My Linux story started 22 years ago with Red Hat 6.2, and somehow I always return to Linux. Every single time I try something different (cobol programer, network engineer, data analyst), somehow I always return to Linux. Ever since my last career failure in data science I’ve been pursuing a career of DevOps engineer, and Linux is very central to this story. Funny coincidence, or everything happens for a reason? Give me your thoughts on this, and let’s discuss
I started using Linux (Red Hat) in '98 while pursuing a computer science degree at university. I ended up landing a sysadmin job working for the computer science department two years later and I’m still doing the same job. Linux has made a very good career for me. I can’t even imagine the world without it.
Ironically enough, Fedora (as in the OS) didn’t change a lot in my career, but Fedora (the community) did. I’ve been a graphic designer for years now (and switching to Linux did numbers on forcing me to switch the suite of programs I use for my work), but it never changed fundamentally for good or bad on how I worked. Until I decided to contribute to the project.
Ever since becoming part of the marketing team I’ve had a way to build my creative drive, gain more and more experience with design work (and helped build my portfolio) and made me genuinely interested in learning more about marketing and social media work.
I had ups and downs, and moving to a foreign country (I moved from Croatia to the UK in 2018 when I was 44), but wherever I go and whatever I do, I always bounce back to Linux
Now I’m working on some courses (AWS, containers and Kubernetes), and Fedora Linux plays the main role, again
Is your sysadmin job heavy on Fedora or RHEL?
Thanks for sharing your story, I really find it inspiring and insightful! I would never think of marketing department as Linux-driven, but I didn’t pay much attention to it, obviously
What’s your workflow built upon? LibreOffice?
Very, because I prefer it that way. When I started we had some Windows IIS servers. But I migrated that content over to Fedora Linux servers the first chance I got. I did away with the last of CS’s Windows servers around 2005. At least server-side, it has been entirely a Fedora Linux shop ever since. I currently have everything running in systemd-nspawn containers spread across six physical servers. We still have Windows lab machines though. There are a few CS professors that still want to teach using the MS Visual Studio IDE (not vscode) and that doesn’t work on Linux.
We try and use as much open-source stuff as we can for our workflow:
GitLab for our tickets;
HackMD for our collaborative note taking;
Penpot for our design work, with Krita and Inkscape (at least for me) as support tools;
Matrix for internal communication;
Jitsi for our meetings.
Bravo @igorjagec! It is nice to hear your story and see how long Linux and Fedora were a part of your career journey. Thanks for starting this thread!
This is a personal topic for me too because Fedora influenced my career in ways that I never expected. My Open Source journey began with Minecraft, which included Linux so I could host my own multiplayer game server. I was using CentOS 6 as my server distro, which inevitably led me to Fedora. When I received my first laptop as a high school student, after briefly distro-hopping, I installed Fedora 20 and never went back. It amuses me to say that I never owned a Windows machine (and indeed, if I must work from a Windows PC in a lab or office, I usually feel lost).
The skills and abilities I gained by working in Fedora helped me grow my career. When I became a university student and a Fedora contributor, I also became the president of the university Linux Users Group, organized on-site open source events, found internships doing Linux and Open Source work, and more. The things I learned as an engineer and as a non-engineer by working in Fedora prepared me better to succeed at Open Source work. As I became more confident in my skills and how to use them as a benefit for my career, I spent more time on mentoring and teaching others about what I know. In part, this led me to my previous role with the UNICEF Office of Innovation, where I worked as an Open Source coach and guide to teams building new Open Source projects and communities. Many times, I referenced examples from the Fedora Project as a model for how to do something the right way (and even the wrong way sometimes, looking back at our occasional blunders and learnings).
There were many other chapters along the way too, but I guess it all ended up leading me back here.
Yeah, I saw your Fedora 37 release party intro, when you mention Mimecraft I was like “wait a minute, I actually built a wi-fi router in the early 2000s for our local comunity”, so I actually contributed
What cloud provider do we have at Fedora comunity? Is it some Red Hat in-house solution, or is it something I can join and get my hands dirty with?
