Reflections on Change and Flexibility

One of the topics I’ve been pondering lately is the dual-edged nature of change.  As a long-time systems administrator, I dislike change at a basic level.  I want systems to stay static, to work tomorrow the exact same way they worked yesterday, and so on.  On the other hand, as the Fedora Project Leader it’s my job to continue to drive innovation and progress (and therefore, change) through the Fedora release process.  And, as I look back at the past year, most of the conflict and friction inside of Fedora can be boiled down to a debate about what is an acceptable rate of change, whether that be in desktop environments, initialization systems, or translation infrastructure.  I’ve got a larger, more in-depth blog post in the works about the lessons I’ve learned over my first year as the FPL, so I won’t bore you with the details now, but I’d like the readers of my blog to think about where they lie on the spectrum between “totally static” and “completely flexible to change”.  (And, at least for me, my location on that continuum is distinct for different parts of my life.)

As you may have already read this morning, my good friend and mentor (and former FPL) Max Spevack has decided to make some changes in his career.  I’m a bit sad to see Max go and I’ll miss the opportunity to interact with him on a regular basis, but I’m also happy for Max and his new opportunity and wish him the best as he pursues his dreams. (Max, don’t be a stranger.  Even if you move across the country, you can still hang out in Fedora.  We won’t razz you too much!) I know in my heart that changes in leadership can be a healthy thing for a community, even if it is a bit chaotic in the short term. I want to publicly express my support for Harish Pillay as he takes over Max’s responsibilities inside of the Community Architecture and Leadership team within Red Hat.  I’ve known Harish for a while, and I have absolute confidence in his abilities.  The CommArch team is of the Red Hat teams that has the most interaction with our Fedora community, and I’ll work with Harish to ensure that the transition is as smooth as possible and that Fedora continues to receive the support and encouragement it deserves.

If you have any questions or concerns about the transition, don’t hesitate to reach out to me.  You know where to find me. 🙂


Celebrating Freedom

Please forgive me if I wax a little patriotic this morning… I woke up early this morning (while the rest of my family is still asleep) because I wanted to write something about how thankful I am for the freedoms I enjoy.  Here in the United States where I live, today is our Independence Day.  For some, it’s a time to enjoy a holiday from work, cook hamburgers on the grill, spend time with family, and watch fireworks.  For me, the Fourth of July has always been a bit more reflective — I time to ponder the sacrifices given by so many to ensure the freedoms I enjoy today.  Not just the founders of my country, but all those throughout the world who have sacrificed their all to make the world a better place.

As I read the accounts of those throughout the years who have given their all, I can’t help but sit in awe, and wonder.  Would I be willing to sacrifice so much for so great a cause? I certainly know that I wouldn’t be able to have the best job in the world and do my part to help the cause of free software if it weren’t for the freedom and agency that I enjoy. So, to all who help make freedom a reality and to those defenders of freedom throughout the world, I salute you.  Thank you for your hard work and dedication!