[SATLUG] Rackspace

Brad Knowles brad at shub-internet.org
Fri Nov 6 13:45:06 CST 2015


On Nov 6, 2015, at 6:35 AM, Joe <null.div.zero at gmail.com> wrote:

> Brad,   thanks for taking the time for all this.   I'm not active in any
> open source projects.   I'm not sure I would have anything to offer.?  We
> used java in college,  and I've fiddled with Android development a
> little.   But,  not in a serious way.  And,  I don't do any development or
> scripting in my role at work.   In my mind,  having such limited experience
> in coding,  I wouldn't be of much use on an open source project.   The work
> I've been doing is server management,  IT analysis, and (most notably)
> network communications design and implementation.

Open Source projects need all sorts of things done, and people with all sorts of experience.  Coding is one of the more visible areas, but it is far from the only one.

I help run the mail systems for NTP.org and Python.org (and the Mailman project in general), and I’ve been involved in that role for those projects since 2003.  I was the first recipient of the PSF Community Service Award in 2008 for my work in supporting python.org.  Technically, I think I may have committed a small amount of code to each of these projects, but that certainly hasn’t been my primary role and has been mostly in the area of scripts that I’ve written to help me manage parts of the systems and which I felt that others might also find useful.

Pretty much all open source projects are going to have things like server management, IT analysis, and network communications design and implementation that need to be done for them, and they are likely to be short-handed in those areas because no one thinks about the fact that projects might have needs like this or that they might be able to help.


So, I would encourage you to pick projects that you like, or things you’re interested in learning more about, and find out if they could use any volunteer assistance.

Getting involved in projects like this will help you make a wider network of friends and people you know, and odds are good that will be likely to help you find a job that you feel is more interesting and suitable to you.  Focus on making friends and being helpful, and people will notice.

> I guess that get to the crux of why I'm asking for help.   I'm not sure
> what industries want these skill sets. I've been working in under the
> blanket sector of "IT"  for 4 years,  since college.   I spent the first 3
> years working hard on pipeline operations,  and loved it.   It was
> definitely the "deep end".  I was repeatedly asked (or commanded)  to do
> things beyond my experience.  And, made a name for myself as the go to guy
> for networking projects.   The bad news was that I was on call 24/7 for all
> pipeline operations,  and was the only "IT" / network guy they had.   That
> was NO FUN!  Then there was a merger.   Our company was the larger of the
> 2; but,  all of the original managers/owners broke off,  to start new
> companies.  They wanted me to come along,  but,  the on-call beatings had
> me worn pretty thin.   So,  turned them down; and,  I still think that was
> the right move.  Unfortunately,  the newly compiled company,  the one I'm
> with now,  is primarily run out of Dallas, and with their old management
> and IT department in place.  And,  the IT team up there is not real
> interested in sharing their responsibilities.   So,  I'm stuck in a
> satellite office,  essentially just doing help desk work.   And,  I don't
> see that changing. The group in Dallas is competent,  and doesn't seem
> interested in letting any new blood in.   So,  if there's no room to move
> up; I need to move laterally.  And,  I don't know which direction to go.

Well, I’m sure that SATLUG will be a good resource in this area.  But there’s lots of other groups like SATLUG that could also be helpful, and I would encourage you to try to find appropriate groups that have been built up around things you’re interested in doing in this field.

--
Brad Knowles <brad at shub-internet.org>
LinkedIn Profile: <http://tinyurl.com/y8kpxu>

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