Today marks the exciting launch of Fedora Appreciation Week. 🎉 In celebration of the Fedora Project, our twenty-year anniversary, and the community of people that make Fedora what it is, the DEI team has gathered contributor stories, social media posts, and photos from the community to feature here daily throughout Appreciation Week. 💙
Is there someone you wish to express gratitude to? Would you like to share your appreciation with Fedora? Discover how you can be part of the celebration of 20 years of Fedora and participate in Fedora Appreciation Week.
Today’s Contributor Stories come from four people: Justin (JWF), David Cantrell, Joseph Gayoso and Robert Wright.
A last-minute bus ticket to meet a Fedora friend changed everything
Who is your story about?: Jona Azizaj (jonatoni)
Click to read Justin’s Contributor Story about Jona.
“In 2017, I was in my undergraduate studies at my university. I took a semester abroad to study at my university’s campus in Dubrovnik, Croatia. At this point, I was getting more and more involved with Fedora. I was participating in multiple teams, I was speaking at events as a Fedora Ambassador, and I had made many great friends at the previous Flock 2016 in Kraków, Poland.
I remember that at some point, I stumbled on this blog post about an Ada Lovelace Day event happening in Tirana, Albania. I knew about Jona Azizaj at this point and her work in Fedora, but only at a distance. We met for the first time at Flock 2016 in Kraków, and continued to work together in the Fedora DEI Team (then, just the Diversity Team). The Ada Lovelace Day event in Tirana put Albania on the map for me, and I came to know more about the open source community in Tirana. Once I was in Dubrovnik, eventually I came to find out that there was a bus ticket from Dubrovnik to Tirana. It was an overnight bus, leaving Dubrovnik around 11 PM and arriving sometime near 5 AM. March 2017 rolled around, and I had a spring break vacation from my university for one week. Originally, I planned to stay in my apartment and just study. I had several flatmates who were traveling all over Europe during that week, but I did not have the money then to take the travels that they were taking.
On my last day of classes before the holiday week, I made a last-minute decision. I would take this bus from Dubrovnik to Tirana, and finally visit this community in Tirana that I had read so much about. There happened to be a Linux Weekend event happening the week that I would travel there. I bought the bus ticket, and planned to stay until Wednesday. Once I arrived, I was greeted with a warm hospitality that I had never known. I was a stranger there, but I was treated like a friend. During the Linux Weekend event, I helped take pictures and wrote a Fedora Magazine article about the event. I talked to locals about Linux, met people who were localizing Fedora into the Albanian language, and finally got to know that Albanian burek is the best burek in the Balkans. After realizing that the round-trip bus ticket date could be “flexible,” I ended up extending my departure date not once, but twice!
This trip, which began as a last-minute decision, became a memory that I would cherish forever after. I made many friends there, and later, in 2021, I would even move to Tirana and live there briefly for a few months (thanks to the help of friends that I made back in 2017). For my 2017 trip, Jona was basically my sponsor! After meeting her at Flock 2016, I got to visit her home country and city, and get to know the local life more closely. If it had not been for Jona’s Ada Lovelace Day blog post all those years ago, would I have made my trip there? Maybe, maybe not. But that trip began what has been a longtime friendship that includes Fedora but also goes far beyond Fedora. Fedora started my connection to Fedora, but it is not just limited to that.
It was experiences like this that truly demonstrated to me the meaning of the “Friends” Foundation of the Fedora Four Foundations. It is why through both easy and hard times, I stick around in Fedora because of the friendships I have made in our community.”
My contributor story
Click to read David’s Contributor Story about Nick and annocheck.
“One story that comes to mind is related to work I was doing on my rpminspect project. The rpminspect project provides a command line tool that developers and package maintainers can use to check the state of the built RPMs. Fedora and other distributions use this tool to check for package policy compliance.
In this instance I was working on rpminspect’s use of the annocheck program. You can read about annocheck here. I was having some difficulties collecting the output from annocheck, so I decided to email Nick and explain what I was doing and if he had any suggestions. Many times when developers get questions from other developers regarding the use of their project, there is not a lot that you can do except answer API questions or usage questions. I was wanting to verify a few things and then maybe hope Nick had a suggestion or two.
Nick responded the next day and after some questions he had, I suggested that something like libannocheck that I could link with and use programmatically would be way easier. To my surprise, he agreed and was open to the idea. Very quickly he split the bulk of the work out of annocheck in to libannocheck and asked for my input on the library API. I had some suggestions and he made those changes and the end result was much better integration of annocheck functionality in to rpminspect than I could have hoped for. And the annobin project gained a public library API for other projects.
It was really nice having this developer interaction and being able to influence the direction of another tool and not just what I was working on. If you are confused with a particular library API or have a question about one, do consider contacting the developer. The Fedora Project provides a community that enables these sorts of interactions and that’s one of the reasons I really like the project.”
Click to read Joseph’s Contributor Story about the Marketing Partners in Crime.
