This is a part of the FESCo Elections Interviews series. Voting is open to all Fedora contributors. The voting period starts on Friday, 26 November and closes promptly at 23:59:59 UTC on Thursday, 9 December 2021.

Interview with Tom Stellard

  • Fedora Account: tstellar
  • IRC: tstellar (found in fedora-devel, fedora-buildsys, fedora-ci)
  • Fedora User Wiki Page


Why do you want to be a member of FESCo and how do you expect to help steer the direction of Fedora?

I have a background in compilers and toolchains, and I would like to use some of the knowledge I’ve gained over the years of building and troubleshooting applications to help make Fedora better. Specifically, I’m interested in helping packagers avoid common mistakes through standardized macros and packaging practices and also by increasing the reliance on CI.

How do you currently contribute to Fedora? How does that contribution benefit the community?

I’m currently one of the maintainers of the LLVM packages in Fedora which are a set of 14 packages that provide C/C++/Fortran compilers as well as a set of reusable compiler libraries that are used for developing other languages and for developer tools like IDEs.

I’ve also worked on system-wide changes to help standardize the use of make within Fedora packages. These changes helped to make spec files more consistent across all of Fedora and also made it possible to remove make from the default buildroot.

Fedora ELN brings RHEL engineering more closely into Fedora. How do you feel we should balance RHEL engineering with the community with ELN building from Fedora?

One of the things that has always impressed me about the Fedora Project is how well structured and documented the decision making processes are. For me, the best way to balance RHEL engineering with the community is to lean on those processes and ensure that any change proposals, not matter where they come from, all follow the same objective decision making processes.

What are your thoughts on Fedora ELN and what are your suggestions in improving it?

I am a big fan of Fedora ELN. I would like to see its tooling be generalized so that it is easy for anyone to create their own Fedora derivative. I think there is a lot of value in having an alternative buildroot to experiment with and to try out new features. ELN plays this role for RHEL, but I think we could create other alternative buildroots to test out new features for Fedora too.

What else should community members know about you or your positions?

I work for Red Hat on the Platform Tools team. I am the technical lead for our LLVM team and the overall technical lead for the Go/Rust/LLVM compiler group. This means that I work on packaging, bug fixing and upstream feature development for LLVM and work on high-level technical issues common across all 3 compilers.