Community News

Night of the Living FUD

FUD scoop It was one of those moments where you weren't quite sure you heard something right.

It was day-whatever of the Supercomputing Asia conference in Singapore, and I was halfway listening to one of the speakers explain his company's advances in deep learning and artificial intelligence. "Halfway" because the material of this particular talk was soon way, way over my head and on my laptop I was trying to figure out why Travis seemed to be borking on the update pull requests for the new Red Hat on GitHub site.

But I snapped back into the room when I thought I heard what sounded like a full-tilt FUD (fear, uncertainty, and doubt) rant about open source. I glanced at my colleague Rich Bowen, also in attendance, and he was shaking his head.

Yep, it was FUD all right. Suddenly, it was 2000 all over again.

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A Community Manager's Sorting Hat

sorting hat Previously, we talked about Project Management, Gantt Charts, and Communities—let's take a look at the other hats a community manager wears and vice versa. Sometimes your job description within the company or project will differ but you'll still be known as the community manager because it's a more established title.

On the other hand, there is a lot of connotation around the title of a community manager, especially in tech. If you cannot prove a significant amount of contributions that developers value, you will quickly be disregarded as "the marketing person" (often accompanied with some eye rolling).

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Box. Outside. Think.

Empty Box A friend of mine recently had to go to the cardiologist to figure out what was what with a racing heartbeat. The cardiologist looked at my friend's current history, including all the current prescriptions my friend was taking… and promptly added one more medication—a beta blocker—to the list.

When my dismayed friend related this to me, I drew upon the wisdom of the old and replied "a cardiologist is like someone with a hammer… they're always looking for a nail to hit." She's getting a second opinion… a perhaps a less cliché friend.

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Project Management, Gantt Charts, and Communities

community Being a project manager in your community is an important part of any community lead role. Your job as a community manager is to help feed and water the community, and when I’m asked about how to describe my job, it’s usually "everything that isn’t code is part of my problem." My role is to help guide and catalyze the community to grow beyond where it is now, and for that, you’re going to need some project management skills.

As a project manager, some of your skills include managing information to a wider team, communicating throughout all aspects of the project, managing budgets and generally being the person who knows where the project is at any time. As a community manager, you’ll need a lot of the same skill sets.

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Celebrating 25 Years of Red Hat and Open

Red Hat logo Twenty-five years ago today, Red Hat got its start. A quarter century of creating and supporting world-class software is a pretty big deal for us, and we wanted to celebrate the occasion by demonstrating just how far and wide Red Hat as a company participates in free and open source software!

It is a great pleasure, then, to announce the launch of Red Hat's new GitHub organization page. The page will try to list every known free and open source project hosted on GitHub in which Red Hat staffers directly participate as part of their work. As you can see, it's gotten off to a good start.

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Perusing OSAS' Menu of Services

menu options As Red Hat's community portfolio grows, the Open Source and Standards (OSAS) team needs to shift our approach to supporting their needs. To accomplish this, the OSAS Community Outreach team will be shifting to a consultancy-style approach.

The idea for this new approach was formed a couple of years ago, when Brian Proffitt, Jason Brooks, and I were in a chocolate store down the street from the Red Hat corporate headquarters in Raleigh, brainstorming on ways we could expand the OSAS footprint.

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Welcome to the Neighborhood

new neighbors It is an easy metaphor to fall into: we compare the communities that surround our free and open source projects to the actual communities in which we reside. For the most part, the metaphor works really well. I myself have used the metaphor to describe things like server and IT infrastructure to streets, water lines, or power grids. Governance of open source communities to the way different neighborhoods, towns, and cities govern themselves.

Making this comparison is not, after all, rocket science.

But there is one aspect to the communities-as-communities metaphor that breaks down, because should be no comparison: the way communities enfold newcomers into their midst.

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Look Out For Rock Stars

the author being a dork As mentioned, last week was not a super-happy fun time for many residents in my area of the country. Things are certainly better now, which is great, and we are all enjoying the sunny and dry weather.

There's nothing like a calamity to take pre-conceived notions and shove them into your face. Seeing a community in action through the unpleasant times gives you insight into how communities should act in the more quiescent times.

Watching our city mayor through all of this was one such example.

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Dealing with a Flood of Noise

ducks This week, a combination of 6 inches of rain in 36 hours, 12 inches of existing snow, sudden 60-degree weather, and still-frozen ground created record-breaking floods in my city. (For those on the metric system, that's 15.2 cm rain, 30.5 cm of snow, and 15.6 degrees C.)

Complicating this for me personally is that fact that I live one block away from a river which crested 7.2 feet (2.2 m) above flood stage late Wednesday night. The water is receding now, and our street is open for traffic again.

So, it's been a fun week for the ducks, as you can see in the picture of the normally dry park across the street from my house. (The good news is for my family, the water coming in the basement is coming in at a rate a pump can keep up and it's clean ground water. A worse flood in 2016 prompted us to pack everything up in plastic bins.)

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Catching Up With Ansible

ansible logo One of the blessings—and curses— of working at Red Hat is that you get to be around and hear about a lot of cool tech. This may not sound like much of a curse, until you realize that you are usually so busy doing what you are doing, there's rarely time to explore something new.

This can be exacerbated a little bit when you work remote, like I and many of my colleagues do. I have the good fortune of living in a small U.S. city, but one of the weird things about this location is no one rarely expects to meet someone from a large fairly well-known company who loves in their hometown.

The upshot of these encounters is that I usually get inundated with tech questions about which I may know little to nothing. Case in point: a couple of months ago I attended a hack-the-city meetup and when I introduced myself, I was immediately hit with questions about Ansible—one of those cool bits of tech I have been meaning to try.

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