ROSE Blog Interviews: Linux Foundation's Angela Brown

Rikki Kite

ROSE Blog: Rikki's Open Source Exchange

Aug 25, 2009 GMT
Rikki Kite

Over the past few months I've been working with The Linux Foundation's Angela Brown to provide Live streaming from the upcoming LinuxCon event. Angela is one of many women in open source who are diligently working behind the scenes to organize Linux and open source events and help promote free and open source technology.

Q: Who are you?

A: I'm Angela Brown, the Event and Marketing Manager at The Linux Foundation. I organize our annual Collaboration Summit and End User Summits. But, this year is an especially fun (and important) year, because I'm organizing the first ever LinuxCon. The conference theme is "All Matters Linux." We believe that this wide-angled approach is missing in the Linux event space today. There is an unmet need for professional conference infused with community collaboration. We can provide the market with exactly that event and are bringing together developers, operations managers, users and business executives to learn about the future of the Linux at LinuxCon.

Q: What do you currently do in open source? What do you love about it?

A: In my role here, I have the opportunity to travel and attend OSS conferences to both share what the Linux Foundation does for the community and to learn more about what developers and executives are looking for out of onsite collaboration opportunities. The latter of those two helps us develop events here at LF that are meeting the collaboration and education needs of the community that might not be met elsewhere. It has been a great opportunity and I love having the chance to meet people in all roles working in all parts of the industry. I also love the group camaraderie that you feel when working in the open source community.

Q: You're speaking to a group of women from other fields who are considering switching careers. Why should they consider moving into an open source-related career? What should they know about the open source environment to prepare them for the transition from a different field?

A: Well, first of all, whether you're a man or a woman, it's important to know that the value of Linux skills has risen 50 percent, according to an article recently published by Datamation (and blogged about by our VP of marketing and developer programs, Amanda McPherson). The article also reports that Linux system administration skills are now the number 2 hottest IT job skill.

In general, though; by pursuing a career related to Linux specifically, women can have a very real impact on the largest technology collaboration in the history of computing. The most important thing to know, and one of the biggest benefits of open source, is that transparency trumps all else. Everything you do is available for others to review and comment on, and vice versa.

The Linux Foundation now provides vendor-neutral training with curriculum developed by the community's leading developers – if someone were looking to become more involved in the community from a developer perspective, this is a great opportunity.

Q: You're speaking to a group of high school students (male and female). Why should they consider exploring career options in open
source?

A: High school and college students should be seriously considering a career in open source because it's one of the fastest growing areas in software. Linux is the only operating system IDC predicts will see any growth during the recession. And, the great thing about open source is that students can get involved before they ever graduate. Code is the new resume. Join an open source project, learn the ropes and you're going to be able to find interesting positions. I have met a number of high school age students at some of the community events I have attended in the last year, and I think it is so great to see these kids interested in open source at such a young age. And the great thing is, in this community, they are as welcome as anyone else – age doesn't matter here, it is the skills you bring and the interest that you have that matter.

Q: What question do you wish I'd asked? And how would you answer it?

A: I would just encourage everyone who can to attend LinuxCon this year. The line-up of speakers and content is just incredible. And if folks are unable to attend, I am very excited that we are able, with Linux Pro's assistance, to provide the live video streaming opportunity as well. We hope everyone can take advantage of the great program at LinuxCon this year!

__________________________________

 

If you are a woman in open source, I'd love it if you'd take a moment to answer these interview questions and send your responses to me at rkite AT linuxpromagazine DOT com. (Otherwise, I'll try to track you down at an event or online!) If you'd like me to interview a particular woman in open source, drop me a line and let me know who she is and where to find her.

 

Additional reading:

 

ROSE Blog Interviews You (add your own interview and see comments for responses from Dru Lavigne, Amber Graner, and other women in open source)

 

Interview with Carla Schroder

 

Interview with Kelaine Vargas

 

Interview with Moose (Ohio LinuxFest)

 

Interview with Beth Lynn Eicher (Ohio LinuxFest)

Interview with Erica Brescia, CEO of BitRock

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