From Cat to Hat

On June I joined Red Hat as a Senior Software Engineer.

I always said that I preferred to work on a small company before a big company, because on a big company you can’t be anything more than a number. That you can’t really grow professionally if you are such a small piece on a big machine.

I have to say: I was completely wrong. The room for manoeuvre you have on a big company is not comparable to that on a smaller one.

Just a month after my latest job change and I am completely in love with Red Hat. I keep asking around me “where is the trick? where is the trap?” because there have to be. Tough it seems there isn’t. If this is not my dream job, it is only one “geospatial” label away.

What is Red Hat?

For those of you who have been living on a restricted licensed dungeon the latest twenty years, Red Hat is the biggest open source company in the world. They made Open Source as their main drive and they have the community upfront. They are not only the main maintainers of Red Hat, CentOS and Fedora OS (obviously), but they (we!) maintain many other open source projects. Like the Java versions Oracle wants to get rid of!

New Hire Orientation meeting
I got my Red Hat!

If you meet the 14 year old María and told her she was going to be working for Red Hat today, she wouldn’t believe you. Well, she would have laugh because she is a debianite, and what does a debianite do on Red Hat? (Still need to work on a good pun for this one)

An open source way of working

Upstream goes first. Open Source is the most important thing. Community tasks are important tasks. Don’t do a patchy patch to fix this, take your time and discuss how to really fix that bug. Developers, take the time you need, the important thing is that the software developed is good and has the quality needed. Ending doesn’t justify the means. Be honest, be fair.

Do we need to leverage technical debt and refactor? Do we want to make it easier for developers to work? Sure, just work on it! Do you think we are not doing what we should be doing? Are you not satisfied with the results? Speak your mind!

Remote is completely incorporated to the workflow. Of course we have offices, but our team is spread all around the world because, you know what? You don’t need to be on an office with more developers to do your best. And once a company understands that and adds it to their core, remote working is much more fluid and efficient! Having their developers happy is one of the priorities. No wonder the number of years someone stays in Red Hat is higher than in other companies.

Open Source, but not spatial any more?

I don’t intend to leave the spatial world. It’s true that my efforts will focus now on Apache Camel, Syndesis and OpenShift: Integration Platforms as a Service (IPaaS). But just a few days into the topic and my head was already conspiring to turn it into geospatial.

So you can expect me to go to some FOSS4G conferences every now and then, even if I drop my tasks as GeoNetwork maintainer aside. You will just hear me less about cats and metadata and more about camels and integrations. Or maybe camels and cats. Or spatial camels…

Thowing the hats
I hope I don’t miss it!

I could say that you will see me less because my geospatial community tasks will have to be taken from my free time, but, let’s face it, it was never otherwise. The difference is that now I have to mix with the middleware community too. And I want to stop more on safe spaces.

Author: María Arias de Reyna Domínguez

This is the blog of María Arias de Reyna.

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