Well, it appears that the news is out about my new role in the Fedora community. (I apologize for the slow response — I was at Scout Camp with my son last week when Paul made the announcement, and have been busy tying up loose ends at my current employer.)  I’m very humbled to be able to follow in the footsteps of some very fine leaders such as Greg and Max and Paul.  I’m sure many of you are wondering “Who is this guy?” and “What is his vision for Fedora?”

First, let me introduce myself.  My name is Jared.  In short, I’m a big Linux nerd.  (How does that analogy go?  “Nerd is to geek as Star Trek is to Star Wars.”  Or did I get it backward again?)  I’ve been very lucky to have been employed by some great companies over the past several years — companies that had the vision of how to both use and contribute to open ecosystems.  Most recently, I’ve been working for a company called Digium, which is the benevolent corporate sponsor of the Asterisk open source telecommunications platform.  I’ve done both community relations and training work for Digium, and I learned many valuable lessons that I hope to use in my new role.  Before working full-time on Asterisk, I spent a number of years doing large-scale Linux systems administration and network operations for a large web analytics company.  When I’m not on the road, I’ll be working remotely from my home in Virginia.  My wife and I used to joke that maybe I’d get lucky and get to work on free software when I retire; luckily for me, the opportunities came much sooner!

I’ve been using Fedora ever since it was announced, and was using Red Hat Linux before then. I very passionately believe in the freedom and community that Fedora represents, and want to do everything I can to further the cause. Over the past few years, I’ve gone from being an end user of Fedora to being a contributing member of the Fedora team.  I’ve come to learn that our greatest asset within Fedora is our vibrant community of users and contributors. More specifically, I love the way our community can help individuals rise to their fullest potential and become leaders.  I’m a firm believer that if you give someone the tools they need and a little bit of vision and then get out of their way, they’ll come up with solutions you never dreamed of.  I’ve seen it happen time and time again in different open source communities, and each time it gives me more hope for the future.

Please bear with me over the next few weeks as I wrap my head around this job and start to articulate my goals and visions for Fedora. I’m sure there are a lot of things for me to learn, and I look forward to sharing some of my knowledge along the way as well. I’ll be on the road for the next few weeks (another blog post about that shortly!), but I’ll be blogging more while on the road.  You can also catch me via email or IRC.  (My IRC nick is “jsmith”.)

Here’s to a bright future for Fedora!