This is a part of the FAmSCo 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 Sumantro Mukherjee (sumantrom)
- Fedora Account: sumantrom
- IRC: sumantrom (found in #fedora-qa #fedora-test-day #fedora-classroom #fedora-india #fedora-meeting)
- Fedora User Wiki Page
What is your background in Fedora? What have you worked on and what are you doing now?
I started using linux during my freshman year (about 6 years ago). I was then interested in finding an alternative to proprietary OS(s) in the market. I was mostly interested in web development and hence started loving open standards for development and deployment. Being an avid reader of Tech-Magazine, I came across a post in one of the magazine which drew my attention and made me start exploring linux ecosystem in-depth.
Being an active Fedora User, it was always awesome to be a part of the global community. On March 2016, I joined as Red Hat Intern for Fedora QA and since then, I have been mostly learning a lot myself and writing getting started guides for new contributors in Fedora QA. I believe helping and enabling new contributors will help Fedora both from community perspective and making fedora better. I’ve helped organize testdays for Fedora 24 release cycle and I’m taking the charge to run Test Day for Fedora 25 ,26 and 27 cycle.
Adam Williamson and I started running on-boarding calls for Fedora QA which was another essential part to welcome the new contributors and help them understand the testing process.
Apart from engaging contributors in Fedora QA, I work towards writing about bleeding technologies on Fedora which includes IoT and VR. Spreading the word about Fedora is something I take part in proudly. Making people understand the power of a bleeding edge distro and encouraging students, developers and people to use Fedora as a platform to build projects with some of FOSS technologies trending in the market.
What are the most pressing issues facing the Fedora Ambassadors today? What should we do about them?
Fedora has a diverse community and as people from different regions combine to form the same, it’s not surprising to face some hick-ups here and there going along the way. The few which I think are showstoppers in are:
- Inactivity of Fedora Ambassadors. In APAC , although there’s a list of Ambassadors but there are few who take part in Fedora Ambassador calendar events (biweekly meetings). This is mostly because APAC being a very huge area, has multiple time-zones and a single timing which suites for some might not be fit the other. We (skamath and me) thought of pursuing the issue and got a ticket filed where we settled upon a timing which is better than current timing. Ticket speaks of what we will do as next steps.
- The Ambassadors in lack in structure of a standard operation procedure which can be used to recruit new Fedora Ambassador or check if the current set of Ambassadors are following them. For the program to be successful, All the ambassadors have to be in sync with activities happening and maybe that can be fixed with a decided SOP and all-hands-meeting with council and project leaders once every month to share the key points all the functional sub groups are working to achieve the principles of Fedora. That way we can extend the involvement of different SIG/groups with Ambassadors and even find the right kind of people who can take up charge and lead the program in their region.
What are three personal qualities that you feel would benefit FAmSCo if you are elected?
I am go-getter and can plan things, doing thing the right way. I have been building a strong university presence in Bangalore for sometime and people skills can help the FAmSCo to bring in more involvement. Designing more content with the Marketing and CommOps team which can increase the participation spectrum across the globe.
What is your strongest point as a candidate? What is your weakest point?
My strongest point is the skill to work with people from different timezones as a team. Bring in the changes which will align with the current goals of Fedora Ambassador program. In rare occasions , when there is a need to take a step to bring in a change, for the good of community and greater good of project, I tend to not follow everything which is in black and white.
What are your future plans? Is there anything you can consider a “Mission Statement” as a candidate?
Future plans is to foster the pillars and principles of Fedora.
Plans mostly center around increasing and retaining contributor participation from schools and colleges.
Respecting all sorts of contributors and making sure that the community stays open, transparent and welcoming for new comers. Later this year, to start a channel on youtube where I can talk about the “how-to” build projects using some of new technologies and get students feel more closer to Fedora as a daily driver. Mission statement for this election be “Let’s build communities stronger”
Is there a specific task or issue you think that FAmSCo should address this term?
Bringing a SOP which will help us to work with new and rising starts in the community from different regions. Bring more proactive people in the community by opening up the gateway of exposure for college/university students.
Are the Ambassadors disconnected to the rest of the project? If so, what is your solution to fix the issue?
The Ambassadors in lack in structure of a standard operation procedure which can be used to recruit new Fedora Ambassador or check if the current set of Ambassadors are following them. For the program to be successful , All the ambassadors have to be in sync with activities happening and maybe that can be fixed with a decided SOP and all-hands-meeting with council and project leaders once every month to share the key points all the functional sub groups are working to achieve the principles of Fedora.That way we can extend the involvement of different SIG/groups with Ambassadors and even find the right kind of people who can take up charge and lead the program in their region.
What kind of information should be exchanged between Ambassadors and other groups / sub-projects?
Practically, there should be one meeting at least where all the sub-group should participate along with the ambassadors and share the updates about the events , the problems and the success stories. The sub-groups should share what they are working on and look out for people who might be able to address the problem. Hypothetically, if Fedora Magazine need an article of Kernel or How-to use ABC, if an ambassador knows someone from their region who has primarily worked on it and is willing to volunteer. They should be looped in.
If a past member of FAmSCo, identify a negative factor you noticed while serving. How would you propose to improve on that for the next cycle?
Numbers are fascinating – If any past members can give me feedback about activity. I will probably work towards filling in the gaps even if I am not a part of FAmSCO or if my term finishes.
The past term, FAmSCo did not have any representatives from NA or APAC. If a region isn’t represented this term, how do you hope to help include and support a region without representation?
I am from APAC. I believe that being a contributor, I have created a strong presence of Fedora community in my region[Bangalore,IN,APAC]. The community blog would best speak of so many activities which we did. Bringing new contributors and helping them do things the right way has always played a great role. Being a part of FAmSCO will increase the representation from my region. Worst case, even if NA/APAC is not represented. I will try to do my best to work towards the same goals and will request the people who will be in FAmSCO to be supportive.
Doing things the right way, it has always been my aim. I’ll try my best to fill in the issues that Fedora Ambassador Program is facing. My region has not seen good representation in the council. Thanks for all the people who supported me all the way.