Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Obligatory Introductory Posting

This is my third or fourth "job" blog that I've started. As is usual for a first blog post, I have some plans for how I will "use" the blog, but I have enough experience to know that either I will find writing it to be less satisfying than I thought, or that the purpose of the blog will mutate based on it's usage, especially if I end up with readers.

So, what is this so called "job" to which I am referring?

Well, here's what happened. I started using Ubuntu after the first release, I believe in 2004. I wasn't much of a Linux user then. I used Mac OS at home, and of course Windows at work. However, I had been using Fedora for about a year. I was mostly using it to get back into C++ programming, though I also started writing a web site using Fedora as my development platform. I gave up on the C++ programming after I started using Ruby on Rails.

Interestingly, I knew from using Fedora that I was infatuated with Linux. The GNOME experience just seemed better than both Windows and Mac. Better in different ways, but better. Like simpler, crisper, more transparent. Then I tried Warty, and my infatuation turned to love. I knew that at some point in the future my career was going to be based on Linux. But how?

But is was more than the quality of the technology that fascinated me. I was inspired by the "Open" in open source. The fact that all these people gave so freely to others, and that anybody could participate. I felt then, and still believe, that open source is going to provide economic opportunity to people across the world. Whatever their economic status, whatever devices or computers they have, they will be able to make Linux (and I use the term here in the widely inclusive sense) do the things they want and need, and no one can tell them not to. This strongly touched my dogooder nature.

This desire to work in open source combated my desire for security for my family for a couple of years, and then finally, in 2007, I simply quit my job so that I could figure out how to build my career around open source. I didn't have a good plan, but I had to start.

So I ended up with a great job working on a web site. The site was built on an open source stack, and Ubuntu was in heavy use by the tech team.

Again, this was a great job. However, I had applied for the job of "Engineering Manager, Desktop" for Ubuntu. This is a position managing the development of the one product that I used and loved the most. Plus, I would be joining a killer team. I mean getting to work seb, pitti, asac, etc... I'd be crazy to not at least apply, right?

Suffice to say, I got the job. Great job to dream job. So, I started last December 1st (2008). A week to get my sea legs, than off to UDS (talk about being shot out of a cannon). Now I'm almost six weeks into the experience, time to start keeping a diary.

What am I going to post about? I have few thoughts:
  1. Keeping a record of my acclimation to the job and working with the teams. I would like to be able to look back and see how I adapted (or didn't if that's how it turns out).
  2. Keeping a record of thoughts about how to guide the development of the desktop.
  3. Records of my experience as a Ubuntu user, informed by my position on the "inside" of Canonical.
  4. Rants and ravings, as usual.