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openSUSE:Board election 2019 platform sogal

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Platform

Note: This page is used by the candidate of the board election as a platform to show his views and answer some standard questions.

Introduction and Biography

My name is Sébastien Poher, known on the internets as sogal or sometimes sogalgeeko. I am 35 years old and live in France, between Lyon and Grenoble. My day job is GNU/Linux system administrator in a small cooperative company in Grenoble, called Probesys. We build and manage Libre and open-source services and infrastructures for our clients. Being a sysadmin is a second professional life that I started back in 2015 after going back to school for 2 years. Before that I used to work as logistician.

My first steps with GNU/Linux were taken back in 2004 with Mandriva then Ubuntu. I have been a Debian user and community contributor during 4 years before switching to openSUSE in 2016. I enjoyed it a lot and immediately start contributing with a few bug reports before I learned how to use OBS. I now maintain a dozen of packages, some of them are available in Leap.

My contributions are not mainly of a technical kind, there are a lot of way more talented hackers in the project and they do a fantastic job. I have also contributed to the official and French openSUSE wiki as I am involved in the French users community as president of an openSUSE users association, called Alionet and has been holding booths at FOSS events. I have given talks whenever I could in local Linux users groups to promote the use of openSUSE and tell them that this is actually a vibrant and welcoming project. For that purpose I translate and relay as much as I can the project news through the medias we use at Alionet (dispora, twitter and our blog).

Major Issues

First of all, I feel a lack of end users oriented communication. The project and some of the development teams communicate quite a lot about the development of the distribution, it is nice to read technical articles of great quality about YaST development or the Tumbleweed news but those are very technical information for normal people. We lack a periodic publication that deals with subject and issues that non-technical person feel concerned about. In that regard, the Fedora Project does a really good job with its « Fedora Magazine ». There is room within the project for something similar but with a geeko flavor.

Second thing, there are « development sprints », maybe we should also make « marketing sprints » during which a team of volunteers will create promotion materials about a specific topic.

So having a more end users oriented discourse will definitely be a key issue to me if I get elected as I am convinced that this can drag more users and, consequently, more contributors.

Minor Issues

In the same vein, I would like to work on how does the project and the Board cooperate with local communities. Beside the end users themselves, there are, all around the globe, users groups of various form. They are resources the project can use and may help growing in return, so that they can act as relay for our communication. As an individual, one can become an openSUSE member, but what about users group ? The membership process is well defined, I would like to work on a similar thing for groups.

Aims/Goals

As the issues expressed above clearly state, I would like to make the Board and project efforts more balanced in favor of our user base. In cooperation with the Marketing and Wiki (Web) Teams, I would like to create new means of communication and improve existing ones. As I see it, the content of those medias will talk about issues the general public is concerned about (i.e. installing apps, configuration of desktop, news packages available in openSUSE).

Role of the board

In my opinion the Board is an orchestra leader . As the orchestra leader does, it is its responsibility to make sure that each part or team in the project can do its jobs in a smooth manner and in harmony with other parts. I think the Board should also be an initiator and give impulsion to the project when needed. For that, it has to be able to step aside and adopt another point of view to make sure that the Project stays on good tracks.

Some passionate (for the less!) debates occured few months ago in mailing lists about the level of transparency the Board should have toward the rest of the Project members. While I do not endorse a full transparency that may lead to privacy issues, I think that there is room for improvement by editing, for example, an annual or bi-annual recap of the major events that happened, aside from the monthly/bi-monthly Board meeting minutes.

Why you should vote for me?

Because Frogs are akin to Chameleon, right ? :) More seriously, you should do it if you share the views and concerns I expressed above. Through my past and current personal and professional life I have been lead to deal with many unknown situations and to cooperate with a lot of different people from different countries, often acting as coordinator, sometimes as responsible of a group, sometimes as a teacher. That is how I see my role in the Board: observe, learn, propose, cooperate, empower.

Contact

Thank you for being involved in this election process and taking some time to read me. If you wish, feel free to contact me, I am easily reachable by email but as well as :

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