Hi @igorjagec thanks for sharing your life story.
My job (support team) does not involve using Fedora Linux, but the Fedora community changed the way I learn and practice computing, documentation and troubleshooting.
Fedora community helped me kick-start my informal learning journey with home lab (Fedora ARM Server edition) and documentation workflow (Wordpress and GitLab)
Firstly as a participant and recently as a casual contributor in the Docs team, i learned the way to contribute to project and pass best practices of Open source model to my day job such as asynchronous decision making and documentation culture.
I’m certain the experience and good habits I gained with the community work as a bridge between R&D/support engineers and content management team.
I need to better understand your question first to answer it. Do you mean what are Fedora infrastructure projects and ways to contribute as a sysadmin?
We definitely have things where we can use help, but it depends whether you are looking for development, operations/sysadmin, or something else.
You’ve just reminded me on one episode when Fedora was a lifesaver, I finished my Cisco CCNA and CCNP exam for routing in 2008. Do you know what was my core building block? Fedora + GNS3 + Whoreshark. And both are still relevant, and work best on Linux
Fedora and Red Hat are what eventually drove me to go into IT. My eyes were opened to Linux when I borked a laptop in college with viruses and needed something to get by. I didn’t start on a RHEL-based distribution, but Red Hat happened to be located right on my campus at NC State back then so I found out about them and never looked back.
It never occurred to me at the time I could work in IT, but Linux was always a passion project at home and I was always keeping up with Fedora and Red Hat. Eventually I wanted something different in my life and I looked at my computer one day and said “why not this?”.
Ended up going back to school at Wake Tech Community College for an IT degree. Always wanted to work at Red Hat, but ended up in networking and I love it. It’s hard talking about money online without sounding boisterous, but it’s been a complete life changer and I never thought I’d be in my current position. It’s all because of a love for Fedora, which is a project born out of love from the best community around. Thank you!
I did my CCNA and CCNP exam for routing in 2008 (it was called BSCI at the time), but I never got a job for network engineer. Still, there are many advantages of these skills because my ex colleagues were not capable of writing basic access lists
What an intriguing thread! My journey to Fedora began when I wanted to get more juice out of an old laptop that had a higher resolution screen than my iBook. I downloaded Slackware onto a bunch of DVD’s. I was writing a lot at the time, and used LaTeX. Then OSX came out, and software updates were free. Somewhere along the way I became converted (I think that’s the word) to Emacs. For a long time, that worked well. My last MacBook Pro quit due to a graphics card. After a short stint using OpenSuse, I did a little research and decided that I would give Fedora a try. I had a cutting edge new laptop and it looked like Fedora has the most up-to-date kernel and so was most likely to work the best. I was right.
As for my career, I have been stuck using Pixel Book and Chrome OS at work. Fedora provides a pure space for purely personal projects in coding, writing, and research. Due to privacy concerns I don’t use much data from work on my personal laptop, and our organization does not allow for much flexibility so I am stuck with what they give me. For a while I was enrolled in a data analytics couse and learned Python that way. I appreciate the up-to-date Emacs releases in Fedora. Maybe one day (soon?) I’ll get back into that and of course Fedora is a great platform for it.
I probably wouldn’t end up where I am now without being involved in Fedora in particular (and the Linux community in general). It’s a long and twisty story, and the first job in which I actually get paid to work in a Linux environment full time is actually for a company that standardizes around Ubuntu (I was working on improving their developer infra, release management and configuration management). But the skills are mostly transferable, and listing my Fedora experience on my resume most likely helped land that job.
That job got me to a Big Tech firm, and fast forward a few years and after landing in some teams where I only get to work on Linux systems (mostly CentOS) a small percentage of the time, I’m on a team that works on driving userspace improvements upstream.