About Brian Proffitt

Brian Proffitt is the Principal Community Analyst for Open Source and Standards team at Red Hat, responsible for community content, onboarding, and open source consulting. A former technology journalist, Brian is also a graduate lecturer at the University of Notre Dame. Follow him on Twitter @TheTechScribe

For Communities, IBM + Red Hat Means Stronger Commitment

The news that IBM has signed an agreement to acquire Red Hat made an impact throughout the business world Sunday, leaving many to speculate what the future will bring for Red Hat. Specifically, some are wondering what this acquisition will mean for the many upstream projects in which Red Hat participates and sponsors.

Our CEO Jim Whitehurst imparted a strong sense of direction for Red Hat as it starts on this new journey, with a comment that directly relates to upstream communities: “Our unwavering commitment to open source innovation remains unchanged. The independence IBM has committed to will allow Red Hat to continue building the broad ecosystem that enables customer choice and has been integral to open source’s success in the enterprise. IBM is acquiring Red Hat for our amazing people and our incredibly special culture and approach to making better software.”

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Pass the Torch Without Dropping the Ball

A replacement plan/document is a great community resource, even when you’re not being replaced.

A year ago, as the role of RDO community manager at Red Hat was moving from one person to another, that team started thinking about what needs to be in place to effectively transition a role. More generally, the managers started thinking about planning, and documenting, for anyone’s eventual replacement.
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A New Metrics Well

A major component of the work being done within the Open Source and Standards team focuses on what we can do to make communities healthy and prosperous.

To that end, we are working with metrics to obtain quantifiable numbers about the projects with which we work, to identify areas of a project that are doing well or might need assistance. We are happy to working with Project CHAOSS for this, since this project has made great strides in determining what actually makes a community healthy.

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The Danger of Devaluing Community Volunteers

It is a convenient myth for a lot of people in the free and open source software community that our projects have few barriers to entry beyond a base set of knowledge about the project new contributors want to try to join, and the skills need to contribute to a project.

Diversity, to a lot of people who buy into the pure meritocracy myth, is a problem that can be solved by accepting anyone who can contribute. It’s the contribution that matters, not the person’s race, gender, or other identifiable status. Train more people up, the meritocrats will argue, and the diversity problem will be solved.

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DevConf.us: Launching a New Event

DevConfUS LogoIt takes a village to raise a child, so the saying goes. That is also certainly the case for launching a new tech event, as the attendees of the inaugural DevConf.us have learned this week.

DevConf.us has successfully started in the George Sherman Union on the campus of Boston University, and runs until this Sunday afternoon. Registration is free of charge, so developers from all across the New England area are welcome.

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DevConf.us: Web UI Testing for Beginners

Og Maciel headshotContinuing our preview series of the speakers of the inaugural DevConf.us, today we’re sharing an interview with Og Maciel, Senior Manager of Quality Engineering for the Satellite team at Red Hat.

Maciel’s August 18 talk will focus on an introduction to Selenium, the portable testing framework for web apps, and how beginners can get started using the Selenium IDE.

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DevConf.us: Confronting the UX Elephant in the Room

Máirín DuffyOpen source technology is now mainstream. Technologies large and small impacting people all over the world are powered by open source platforms, libraries, and backends. There’s an urgent problem, though: open source has become synonymous with shockingly poor user experience (UX), reducing its impact and adoption.

In this interview, Red Hat’s Máirín Duffy outlines her open source experience and how she is bringing UX solutions to the world of open source software during her August 19 talk at DevConf.us.

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DevConf.us: Being a Cynic in an Agile QA Role

Deepak KoulNext month, the very first DevConf.us conference will launch at the Boston University in the historic city of Boston, USA. This annual, free, Red Hat-sponsored technology conference for community project and professional contributors to Free and Open Source technologies is an engineering conference organized by engineers.

As we get ready for the August 17-19 event, we have reached out to many of the speakers to find out what expertise they will be bringing to the Back Bay.

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An OSCON Milestone

2018 has been a big year for Linux. Red Hat is celebrating its 25th anniversary (as well as Slackware!), and we are not the only ones with significant birthdays. This year also marks the 20th anniversary of the Open Source Initiative (OSI) and a touchstone conference in the open source ecosystem: OSCON. And this year’s show is celebrating in style, moving back to where many would say it always belonged, Portland, Oregon.

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