Monday, September 20, 2010

what I do

I started with Linux and Open source software around 1999, since then and till today I was amazed about the helpful community that form around different open source projects. In the early days, whenever I'd hit a bug or don't know how to do something, I'd jump over to IRC and someone was always there to help debug the problem! This just felt amazingly empowering, I remember thinking to myself, hell this is way much better than what you get with commercial software! In a few years, I transformed from being a passive user, into someone who tries to help IRC users every time someone has a problem. The culture of open source got me I guess. I started giving presentations at Universities, writing for local IT magazines for free to help spread what FOSS is all about. I always wanted to contribute much more to the free software world, however limited free time available was always an issue. Now that my day job is to work with and help grow the community around Ubuntu, I feel extremely excited and thankful for Canonical for giving me this opportunity.

Being the newest member of the "horsemen" team having joined a little over a month now, I feel like I haven't done enough yet. Nevertheless, I'd like to mention a few of the things that have been keeping me busy the past few weeks

  • The very first thing I had done with Canonical was to write the Ubuntu Server Map application. The idea behind it is to encourage and spur the community behind Ubuntu server. Basically the aim is to make Ubuntu server users feel part of a huge user community all over the world. What the application does is to detect the visitor user's city using his IP address after the user accepts (anonymous process) and then marks that city with a cute little orange Ubuntu logo. So far the Map is full of orange Ubuntu logos. It really feels great to be part of such a world wide community of Ubuntu server and cloud users and contributors

  • As part of helping the Ubuntu cloud community grow around open source cloud technologies, I have focused on consolidating any fragmented communication paths available. Thus far, the Ubuntu cloud community has the following #ubuntu-cloud as the official IRC channel for everything Ubuntu cloud related. And the recently created Ubuntu Cloud Forum as the official Ubuntu cloud forum. The Ubuntu Cloud mailing list is an alternate community communication venue as well

  • Recently I've been putting a lot of focus on creating a Ubuntu cloud portal, which aims to be a central hub for the Ubuntu cloud community. You can read all about the portal specs and give me feedback over IRC (kim0 in #ubuntu-cloud). The portal should provide a list of rolling news that relate to Ubuntu cloud, helping interested community members always be on top of all the new happenings. It also helps community new comers by becoming their one stop shop with links to all documentation and support channels. As well as guide new contributers on how to get involved

  • Something which I am thinking about and which will definitely take a lot of focus soon is studying potential hurdles in the way of new contributers to Ubuntu server and cloud. Basically how to make it easy and more fun for newcomers to join in, find all the information they need in place and start contributing and engaging with the community. Part of that is giving tutorials over IRC or other mediums as well as sponsorship and guidance along the way

It is definitely great being part of such a great community such as the Ubuntu one, and I hope the next period is going to be very exciting for the open source Cloud communities in general


SoCRaT said...

So excited about you and what you do, you represent all the FOSS values that I adore and believe in, people like you are very rare, keep up the great work!

Ahmed Kamal said...

wow! thanks SoCRaT! All our little hands push foss forward :)