I’ve been in my new job for 90 days now, as some internal software reminded me recently. It suggested I’d reminisce about it.
I have to say it was a very interesting experience and I like it a lot. I have yet to get more involved in Fedora processes, but I guess that will come after having met more Fedora people at my first FudCon. I’m also slowly getting back into GStreamer development, which works quite well so far. The hardest part is convincing various people inside the company that GStreamer is not “a buggy piece of crap”, which is kinda hard when they show up with weird gst-launch pipelines that expose bugs in 5 or more different elements. On the one hand the flexibility of gst-launch is great, on the other hand it sucks if it doesn’t work once you try something out of the ordinary. Wonder how to solve that…
And I didn’t manage to get the Cairo guys to release Cairo 1.10. If somebody knows how to fix that, please do it.
I also wanted to point out two things that surprised me about my job, one of them very positively, the other not so much.
the great thing
Red Hat engineers are great at working together across communities. If a kernel guy has a problem with GStreamer, they poke me and if I have a problem with building rpms, I can poke its maintainers. I feel that in the “upstream” world, developers often stay in their own community and don’t reach out to others. This leads to ugly workarounds in code and bad blood between people when they blame each other for bugs. I think Red Hat is a model for this and they should go out into the world and give talks about how we achieve this.
the not so great thing
We envy Ubuntu’s fame. I often see people post links to news sites or blogs where Ubuntu gets praised for a new feature that was written by Red Hat people (and of course it was in Fedora so much earlier). And then everybody makes nasty jokes about Ubuntu just stealing all the fame and giving no credit.
It would be a lot nicer if we could be happy that the Ubuntu community likes the software we write. We would be happier and feel better about helping Ubuntu people. Of course, it would be nice if the Ubuntu world would credit us a bit more for our work, but then we probably need to market the stuff we do more.