2021-04-16

Leaving Fedora Infrastructure

 In June 2009, I was given the opportunity to work in Fedora Infrastructure as Mike McGrath's assistant so that he could take some vacation. At the time I was living in New Mexico and had worked at the University of New Mexico for several years. I started working remote for the first time in my life, and had to learn all the nuances of IRC meetings and typing clearly and quickly. With the assistance of Seth Vidal, Luke Macken, Ricky Zhou, and many others I got quickly into 'the swing of things' with only 2 or 3 times taking all of Fedora offline because of a missed ; in a dns config file. I

For the last 4300+ days, I have worked with multiple great and wonderful system administrators and programmers to keep the Fedora Infrastructure running and growing so that the number of systems using 'deliverables' has grow into the millions of systems. I am highly indebted to everyone from volunteers to paid Red Hatters who has helped me grow. I want to especially thank Kevin Fenzi, Rick Elrod, and Pierre Yves-Chibon for the insights I have needed. 

Over the years, we have maintained a constantly spinning set of plates which allow for packagers to commit changes, build software, produce deliverables, and start all over again. We have moved our build systems physically at least 3 times, once across the North American continent. We have dealt with security breaches, mass password changes, and the undead project of replacing the 'Fedora Account System' which had been going on since before I started. [To the team which finished that monumental task in the last 3 months, we are all highly indebted. There may be pain-points but they did a herculean task.]

All in all, it has been a very good decade of working on a project that many have said would be 'gone' by next release. However, it is time for me to move onto other projects, and find new challenges that excite me. Starting next week, I will be moving to a group working with a strong focus on embedded hardware. I have been interested in embedded in some form or another since the 1970's. My first computer memories were of systems my dad showed me which would have been in an A-6 plane. From there I remember my dad taking me to see a friend who repaired PDP systems for textile mills and let me work on my first Unix running on a Dec Rainbow. Whenever I came home from those visits, I would have a smile and hum of excitement which would not leave me for days. I remember having that humm when in 1992, a student teacher showed me MCC Linux running on an i386 which we had been repairing from spare parts. I could do everything and anything on that box for a fraction of the price of the big Unix boxes I had to pay account time for. And recently I went to a set of talks on embedded projects and found myself with the same hum. It was a surprise for me but I found myself more and more interested in it as the weeks have gone by.

I was offered a chance to move over, and I decided to take it. I will still be in the Fedora community but will not be able to work much on Infrastructure issues. If I have tasks that you are waiting for, please let me know, and I will finish them either by myself or by doing a full handoff to someone else in Infrastructure. Thank you all for your help and patience over these last 11+ years. 

1 comment:

Ben Cotton said...

Thanks for everything you've done, Smooge. Your contributions to Fedora—not just the infrastructure, but the community in general—are invaluable.