Fedora Ambassador Steering Committee badge

Fedora Ambassador Steering Committee badge

This is a part of the FAmSCo Elections Interviews series. Voting is open to all Fedora contributors. The voting period starts on Tuesday, December 08 and closes promptly at 23:59:59 UTC on Monday, December 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 Truong Anh Tuan

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

I have used Fedora since FC1 (Red Hat Linux before) and started contributing to Fedora at the same time. Before that, I had contributed to some various FOSS projects. My FAS account has opened for over 7 years since I started connecting to the worldwide Fedora community.

I have been a Fedora Ambassador for 7 years, a mentor for over 2 years and a FAmSCo member for 3 years. Currently, I am the budget wrangler and treasurer for APAC and the Fedora Ambassadors Membership Administration (responsible for Ambassadors FAS, trac, mailing lists, etc.)

I also contribute to Fedora in some other aspects, e.g. package maintaining and localization.

I am currently a member of Fedora Community Working Group.

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

Nowadays, Fedora itself is a really big community (IIRC, there are nearly 100k  FAS accounts registered) but we still need more hands to keep the project towards. The world is changing much and we have to do so. In fact, since Fedora.next there are a lot of ideas and campaigns pushed out and most teams, both engineer and outreach, need more contributors.

As a Fedora Ambassador, I think we should make outside people more interested in Fedora project and help them to join and contribute to. Inside the Fedora community, people should get more active too. And leaders and current active people should be as more active as possible to remain the active atmosphere in the project for other new or inactive ones to follow.

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

We are lack of active ambassadors. Many people applied,  got the title and then almost disappeared. In the last two years, FAmSCo has tried to mark them inactive (following a smooth process). Some others do something in the generic FOSS community, but not under Fedora Ambassador hat, and especially they did not write event reports, photos, etc. so people did not aware those activities exist. As the face of Fedora in the community, once a Fedora Ambassador does not present for Fedora in an area, city or country, Fedora seems not *available* there.

Sometimes we have to face this in any FOSS community. I think the active people should be more active to take other ones (who is not active enough) follow. Fedora governance model is that of a meritocracy. People do more good work will have leadership to take/help others. There is a Mentor program but nothing to stop people to mentor/help each other without Mentor hat. Following this way, the situation must be better and better.

Another big issue is some ambassadors have not enough knowledge and information to talk about Fedora (I met some, really!). To improve this, I always suggest my mentees as well as other ambassadors to be more active and contribute to other sides of Fedora project to i. gain more knowledge and experience, ii. contribute more and more to Fedora, iii. better connect to the rest of the project. With more knowledge and experience, they have more things to share to the community outside Fedora.

Interest in traditional Linux events seem to be stagnating or even declining. How should the Ambassadors respond to this change?

Yes, true, people now are less interested in traditional Linux events. Since organizing and attending events and activities to present Fedora is one Ambassadors’ main task, we should organize/attend to other more generic FOSS or ICT related events and activities to develop both users and contributors base.

There are many interesting things, not just the bare OS, are currently being developed in Fedora project. We can introduce them to attract people to use Fedora and join into the community.

We should also look for other channels to distribute media and swag and to promote Fedora everywhere.

What are your future plans? Is there anything you can consider a “Mission Statement” in this role?

I would like to support regional ambassadors more active and more leadership. To see if someone is more or less active, we need a metrics system to measure their activities. I would like to work with other regional leaders to work this out.

For inactive areas, countries, we should look into to see if they need any support. Some countries (e.g. APAC) are mostly *empty* or even have some conflicts in the local Fedora community, need us to involve. For that, I also would like to work for improving Mentor program.

What is your take on the recent governance reorganization (Council, working groups, budget, etc.)?

I have involved to the governance reorganization since beginning and been active in working groups. I have involved (as a FAmSCo member) to build the initial Council, been the initial member of Server working group.

I have also participated to the budget plan reorganizing for over 3 years and got a lot of work done in FAmSCo and regional community to get budget planning and allocating better. We have done a lot of work to move almost budget work to regional community. Budget.next is coming with a lot of changes and we will have a lot of work to improve the situation.

It seems the Ambassador activities are disconnected from the rest of the project. What is your way of fixing the issue?

I don’t think the Ambassador activities are disconnected to the rest of the project. Sometimes, it’s not clear enough what/how they are connected to.

Anyway, I really think it’s much better if each ambassador can involve to other sides of the project. That way, they will connect to the rest of the project much easier and have better presence to the outside community.

What kind of information should be exchanged between Ambassadors and the other Project groups?

It’s best if Ambassadors can follow activities inside other Project groups in real time (depending on which other groups each ambassador can join). Knowing what is going on inside is the best way to present to the outside community. People from outside are sometimes interested in those things and getting more excited to the project.

However, at least, they need to follow the project updates in general and once a new Fedora is released, they need to be prepared for all updates in the new release, especially new release’s talking points.

Are Ambassadors really up to date with new features of the releases? If not, what are you planning to do to keep them up to date?

I think not many Ambassadors are really up to date with new features of the releases. As I mentioned above, I am planning to get them more active to aware what is going on. Once they can follow the development stages, they can easier keep up-to-date the new things. Of course, everyone has a day job so another thing we can do is keep them update-to-date via IRC meetings, mailing lists, etc. I am involving to get everything written down, especially Talking Points for each release and keep them informed about the new things.