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Fedora Council Elections

This is a part of the Council Elections Interviews series. Voting is open to all Fedora contributors. The voting period starts on Wednesday, January 17th and closes promptly at 23:59:59 UTC on Wednesday, January 24th, 2018.

Interview with Langdon White (langdon)


What’s your background in Fedora? What expertise do you bring based on past experience, and what projects are you actively involved in now?

I have been a active Fedora user and contributor for about 7 years. I have been a Linux user for roughly 20 years. Most of that time, I have been a developer targeting Linux or Windows but have also been a sys admin for short stints. My most active project in Fedora is the Modularity Objective which touches almost every part of Fedora.

I have more than 15 years of experience with large, complex, multi-faceted software projects. I have worked with Fortune 50 CEOs and 10 person startups to help them realize their business goals through software. I have also worked as a developer advocate for RHEL (and, by extension, Fedora). I also spent about 6 months migrating an existing co-lo-based system to Linode using dynamic allocation and configuration management.

I believe my experience as a developer on Linux gives me a somewhat unique perspective on how a distribution can and should work. However, that experience is tempered by my time working as and with Sys Admins to understand how important stability is to production environments.

What do you plan to accomplish on the Council? What are the most pressing issues facing Fedora today? What should we do about them?

I advocate for web application developers on Fedora as I think they are under-represented as a community in the “machinery” of Fedora. I also am deeply interested in ensuring that Fedora continues to be “First” by supporting innovative choices even when they introduce some risk.

Increasingly, developers and sys admins using distributions confuse the distro’s stability and usability with low to no effort. Fedora, like many of the distros, has a hard time showing how valuable the effort of its contributing community is to its users. Many users just assume “someone” will keep doing the work. We need to work on this perception or lower quality distributions will drive the energy out of the higher quality ones.

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

I volunteer, at present, on a Finance Committee board. I have also volunteered for several other boards in the past including my kids’ school board and the Fedora Council. While not strictly “interests” the role I have played as either board member or chair has taught me how to help steer volunteer organizations toward the organization’s goals. I also have helped to identify or clarify those goals when the organization was fuzzy on its direction. I believe that these skills are very useful to the Council in ensuring a light touch across the community that still supports Fedora’s mission.