Who are your mentors?
Allison Randall has blogged about her new role in Ubuntu; working at Canonical as the Technical Architect for Ubuntu. One thing which I think is awesome is how she mentions people who encouraged her:
To give credit where credit is due, there have been 4 great influences on my career over the years, mentors, friends, people who believed in me, encouraged me to dream big dreams and try big things, who taught me that I’m better, smarter, wiser, more dynamic, and resilient than I ever imagined. In alphabetical order: Damian Conway, Greg Kroah-Hartman, Mark Shuttleworth, and Nathan Torkington. Thanks guys, I wouldn’t be here without you!
Everyone has mentors in Free Software, so Allison’s post inspired me to talk about mine. People who made you who you are. I hope this encourages you to talk about the people who inspired you.
While Allison’s post motivated me, this next month I get to celebrate 3 years at Canonical and I would like to thank people who have motivated me to do what I do. Think of them as the root of me:
- Dave Camp - Dave is one of the older Ximian folk, a former co-maintainer of Nautilus, and later he worked on Mozilla. He taught me to ignore the haters, and rock on by your bad self. He’s a hacker’s hacker, a dude who puts his head down and skates. He doesn’t care about fame, fortune, or any of that jazz, he’s just a dude. He is also an amazing guitar player.
- Luis Villa - Not much to say here, he’s brought so many of us here that I have no words that could ever be kind enough to explain what Luis has done for so many of us.
- Jeff Waugh and Benjamin “Mako” Hill - I am going to mush them together, since at the time they were the collective first “Ubuntu Community managers”. Jeff for being the spark plug of motivation and getting me to a UDS, and Mako for being the Free Software advocate who leads by example, not by shoving the GPL down people’s throat. I would love to hear much more from both of you. Both of you believed in me from the beginning, and I will always be grateful.
- Asa Dotzler - many years ago when I first started wondering what Mozilla was he took the time to explain open source to me. I also love that he flames Linux for what it is, maybe someday we’ll get our act together. :) I’m not even sure if he’s looking at Linux these days but I’ll always appreciate his first interaction with me.
These people pointed me in the right direction, and these are the ones who focused me into a fine instrument of Ubuntu laser-destruction. If you hate me, then it’s probably these people’s fault:
- Luke Kanies from Puppet Labs (at the time from Reductive Labs), who convinced me to think about applying for my current job at Canonical.
- Oliver Grawert, who made me actually do that or he promised to punch me in the face.
- Daniel Holbach. The name mentioned by Jono Bacon when he said “I am starting a new team” that made me apply for the job on the spot and totally not care what the consequences are. He has that effect on people.
- … and of course the rest of you on the community team (and I just don’t mean Canonical folk) who have been supportive of me over the years, even when I quit the team and had a temper tantrum a few years ago.)
And on top of that I’ve got the old folks, the mentors who are just awesome by being there, they’re all good friends and good mentors. I am pretty sure that everyone who has worked with these people are not surprised:
- Chris Blizzard - old school GNOME, now at Mozilla. He builds airplanes ffs.
- Vincent Untz - old school GNOME, now at Novell. He builds ice cream ffs.
- Miguel de Icaza - old school GNOME, now at Novell. He builds stack exchanges ffs.
- Ryan Lortie - old school GNOME, now at Codethink. He builds dconf ffs.
I’d also like to take a moment to thank the new people — those of you who are new here and want to rock. Spend some time researching my generation’s heroes, and learn from what they have to say.
Hah, I just thought “Some day this entire mess will all be yours”, but I don’t know if that’s a nice thing to say or not, so heh to you.