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Fedora Council Elections begin soon

This is a part of the Council Elections Interviews series. Voting is open to all Fedora contributors. The voting period starts on Tuesday, August 8th and closes promptly at 23:59:59 UTC on Monday, August 14th. Please read the responses from candidates and make your choices carefully. Feel free to ask questions to the candidates here (preferred) or elsewhere!

Interview with Justin W. Flory (jflory7)

  • Fedora Account: jflory7
  • IRC: jwf (found in #fedora-admin, #fedora-ambassadors, #fedora-atomic, #fedora-commops, #fedora-council, #fedora-design, #fedora-diversity, #fedora-games, #fedora-join, #fedora-magazine, #fedora-mktg, #fedora-outreach, #fedora-summer-coding, #fedora-telegram, #fedora-websites)
  • Fedora Wiki User Page


What is your background in Fedora? What have you worked on and what are you doing now?

I started contributing to Fedora in September 2015, after meeting the community at Flock 2015 in Rochester, NY. I am most active with the Ambassador, Community Operations (CommOps), Diversity, Fedora Magazine, and Marketing teams. I also play a supporting role as a sysadmin for Fedora Badges, a Games SIG member, a moderator of the Fedora Telegram group, and a few other things.

What are the most pressing issues facing Fedora today? What should we do about them?

There’s two ways to frame this question: technically and non-technically.

At a technical level, the world of computing (and open source) always changes. The cloud is a big buzzword today – but so what? With the work of the Atomic Working Group, the Modularity Initiative, and the continuous integration research, Fedora commits to its foundations as innovate and lead forward with containers, modular systems, and improved quality assurance. I don’t find an issue that Fedora is facing technically today. However, I find that it’s important that these efforts aren’t left to spin on their own. Connecting these exciting changes to other areas of the project advances the technical goals Fedora is making. As a Council member, I aim to support these initiatives and help connect dots to other areas of Fedora. Ideally, this will help maximize our impact when we move together instead of pressing forward on our own.

At a non-technical level, the Fedora community is growing and bringing more people into our community, but we also have a unique challenge. At Flock 2016, we learned that in a year, only 20% of new contributors stuck around in Fedora. For the rest, 50% of those people stopped contributing after three months. Understanding why is important and valuable for Fedora. The CommOps and Diversity team indirectly works at understanding and solving these problems, by understanding our community and finding weak points. Once we know where we’re weak, it’s easier to come up with a solution and fix a problem. As a Council member, I want to bring my experience and insight with the Fedora community to help represent these problems.

What is your strongest point as a candidate? What is your weakest point?

My strongest point is understanding the “big picture” of a task and finding a way to break that into smaller, more manageable pieces. When tasked with a problem, I try to understand the angles and divide between ideal and realistic plans. I don’t want to make impossibly ambitious plans and promises. I aim to carry out tasks successfully by keeping the scope realistic, even if it means the best possible case doesn’t happen. Why? Because then it gets done and people can start working on the next exciting thing. This doesn’t mean I cut corners, but I want to find the best solution that other people can depend and rely on happening.

My weakest point is stubbornness. If there is something I sincerely believe and I have evidence and facts that make me feel that way, I’ll stick on something until the end, even if I’m in a minority. That said, I’m always willing to change my mind, but only if I feel like I can believe in the alternative.

What are your interests and experience outside of Fedora? What of those things will help you in this role?

Outside of Fedora, I’m a student pursuing my undergraduate degree in Networking and Systems Administration. This gives me two perspectives: one as a student and the other as a systems administrator.

My perspective as a student is useful in Fedora for some of the work happening underneath the former University Involvement Initiative. I have worked in Marketing to pursue strategic ways to appeal Fedora towards a student audience. As an Ambassador, I’ve helped bring Fedora to universities in the US, like the Rochester Institute of Technology and MIT. I would hope to bring my perspective as a student and younger member of the community into the Council.

As a systems administrator, being current is equal to being relevant. This summer, I’ve been working with Kubernetes and expanding my knowledge towards cloud-based computing solutions. Better than before, I understand the role of Project Atomic and the Modularity Initiative, and why this edition and change are exciting. Along with my existing technical knowledge, I believe this improves my knowledge in different areas of the project and how to connect the dots between different parts of the community.

What are your future plans? Is there anything you can consider a “Mission Statement” as a candidate?

One of my goals in Fedora is to help simplify how we communicate and work with each other. This helps make the project more accessible for everyone, and helps us move along together as a big community, instead of everyone marching at their own pace. At the top of this interview, I listed a lot of IRC channels I idle in, not to list off a bunch of names, but because I do read and follow the discussions happening in these places. As a Council member, I would like to support efforts to improve communication of ideas and their motivations through the project.

Mission statement: To represent the perspectives, views, and ambitions of a wide range of contributors and to help connect the community to the efforts and activities within the Council

The Council has members involved in different areas of the project. What would you say your “area of expertise” is?

My “area of expertise” is as a generalist of the Fedora community. I have a wide breadth of knowledge on different “gears” of the larger Fedora machine. I think this background on a large amount of the project community helps give me a unique and insightful perspective by serving on the Council.

Closing words

My motivation to run for the Fedora Council is because I believe in the ambitions of the Fedora Project and I believe in the community that supports and accomplishes these ambitions. By running for this position, I hope to represent the community that we all share. I want to bring the shaped perspective I have from my interactions, conversations, and experiences in the community to a leadership position, to help continue a path to success, not just for the Fedora operating system, but for the community.

Additionally, worth noting is that if elected, I will not be able to actively participate as a Council member until Flock 2017. I am in an earlier commitment that would last up until the beginning of Flock on August 29th.

Thank you for your consideration (and for reading this far down)!