Fedora Engineering Steering Council badge, awarded after Fedora ElectionsThis is a part of the FESCo Elections Interviews series. Voting is open to all Fedora contributors. The voting period starts on Tuesday, July 19 and closes promptly at 23:59:59 UTC on Monday, July 25th. 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 Dominik Mierzejewski (rathann)

  • Fedora Account: rathann
  • IRC: rathann (usually in #fedora-devel, #fedora-science, #ffmpeg-devel, #mplayerdev and #rpmfusion)
  • Fedora User Wiki Page

What is your background in engineering?

I have a degree in software engineering. For over 12 years, I’ve worked as a Unix system administrator, with a short stint as a software engineer. Currently, I work for Citi as a senior IT infrastructure analyst. My primary responsibility at work is expert-level support of a heterogeneous environment consisting of RHEL, Solaris and AIX systems, both physical and virtual machines. Working at Citi while simultaneously being a Fedora developer allowed me to see both ends of the distribution development process and made me appreciate the excellent work of Fedora contributors even more. My past jobs include development of a particle detector model at CERN and system and network administration at the supercomputing centre of the University of Warsaw.

I developed a great fondness for Linux and open source software early in high school and the experience I had with proprietary Unix-like operating systems (like Solaris, AIX or IRIX) and software over the years only made my commitment to open source even stronger. I watched Linux grow and I like to think I contributed to that growth at least a little by reporting bugs, contributing code snippets and translations to projects like the Linux kernel, MPlayer and FFmpeg even before joining the Fedora Project over ten years ago. At Fedora, I am a member of the Packaging Committee, proven packager, sponsor and, most recently, a Fedora Ambassador. For the last couple of years I’ve been giving talks and leading workshops at various open-source conferences in order to share my knowledge and foster local Fedora community.

Describe some of the important technical issues you foresee affecting the Fedora community. What insight do you bring to these issues?

Thanks to the fantastic work of our contributors, Fedora is a great platform for both developing and providing services already.  However, there is always room for improvement. My pet peeves include topics frequently discussed on the Fedora developers mailing list. The current update release process is not perfect, to say the least. Some of the changes made either internally or by upstream projects affecting vast numbers of users are being implemented in Fedora either prematurely or in an incomplete way. While many people pay close attention to the next big thing, I feel that smaller details that make both users and developers lives easier are not being given enough high-level attention. I am good at looking both at details and at the big picture. Thus, I intend to ensure that all issues, no matter how small or how big, are given proper consideration and that all decisions are well-founded.

What are three personal qualities that you feel would benefit FESCo if you are elected?

  • Ingenuity. I seem to have a talent for solving difficult and unique problems which find their way into my hands. I often spot things others miss.
  • Wisdom. My engineering experience enables me to consider alternative solutions before arriving at a conclusion. I think “we’ve always done this before” is one of the worst answers to the question “why?”. I take nothing for granted.
  • Diplomacy. I’ve been working in a multi-cultural environment for the past few years, I am a good listener and I am not offended easily. I can already claim some amiable resolutions to disputes among open-source contributors which appeared quite hostile initially. I am a strong believer in the “cooler heads will prevail” motto.

Why do you want to be a member of FESCo?

Solving difficult technical issues for myself is fun, especially if I can contribute them back to the wider community. I’ve been doing just that for the last ten years in Fedora, but I want to take a more active role in the community. Being on the FESCo means listening to the many voices in the community and making the right decisions on their behalf. If elected, I will use my skills to make sure no single voice on technical matters is ignored and that all valid concerns are considered.

Currently, how do you contribute to Fedora? How does that contribution benefit the community?

I maintain a sizeable number of packages, mostly related to either science or multi-media. I am also a contributor to RPMFusion, which is a key part of the Fedora ecosystem to me. As provenpackager, I often step in to help solve issues with packages that my packages depend on. Whenever I can, I sponsor and mentor new contributors. I serve on the Fedora Packaging Committee and I have become an Ambassador recently. As mentioned earlier, I try to spread my knowledge and reach out to new and potential contributors by attending open-source conferences. I give talks and lead workshops, as well as talk about Fedora and open-source in general.