One year ago, I had done my last day after thirteen years with Digital Equipment Corp which became Compaq, then HP. After starting on Digital Unix/Tru64, I had evolved to a second level support position in the Linux Global Competency Center.
In a few days, on the 18th, I will have completed my first full year as a Canonical employee. I think it is time to take a few minutes to look back at that year.
Coming from a RHEL/SLES environment with a bit of Debian, my main asset was the fact that I had been an Ubuntu user since 5.04, using it as my sole operating system on my corporate laptop. The first week in the new job was also a peculiar experience, as it brought me back to my native country and to Montréal, a city that I love and where I lived for three years. So I was not totally lost in my new environment. I also had the chance of ramping up my knowledge of Ubuntu Server, which was an easy task. What was more surprizing and became one of the most exciting part of the new job is to work in a completely dedicated opensource environment from day one.
Rapidly I became aware of the fact that, participating in the Ubuntu community was not only possible, but it was expected. That if I were to find a bug, I needed to report it and, if possible find ways to fix it. In my previous job I was looking for existing solutions, or bringing in enough elements to my L3 counterpart that they would be able to request a fix to Red Hat or Novell. Here if I was able to identify the problem and suggest a solution, I was encouraged to propose it as the final fix. I also rapidly found out that the developpers were no longer the remote engineers in some changelog file, but IRC nicks that I could chat with and eventually meet.
Then came about Openstack in the summer : a full week of work with colleagues aimed at getting to know the technology, trying to master concepts that were very vague back then and making things work. Getting Swift Object Store up and running and trying to figure out how best this could be used. Here I was asked to do one of the think I like best : learning by getting things to work. This lead to a better understanding of what a cloud architecture was all about and really made me understand how useful and interesting a cloud infrastructure can be. Oh, and I did get to build my first openstack cloud.
This was another of this past year’s great experience : UDS-P. I had heard of UDS-O when I joined but it was too early for me to attend. But after six months around it was time for UDS-P and, this time, I would be there. Not only I had time to meet a good chunk of developpers, but I also got a lot of work done. Like helping Michael Terry fix a bug on Deja-Dup that would only appear on localized systems, get advices on fixing kdump with the kernel team and some of the foundation engineers and a whole lot more.
Then came back the normal work for our customers, fixing their issues, trying to help improve their support experience and get better at what we do. And also seeing some of my fixes make it into our upcoming distribution and also back to the existing ones. This was a great thrill and an objective that I did not think would come by so fast.
Being part of the Ubuntu community has been a great addition to my career. This makes me want to do even more and get the best out of our collective efforts.
This was a great year. Sure hope that the next one will be even better.