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Introducing the new Fedora Project Leader, and some parting thoughts.

Rbergeron - Mar, 06/03/2014 - 08:16

“I can resist everything except temptation.”  – Oscar Wilde

Recently, I announced my intentions to move onwards from the Fedora Project Leader position. Today, I’d like to share with the Fedora community, and the wider world, a few parting thoughts, and announce the name of the new FPL.

As many of you are probably aware, the FPL is employed by Red Hat, and the process of selecting an FPL is one that involves consulting with many folks both internal to Red Hat, as well as external, including consulting the Fedora Project Board. When I was approached by my former boss, Tim, as well as Jared Smith, our previous FPL, about the opportunity, there wasn’t a moment of hesitation before saying yes. It truly is an amazing opportunity to influence the Fedora Project community and the Fedora distribution, and more broadly, the pace of innovation in the larger universe of open source. I knew that the job was daunting, even all-consuming at times, and knew that many challenges would lie ahead, both for myself and the wider community.  But I also saw – and continue to see – tremendous potential, and had a million ideas already swirling in my head; while I certainly had the option to stay in my previous Program Manager role, I couldn’t possibly say no to the opportunity.

Of course, leadership doesn’t simply happen by being appointed to a position; one truly has to lead by example, by getting things done, and most importantly, by enabling and encouraging others to get things done, so that new leadership can continue to grow and flourish. One of the earliest questions I got after taking on the position was posed to me by Greg DeKoenigsberg, whom I now join in the “Former FPL Club”. And the question was this: “So. Who is the next FPL?”

While I really had no answer at the time — after discussion, it dawned on me that one of the most important parts of my job was to ensure resilience in our community; to ensure that we were nurturing new folks, so that when the day came and we were ready to move on to new things, either inside or outside of Fedora, there would be people ready and willing to step up to the task. Doing this is even discussed in The Open Source Way handbook, in the “Turn over project leaders regularly” section; the most poignant line stating, “There is no job in the world that cannot gain from a fresh mind and perspective.”

***

“Out of clutter, find simplicity.
From discord, find harmony.
In the middle of difficulty lies opportunity.”  – Albert Einstein

The Fedora Project is filled with opportunity; both for individuals to make a difference in a community, and for a community to make a difference in the world. Our embrace of open source principles, commitment to driving forward technology, and belief in our own Foundations keep the Fedora community engaged, enthusiastic, and perpetually moving forward.

The ability to bring people together, to unify ideas, to break down barriers, to find elegant and simple solutions to seemingly difficult problems, are just a few of the traits that a Fedora Project Leader can bring to the table to help guide the community forward. And I couldn’t be happier in announcing that Matthew Miller will be taking on the Fedora Project Leader role, as he has demonstrated over the past months and years his ability to gather the community around the Fedora.next initiatives, both from a technological and social standpoint.

Of course, Matthew is no newcomer to the Fedora Project, having been around since the *LITERAL DAWN OF FEDORA TIME* — he was an early contributor to the Fedora Legacy project, and helped to organize early FUDCons in his area of the world, at Boston University. Since joining Red Hat in 2012, he’s been responsible for the Cloud efforts in Fedora, and as the previous wrangler for that team, I was thrilled when he came on board and was willing and able to start driving forward some of the initiatives and wishlist items that team was working on. What started out small has since grown into a vision for the future, and I’m confident in Matthew’s ability to lead the Fedora Project forward into its next 10 years of innovative thinking.

And to you, lovely readers, and contributors to the Fedora Project Community: My heartfelt thanks goes out to you for your years of support, friendship, patience, and well-wishes as I move onwards; I have truly relished (ONE LAST PUN) my time as Fedora Project Leader.  I hope that you’ll all join me in congratulating Matthew on his new role, and I’m sure that his enthusiasm and fresh perspective will be of immeasurable value as Fedora moves into the future.


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