“In my time in the Fedora Project (which is long or brief depending on who you ask), I’ve been helped by so many people to get up to speed, find the place I can contribute in, and have a good time doing it. Fedora Appreciation Week is a great time to thank a few who have been close to my journey! The main space I contribute in is the Marketing Team, so if there’s something you’ve liked from Fedora Marketing in the last year, these folks had a hand in bringing it to you.
Daimar Stein If the lottery factor ever comes for me and I escape to a gamer cabin in the woods, Daimar Stein is the best guy to pick up anything I had pending. When he joined the project he came with a passion to see more people using Fedora, primarily people who haven’t given it a shot before. Our team had a period of wandering through the wilderness as we tried to find the workflow that worked for us. He advocated for focusing on social media, and that nudge is what turned our team into an effective piece of the Fedora puzzle. Since then he’s brought us the majority of all the nice graphics you see on social media, grown our YouTube presence by managing our upload schedule and community tab, and helped organized how we do work in the Marketing Team. Daimar’s passion isn’t something I take for granted.
Eric Hendricks You may know him from RHEL Presents or Into the Terminal, but Eric is also the host of the revitalized Fedora Podcast! Eric came out of the blue with an idea to bring this show back from its long hiatus. He clearly knew podcast production so I immediately made it my goal to help him with whatever he needed to get this off the ground. After a few weeks of onboarding we had an impromptu first episode together due to plans falling through. Now we’re ten episodes into this new season of the podcast with our most successful episode having over 1,000 views on YouTube. Eric’s run with the Fedora Podcast has turned it into an active resource for the community that builds momentum for our channel. He’s a professional, he knows what he’s doing, and I just want to make him happy.
Justin Flory Maybe in another timeline Justin and I would actually have run a Minecraft server together. He and I started interacting while producing a policy for how Fedora would share access to our official social media marketing channels. From there he joined the Marketing Team and has provided great feedback on the vibe, tone, and intent of our social media. He specifically manages our Twitter and LinkedIn as part of our workflow, but I’m equally grateful for the tough, high level decisions he’s helped me with as I’ve navigated the open source community. He’s a fantastic sounding board and mentor!
Emma Kidney Emma is primarily a member of the Fedora Design Team. However, she volunteered herself as a liaison between our two teams and took our wacky workflow in stride! I’m super grateful for her managing our Instagram account and occasionally producing graphics for us to use there. She also helps organize the Creative Freedom Summit and the Accessibility Working Group, which are both initiatives I love seeing. Also, a good part of the Fedora website redesign passed through her, so be sure to give her kudos if you liked how that came out.
Ben Cotton Knock, knock. Who’s there? Action. Action who? Action bcotton! Ben is someone who has been around the project for years and most recently served as our last program manager. He did so much, but for the Marketing Team he anchored us to what were good, reasonable policies to have. I always knew I needed to be careful with the Fedora brand because it represents a community as well as a distro, but Ben showed me how to take concrete steps in that direction. He also previously worked as a marketing manager so I especially value his input. Ben’s great, he’s a great mentor, you probably already knew that, go buy his book on program management to grow your brain. #notsponsored
Eduard Lucena I came into the Fedora Project with no previous experience with an open source community. I had only installed Linux for the first time 6 months prior. The only reason I stuck with Fedora was because it let me keep Secure Boot on. And yet Eduard took me in and show me the ropes. While the Marketing Team was not so active, he was there to steward it and keep it alive in different ways. If I didn’t have a point of contact, I don’t know if I would have stayed in Fedora or an open source community all together. Eduard’s patience and willingness to help are the reasons I’m here, so I’ll always be grateful for that.
There are way more people I could write about in my Linux journey, but I want to give these folks a special shout out because of the impact they’ve had on me and the Fedora Project. Thanks for everything you guys do!”
2023 Story – rwright
Who is your story about?: Justin W. Flory (jflory7)
Click to read Robert’s Contributor Story about Justin.
“When I made the decision to do more in my contribution to the Fedora community, I was really struggling to understand how to best to put my efforts to do good for the project.
In talking with some folks – I met Justin, who was warm and welcoming to me as someone who was new to the “thinking open” way of working. He was patient and listened to my ideas, feedback about the community, and what I saw in what Fedora is and in many ways taught me some important lessons by introducing me to different contributors across Fedora. In those connections, I learned more than I expected to about what it takes to be a community, what community means to different people, and what community means to myself. Some of those connections he’s made for me while contributing in both DEI and CommOps have taught me personal and professional lessons around engagement, mentorship, and that things are not always about the project as a whole, but more about the people who come after us.
I’m grateful for your support Justin. Thank you for being my friend.”
Today’s favorite community moments 📸 are shared by three people: Matthew Miller, Ankur Sinha and Justin W. Flory.
– Matthew Miller – Flock to Fedora, Prague, in 2014
– Ankur Sinha – from the FUDCon days
– Justin W. Flory – throwback to Flock 2016 in Kraków, Poland