise them.” That wisdom is a big reason why I like to set expectations over the holidays.

Working at Red Hat is a fast paced and demanding job. Working full time in Fedora is itself demanding on top of that. These demands can make downtime at the holiday important for our team. At Red Hat, there’s a general company shutdown between Christmas and the New Year. This lets the whole organization relax and step away from the keyboard without guilt or fear.

Of course, vital functions are always staffed. Red Hat’s customers will always find us there to support them. Similarly, our Fedora infrastructure team will monitor over the holidays to ensure our services are working nominally, and jump in to fix them if not.

Some people like to spend time over the holidays hacking on projects. Others prefer to spend the time with family and friends. I’ve encouraged our team to use the Fedora vacation calendar to mark their expected “down time.” I encourage other community members to use the calendar, too, especially if they carry some expectations or regular responsibilities around the project.

I’m personally taking the next two weeks off around the holiday, mainly to take a break from work, but also to get buried in my creative pursuits as a musician, songwriter, and music engineer/producer. I hope each of you has a wonderful end of year season and that the holidays you enjoy are peaceful and bountiful.