What do you do? Week of May 21, 2018

This is a snapshot of what I do at work. Not a log, but a glimpse into my life as the senior manager of the Community Leads team at Red Hat. I’m providing it to share what people do. When I was at the GNOME Foundation, my weekly write-ups of what I did as Executive Director were appreciated by many. This writeup will not be as comprehensive, as there are many things I’m involved in that are not mine to break the news on. This is a glimpse, not a log, of what I do. If you think I should do more of these writeups, please let me know.

This week, I …

Attended my manager’s staff meeting. It was short but a chance to quickly update her on major happenings as she just got back from vacation. We talked about things like GDPR. We continued the GDPR discussion in the general OSAS (Open Source & Standards Group) meeting.

Had 1:1s with all of my team members. As I wrote in my 1:1s post, I spread them out over the week. So I met with Rich Bowen who is working with the CentOS community on Monday and with Brian Exelbierd who is the Impact and Action Coordinator for Fedora on Tuesday. Wednesdays I meet with Rain Leander (RDO), Leo Vaz (Ceph) and Josh Berkus (Kubernetes). Thursdays are Amye Scavarda (Gluster), Sanja Bonic (Atomic/Silverblue) and Friday is Dave Neary (Che) but we met Wednesday this week instead.

Other 1:1s. Had several other 1:1s with other colleagues and my manager. As a remote employee, I think this is especially important.

Sales onboarding. There is open source material as part of Red Hat’s sales training and I attended a meeting to talk about reviewing and updating it. (All of Red Hat’s products are open source software — it’s our business model.)

Open source study. I met with a Swedish graduate student doing a project on how companies should evaluate which open source software projects they get involved with.

Project governance. I’m helping one of the open source software projects that Red Hat invests resources in to figure out the next step of governance. Many projects periodically do this. Gluster got a new project leads model last year.

Community Leads. All the people within Red Hat that do community type work are invited to the Thursday Community Leads meeting that I facilitate. We used this week’s meeting to talk about how our presence and booths (Community Central) went at Red Hat Summit a couple of weeks ago. We often share best practices, issues or upcoming events. We also often have guest speakers on community topics — if you’d like to share some community knowledge with us and start a conversation, let me know.

Awesome people. I met with a candidate interested in working for Red Hat. I don’t have an opening but I always try to help awesome people in the field find good jobs and Red Hat is a good place to work.

HR stuff. Among other things, I learned a little bit about visas. Luckily we also have legal resources to help.

As part of my work with the TODO group, I was interviewed as part of a guidebook for Diversity & Inclusion in Open Source projects. Also introduced them to other people working in this area.

Booked travel for an upcoming event. It was made complicated by personal travel happening right afterwards but my travel juju is strong!

Expense reports. Red Hat has weird quarters. (My term, not theirs.) Our current quarter ends on May 31st. I approved a lot of expense reports (more than 36!) and hopefully will submit one of my own.

Writing. I made a concerted effort this week to post more!

And I am taking Friday off!

Life at Red Hat: Week 1

I just finished my first week at Red Hat! I flew out to Raleigh last Sunday night and attended New Hire Orientation (NHO, in Red Hat speak) Monday and Tuesday. There were 18 of us in the class from across Red Hat functions and business units. Most of us were a bit apprehensive of what 2 days of orientation would look like and all of us were anxious for our new laptops and email addresses which didn’t come until the end of the second day. We were all impressed – we got a good overview of Red Hat functions and Red Hat culture. Red Hatters are proud of their open, participatory culture.

Picture of group of new hires wearing red fedoras.


Just about every speaker, from legal to HR to strategy, talked about the open source way and how things are always circulated and discussed at Red Hat before they are decided. They even promised we’d get to see one of those discussions that very day on memo-list, the company wide mailing list. While everyone admitted that having very participatory, open processes was sometime painful, everyone spoke highly of the value of being transparent and open to feedback.

We had several speakers on open source specifically, including Michael Tiemann who spoke to us about how he first got involved in open source by starting Cygnus and how people and companies make decisions. To me, he was a very fitting first day Red Hat speaker, as he is one of the people I primarily associate with Red Hat – certainly he was the first that I used to see walking around with the red fedora at conferences!

At the end of the first day we had a social to meet our teams within Red Hat. I was super excited to see Scott Peterson and to learn he was working at Red Hat! Scott and I worked together at HP and he is the reason that I think open source legal issues are fascinating. He thought they were fascinating and was willing to spend lots of time explaining them to me. Although we’ve known each other for 15 years and worked together for a good number of those, this was only our 3rd time meeting in person.

At the end of the second day, we got our laptops. Luckily for me, using a Linux desktop wasn’t new. Unluckily for the IT team, I am keyboard or password challenged, so they had to wait around for 30 minutes to reset my password which I couldn’t reproduce. I am now signed up for a gazillion and one mailing lists and irc channels and learning how Red Hat does strategy, goals and finances.

I was very glad to get to meet with Joe Brockmeier in person as its his previous position that I’m taking over. I spilled my glass of water all over him at lunch, so I figure that should bring some kind of luck if it doesn’t alienate him forever. At least it wasn’t wine!

After I got home I continued the meetings. I’ve learned about the infrastructure tools that the Red Hat OSAS team is working on providing some of the open source upstream projects, as well as meetings with Red Hat community managers and others working with upstream projects. The Open Source and Standards (OSAS) team that I have joined, led by Deborah Bryant, directly supports CentOS, Ceph, Fedora, Gluster, oVirt, Project Atomic and RDO. They also work with Red Hat teams working with other upstream projects as well like OpenShift, OpenDaylight, PatternFly, Foreman and ManageIQ.