By now, many of you have heard the news, but for those of you who haven't... I have the distinct honor of being the first Fedora Community Action and Impact Lead, hired by Red Hat, and appointed to the Fedora Council.

This role has many aspects (see: Job Description), and I look forward to finding out more about it during my orientation at HQ in Raleigh.

In the meantime, I've had a lot of folks asking me a lot of the same questions, so I've put together this handy FAQ.


Q: Will you be leaving RIT?

In some ways, yes, in some ways, not entirely (at least not yet.) I will be resigning from my staff position with the MAGIC Center effective immediately, but I will finish out this semester teaching the Humanitarian FOSS Development and Business/Legal Environment of Free/Open Source Software courses. My time on campus will be limited to scheduled class time and office hours until the end of Spring Semester (May 20th is my last final exam.) As the team I am joining at Red Hat includes University Relations, and I have a unique perspective on this first-of-its-kind academic program, I will very likely be kept in the loop on both the RIT-side, and the Red Hat-side.

Q: Will you be leaving Rochester?

No, not for the foreseeable future. The FCL position is a remote position, and will require travel, but I do not anticipate even considering relocation until after FLOCK 2015 at the absolute earliest.

Q: ZOMG! Does this mean the end of the FOSSBox?

Certainly Not! Prof. Stephen Jacobs and a larger-than-ever core of students will keep the wheels on the wagon until a Remy-replacement arrives.

Q: So... when does the cavalry arrive?

Great question! This is an opportunity for MAGIC to reevaluate their needs, and hire a person (or persons I hope) who can support the FOSS initiative, infrastructure, and general operations. I'm hopeful there'll be a job listing in the next couple of weeks, and the process can begin asap. Hopefully we'll see some hiring(s) before the end of the semester, but certainly by fall of next year. MAGIC will move as quickly as the RIT HR process will allow I'm sure.

Q: So, what happens to the FOSS minor? It isn't going to go away is it?

Nope! The minor can't be undone now that it is official and on the books. In fact, we're hoping to double the number of enrolled students by the end of the academic year. When(if?) I vacate my role as an instructor, The IGM department and SJ will make a list of eligible degree holding individuals qualified and interested in teaching these courses at RIT, and will know how best to fill that role. So far as content and instruction, it is my impression that the pedagogical and instructional model of course delivery we've developed with the help of Professors Jacobs, Shein, Sherrill, Bean, and many students/alumni (shout-out loothelion, ryansb) will remain at the core of minor. As a Hackademic and upstream developer of educational software I plan to continue promoting Free/Open alternatives to the wasteland of predatory Academic Software and LMS's variety of quality Academic Software and LMS's I've seen during my time as a student and instructor.

Q: So obviously now you can totally get me free RHEL, right?

No... See:

Q: So, you're going to stop hanging out in #rit-foss?

No way! It just means you'll also be able to find me in #fedora-{devel,design,meeting,fedmsg,*...}

Q: So, you can totally get me a job at Red Hat, right?

Maybe. If you find a position listed on and send me a link to the listing, I can at least help you begin the process. From what I know about FOSS driven organizations, they seem more likely to hire active contributors and community members, so I would highly recommend diving head-first into whatever stack or project you are most passionate about, and applying thereafter. Here is a good place to start:


It was over five long years ago when I returned to RIT for the first time after my undergraduate studies with lmacken, GregDek, and Mel Chua, to meet with SJ for the first time. SJ had orchestrated a jam-packed schedule for everyone to meet with Deans, and Department Heads, and IT Administrators of all stripes. We resolved after that visit to create the first ever Academic Minor in Free/Open Source Software at a university in the United States, and by golly-gosh we did it! It was even the #1 News Story published by RIT University News Services in 2014! It took a village, and a whole network of villages outside of that village, to make the FOSS minor a reality, and now it is done. I've seen full life-cycles of academic careers, from Freshmen to Graduate, start to finish. Every time another student gets a grade in my course, or lands their first internship in FOSS, or gets their first job after graduation, I think of this quote:

If your plan is for one year plant rice.
If your plan is for ten years plant trees.
If your plan is for one hundred years educate children.

As a Hacktivist, I have always felt that Technological Literacy was the most viable long-term strategy. It won't be fast, it won't be easy, it may not even be cheap, but it will be Free. We've got a model now, one that I hope can be replicated in other academic programs, iterated upon, and improved. It took us a while, but for the first time I can say that I can safely walk away. RIT and MAGIC can take the ball from here.

I will be ever-thankful for the opportunities that have been afforded to me in Rochester, and the amazing community that has supported our work and our students. Perhaps most of all, I am thankful for my grey-bearded mentor Steve Jacobs, who has always treated me like a colleague, and been willing to acclimate to the wildwest that FOSS communities can be. He's always been one to bring everyone to the table, and without him, none of this would have been possible. If there were one Steve Jacobs at every university, Open Education would be a solved problem. Much Love SJ.

Students, you know that I'm not leaving as much as I'm swimming upstream, so I don't need to say "goodbye" to any of you ;)


Fedorans, I have been a user and advocate for years, and it is my privilege to represent and serve you. Fedora, for years now, has been the bedrock upon which my portal to the digital realm is affixed (I've been installing, preupgrading and fedup-ing since Leonidas.) The prospect of taking the community development, advocacy, and organizing skills I've been building here, and applying them to growing a community of millions contributors and users in every timezone, for the leading enterprise Linux provider on the planet, is a humbling opportunity one can only dream of... Not all of you know me, and I certainly don't know all of you, but I want to. Your contributions have helped me all these years to get to where I am, and now it is my time to return the favor. I cannot wait to tell your stories, support your efforts, and hack alongside you. There is much to learn, and much to do, and I'm going to need all the help I can get.