Fedora Engineering Steering Council badge, awarded after Fedora Elections - read the Interviews to learn more about candidates

Fedora Engineering Steering Council badge

This is a part of the FESCo 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 Till Maas (till)

  • Fedora Account: till
  • IRC: tyll (found in #fedora-releng #fedora #fedora-devel #fedora-admin #fedora-apps  #fedora-social #fedora-de  #epel )
  • Fedora User Wiki Page


What is your background in engineering?

Linux is my favourite operating system since 1999, when I got my first PC as a pupil. I started with SuSE 6.0 back then, switched to Gentoo and tried Ubuntu. In 2005 I tried Fedora Core 4. Thanks to the welcoming Fedora community I quickly became a contributor, starting as a packager. Nowadays, I am a sponsor, provenpackager, help release engineering with cleanup tasks and occasionally patch something in Fedora infrastructure. My Open Hub profile contains an overview of most of my FLOSS contributions in general: https://www.openhub.net/accounts/tillmaas

Formally I acquired the degree of a Diplom-Informatiker (Master of Science in Computer Science) at the RWTH Aachen University, Germany. In my dayjob I work as a penetration tester.

Why do you want to be a member of FESCo?

I would like to use my skills, knowledge and experience to help Fedora continuing to excel as a great FLOSS project.

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

The modularity initiative and the introduction of flatpaks into Fedora introduce new challenges in ensuring that our users get timely security updates. As a penetration tester I have a strong security background and as a packager I know the struggles in preparing upstream releases as consumable Fedora packages.

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

  • I like to learn new technologies and therefore become quickly familiar with them. This will help me to quickly understand change requests and their implications.
  • I have an eye for details and often see or find connections, implications and issues that others miss. Therefore I will make founded decisions.
  • I am constantly trying to improve and therefore am open to change and see mistakes as an opportunity to learn. As a leading Linux distribution it is important for Fedora to introduce new technologies.

What is your strongest point as a candidate? What is your weakest point?

I am a long time Fedora contributor and contributed to several groups and projects in Fedora. Therefore I have a good insight into many details. Since I am contributing to Fedora in my free time, time might be an issue.

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

I am a packager, help with release engineering and infrastructure projects. My focus is primarily on making Fedora more secure and making it easier to contribute to Fedora. On a non-technical level I represent Fedora as an Ambassador at conferences.

What objectives or goals should FESCo focus on to help keep Fedora on the cutting edge of open source development?

In my opinion it is important to make contributing to Fedora as easy as possible. The tools to contribute to Fedora should be as straight-forward as possible. This is for example the reason I wrote fedora-easy-karma: It streamlined the process of submitted feedback about package updates. The less time we spend with our tools the more time we have to focus on the quality of the products we deliver.

Do you believe the Modularity objective is important to Fedora’s success? Is there anything you wish to bring to the modularity efforts?

Yes, I believe the Modularity objective is a great framework for Fedora to try new paths and add more value to the individual products. For me it is important to keep security and usability in mind.

What is the air-speed velocity of an unladen swallow?

It depends on the bikeshed it is flying over – what color is it?

Closing words

Thank you for your time reading this. Please do not forget to vote!