Headshot of Ben CottonHi, Fedora Community! I’d like to take a moment to introduce myself as the newly-hired Fedora Program Manager. I’ve been a Fedora user for over a decade and a contributor in various roles almost that long. I started out on the documentation team as a writer and then led the team for a few releases. I’ve also maintained packages, dabbled a little bit in marketing (I know I’m way behind on that video ticket, sorry!), and helped promote Fedora through social media and articles on Opensource.com. Professionally, my background is largely in systems administration (with a strong focus on high performance computing in public cloud), but I’ve spent the last two years in marketing. I have a bachelors degree in meteorology and a masters degree in IT project management. I’m also an organizer for a local tech meetup and an occasional freelance writer.

I’m at Red Hat headquarters right now for new hire orientation. Once that’s done, I’ll return home to Indiana and start work. Several interviewers asked what I’d do first if I got the position. Here’s my plan: I’m going to listen. Sure, I’m familiar with Fedora, but I haven’t been able to pay as much attention lately as I’d like. So before I come crashing in with a list of things I want to do, I want to get a better sense for what the community needs from me. That’s a good idea for any job, but particularly for one where I’m serving the needs of a mostly-volunteer community.

That said, I do know a few things I want to do in the short term. I plan to attend every team/SIG/etc meeting a few times in the near future. It may take a few times through the calendar before I get to all of them, but I’ll get there. I also want to have regular FPgM office hours where you can drop in and ask questions about the schedule, elections, and anything else. I see my role as communication and facilitation — I can’t make the release happen on time, but I can help make sure that everyone knows what’s going on. This should be the first of many posts I share on the community blog.

I’m excited to take on this new role within the Fedora community. I look forward to learning from all of you and helping you make the best Fedora we can. I hope to see many of you at Flock, but in the meantime I’m happy to hear from you on IRC or by email.