Jack Aboutboul wrote:
I think I told most people that I wanted to tell privately so it's
time to tell the list and out myself to the public. August 14th will
be my last day at Red Hat and of temporary daily direct involvement in
the Fedora project.
In 1997 I got my first taste of Linux, Red Hat Linux 4.2, to be
exact. It was in the basement lab of the university that I was doing
research at during the second half of my freshman year in high
school. It was at that point the most fun and challenging thing I had
ever done, struggling to get the kernel to work with the crappy Matrox
(I think) video card that was the only spare piece of anything in that
lab. I aimlessly wandered down that path I had no idea that jumping
down the rabbit hole would lead to the 12 most pleasantly wondrous and
amazing years of my life.
Over the last 12 years this love affair has grown stronger and I have
had the unbelievable good fortune to travel the world, see amazing
places, explore amazing ideas, meet and work with some of the planet's
greatest, smartest and most passionate people and play my part to help
turn Linux, Open Source, Red Hat, Fedora and the concepts of free open
and democratic commons of content and technology from relatively
unknowns into the great revolution of our age. I have spent the
better part of the last 6 years working for Red Hat on Fedora and
Fedora-related projects in directed efforts to improve both the state
and awareness of those things I mentioned. Red Hat has been a warm
home and family to me and I am as much glad as I am in awe of how
ferociously dedicated we have been to our noble principles of freedom
and truth, while having accomplished, ascertained and executed and
what I have been able to imbibe, about so many diverse concepts, over
these last few years. What niche and facet have we not touched? What
direction or device have we not influenced? What proclivity have we
not affected? For this, I am proud.
Fedora has been my brother since the day it was conceived. The more
energy and time I invested into Fedora, to help it grow and mature,
the more it paid me back by proving to be the best platform for
innovation, and letting me be involved in that cause. Starting a
community is no small order and keeping it going all these years take
passion on the part of those willing to undertake the task. We have
learned what it means to be a community, to live, breathe, eat and be
true to community. To provide, so that others can have, to build so
that others can build upon and to be selfless so that we can embrace
others and more importantly so that others can embrace us, virtual
strangers, and feel welcome. It has been my distinct pleasure to work
with every single precious member of the Fedora community, from all
over the world to help build a very deep and intimate relationship
with the concept of community. We have accomplished such great feats,
arising from a turbulent and tumultuous genesis and virtually
transformed and flipped the world and the hearts and minds of people
in a few short years. We have become the paramount archetype of
community. How many have communities emulated and continue to emulate
our success? How many have our ideas spawned? How many have been
lucky to be as true and real as we have? For this, I am grateful.
The best part has been the people. I can't count on 100 sets of hands
the number and names of all the wonderful people that have affected
me. When I was on the Fedora University Tour, my speech was called
"Crash: How a Billion Little Collisions Defines Everything," and it
was about how working in a community and in real life, we are the sum
total of the people we interact with. I don't think one can find a
better metaphor and if I stick to my axiom then I can truly consider
myself rich. Every person I met and spent time with in the office, at
a meeting, show, conference or elsewhere, and online has helped shape
my character, both personal and professional, for the better. As a
lover of people I am both thankful for the interactions we have had
and excited for what the future holds. I owe thanks to many, like I
said, even 100 hands can't count, but I will try and pay homage to
some of my closest, dearest and most influential friends over the last
First and foremost, Tom "Spot" Callaway, for urging me to get involved
way back when things started and helping me score a gig at Red Hat.
Greg DeKoenigsberg, for being a friend, a mentor and a visionary; if I
can say one thing about Greg it's that he "gets it" when no one else
does, he can put it in words, and above all else, he's real. Max
Spevack, because I can write a whole book of reasons to thank Max, who
has been a dear friend, a true buddy, a team player and a team leader.
Karsten Wade, for being the most chillin guy you will ever find, and
for being my west coast trade show and conference booth buddy. Jim
Gleason, for being first a friend for 9+ years of NYLUG and then a
mentor and being someone who cares.
Michael Tiemann, for being a genius, for always giving me something to
think about and someone to look up to.
John Flanagan, for being my first manager at Red Hat and being an all
around great guy and Jeff Needle, for being the guy who would let me
wander into his cubicle and talk about nothing for hours on end.
Mo Duffy, for being the best artist and designer in the world!
The original Red Hat QA team, Ed Rousseau, Bill Peck, Marty, John,
John and Zack for letting me encroach on their cube area and steal one
when I was an intern. Jesse Keating, for being awesome, for being the
workhorse upon much of which the foundations of Fedora are built, and
for being a cool guy who I spoke to for almost 2 years online and
helped me with everything before I ever got a chance to meet him and
buy him a drink. Luke Macken, for all those games of Star Wars pinball
on the 3rd floor and for being the most uber hacker the world has ever
seen. Arlinton Bourne, for being a true friend and following my advice
to join Red Hat, where the hood at? Paul Frields, for being a great
leader and a real sweetheart while still secretly being 007.
Yaakov Nemoy, for being my intern and not complaining and for being a
friend who will always listen to my crazy ideas.
Arjun Roy and Mohammed Morsi, for being great interns as well and for
accepting offers to come to Red Hat as well. Mo, real Red Hatters
Bill Nottingham, because I like him.
Moshe Bar, for being my international hangout buddy and being an all
around great human being.
The Red Hat Anaconda team, the Desktop team, Fedora kernel team
(a.k.a. Dave Jones), the Fedora Ambassadors, the Fedora Infrastructure
team including Mike, Dennis and Toshio, anyone who was ever been on
the Fedora board including Rex Dieter, anyone who ever volunteered to
help at an event or show, everyone in the Westford office, everyone in
the NYC office.
The Fedora Marketing team including Steven Moix, David Nalley, Bob
Jensen, Jon Stanley, Rahul Sundaram, John Rose and anyone else I'm
forgetting...we done good, real good.
To the next generation of leaders in Fedora, Mel Chua, Ricky Zhou, Ian
Weller and crew.
Last and certainly not least, to Matthew Szulik who believed in us and
led us finely as a teacher and friend and Jim Whitehurst, who keeps
the flame alive, the train running and still makes time to be a true
Thanks everyone for an amazing time and ride. As I move on to other
ventures, I wish everyone blessing and success and hope to keep in
touch. I can be reached via email jack(a)jackfoundation.com, Freenode
IRC as themayor, and various and sundry social networks.
Sad news, Jack. I wish you well in the future - it was awesome to meet
and hang out with you the few times that I got to!
Colby A. Hoke
[ Producer ]
Brand Communications + Design
"I've done the math enough to know the dangers of our second guessing.
Doomed to crumble unless we grow and strengthen our communication."