EPEL Steering Committee Election: Interview with Carl George (carlwgeorge)

Originally published at: EPEL Steering Committee Election: Interview with Carl George (carlwgeorge) – Fedora Community Blog

This is a part of the FESCo Elections Interviews series. Voting is open to all Fedora contributors. The voting period starts on Monday, 20th May and closes promptly at 23:59:59 UTC on Thursday, 30th May 2024.

Interview with Carl George

Questions

What is your background in EPEL? What have you worked on and what are you doing now?

I got my start in Fedora and EPEL back in 2014. I joined a new team at Rackspace whose primary purpose was to maintain IUS, a third-party package repository for RHEL. Packages in this repository were typically based on Fedora packages. Some of these packages had dependencies in EPEL. We also maintained several other packages in EPEL that were important to our customers. I continued on as a regular EPEL contributor, even after I left Rackspace in 2019 to join the CentOS team at Red Hat. In 2021, I started a new team at Red Hat to specifically focus on EPEL activities.

In 2020 and 2021, I designed and lead the implementation of EPEL Next, an optional repository for EPEL maintainers to perform builds against CentOS Stream when necessary. Also in 2021, I lead the implementation of EPEL 9. This brought some significant improvements over previous EPEL versions. We utilized CentOS Stream 9 to launch EPEL 9 about six months before RHEL 9. This resulted in RHEL 9 having more EPEL packages available at its launch (~5700) than any previous release, helping ensure a positive user and customer experience. If you want to learn more about EPEL Next and EPEL 9, I suggest watching my conference presentation β€œThe Road to EPEL 9β€œ.

Currently I’m leading the implementation of EPEL 10, which will include more improvements over previous EPEL versions. The plan is for EPEL 10 to have minor versions, obsoleting the previous EPEL Next model. This will allow us to better target specific minor versions of RHEL 10, as well as CentOS Stream 10 as the leading minor version. You can learn more about this plan in my conference presentation β€œEPEL 10 Overviewβ€œ.

Aside from the hands-on technical work of EPEL architecture and packaging, I have engaged in various other efforts to promote visibility and awareness of EPEL, and to communicate with our users and contributors.

  • Organized the first EPEL survey, which provided valuable feedback to improve packager workflows and the onboarding experience
  • Started a monthly β€œEPEL office hours” video call, which is open for anyone to attend to discuss EPEL topics
  • Presented about EPEL and related topics at conferences
  • Interviewed about EPEL and related topics on podcasts

Why are you running for EPEL Steering Committee member?

I have been on the EPEL Steering Committee since I was appointed to it
in 2020. As part of implementing elections for the committee, myself
and other members agreed to β€œstep down” and essentially run for
re-election. I have enjoyed my four years serving on the committee, and
hope to have the opportunity to continue to serve the EPEL community. I
am passionate about EPEL and I am committed to continue finding ways to
improve the EPEL experience for both users and contributors.

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