On conquering fears and future contributions…

The next Ubuntu Developer Summit (UDS-P) is scheduled to be held in Orlando, Florida at the Caribe Royal Hotel from October 31 through November 3, 2011 and the Ubuntu Community is busy preparing blueprints, requesting sponsorships, and checking to see if all the action items from the last UDS have been completed, deferred, or are in progress. (Gotta luv those burndown charts!) Reminder sponsorship requests close on August 24, 2011.

For me, this milestone in the development cycle continues to be one of my favorites; probably because I see the list of todo items I still need to complete and something called passion combined with enthusiasm and sense of urgent priority kicks in or as my friend, Jorge Castro likes to tell people, it’s when my Ubuntu “time share style” energy levels and tone kick in. OK, so I am passionate, I still say, “LOOK PEOPLE IF “I” CAN USE LINUX, YOU CAN TOO!”  Yes I am usually shouting this at them. ;-). (But in that nice Southern voice, with a smile and excitement, not in a mean “Ubuntu or else tone”; just wanted to be clear about that.  Yes; I can YELL in a nice way! Just ask my kids. 😀

This cycle I wasn’t able to write as much as I would have liked due to an injury I sustained on my way back from UDS-O, but thanks to following (ok mostly following as best I am capable of) the orthopedist instructions I am almost back to walking without help and my wrist will be healed and the braces on my knee and wrist will no longer be needed (as often).  YAY!  It’s funny the way things turn out during any one cycle or two.

This cycle, more than past release cycles, I got the chance to reflect more about what my past participation has meant to me and what I wanted to do going forward. I love the community! I love being involved! I love being able to use Linux, (thanks to Ubuntu!); however, something Jorge Castro told me about 3 years ago now, and in a post he wrote earlier this cycle after UDS really impacted me personally more than other posts did this cycle. When I went for Ubuntu Membership in 2009 Jorge wrote, “Amber seemingly came out of nowhere and started to do a bunch of great things. Looking forward to her involvement with the LoCo Global Jam and Ubuntu Open Week. +1 with a warning to not take on too much at once, remember it’s a marathon not a sprint! Down that road leads madness!” (Yep sure does, hindsight being what it is and all!). He also posted, “For crying out loud Amber, it’s just a stupid newsletter…” Hmmm, this made me think.

Since then I have stepped away as contributing member of the news team so that the team could form around each other and gel together and NOT be centered on one person, but become focused together toward one goal-that of the team as a whole and not my vision.  I’ve had to apologize to more than one team member (highvoltage being at the top of list, followed closely by pleia2 and nhandler).  The legacy of the news team is a prime example of why a project closely associated with one team member and done in secret (like poof magic it just appears) can’t work forever; people burnout. (See list of past Editors of UWN)  I do have to say thank you those who are now producing the newsletter and fridge content as you have my highest respect and support. (I wish I could do more, but you all know what you are doing and you are doing an awesome job!)

So many times we as the non-developer/non-technical community members (I’m not speaking for all, but for myself and those who have expressed these same feelings to me) think we have to take on the world to be worthy of getting sponsorship to UDS, or to be worthy of some acknowledgement, but Jono Bacon, the Ubuntu Community Manager, reminded me, (last December) as I was almost yelling at him about everything on my plate and why I felt it was important and why I was passionate about it, and why this and why that blah blah blah, he said calmly “Amber, um don’t you think there is some other stress in your life at the moment that should be a priority? I’m not trying to be mean, but you asked me to always be honest with you, so I’m being honest,” he added.  He also said, “Amber you only need to do one thing well not a million things perfect or worse yet half-way.” Jono was right. Jorge was right and I was getting it all wrong.  Suddenly almost overnight, I made mountains out of molehills instead of motivations, I saw obstacles instead of opportunities, and I totally missed the view you get when you are in a valley and look up at the beauty that is ahead of you (you know the climb?).  Why?  I was afraid (I’ll admit it and I know others who feel this way as well), if I am not doing a million things and contributing everywhere I can (since I am a non-developer), then people (you know, the people we refer to as” those”, who we somehow let influence our self worth in the community, or the worth of our contributions) will forget about us and we’ll never get be in the “fishbowl” again; I’ll be one of those looking in rather than swimming in with the other “great” contributors.  Some will read this and laugh at my admitted insecurities (if you do are you a developer, just curious), some will read this and agree in silence (but you know that fear as you have felt it and maybe still feel it as well), others will read it and say, “I’ve been there; however, I adapted and overcame!”    I like to believe due in part to Jorge, Jono for their honest feedback, I am now in the last group, that is to say, I’ve adapted, and overcame those fears and I’ll be working on doing one thing well. What is that one thing?  Not sure exactly (ok I am still narrowing all that down), but I am sure of one thing – Here’s to conquering fears, and future contributions that are fun, fulfilling, and Ubuntu Friendly!

akgraner

4 Responses to “On conquering fears and future contributions…

  • Hey,

    This is a nice post, thanks for writing it. 🙂

    I’m interested about one thing you bring up a few times though — a divide between ‘developers’ and the rest. Can you perhaps explain what you think this gulf is? It seems to me that burnout and overburdening can happen to developers just as much as anyone else.

    Keep up (not too much of) the good work 😉

    Iain

  • akgraner
    10 years ago

    Thanks for the comment and Thanks for asking I’ll follow up in a post. 🙂

  • Awesome read… and as long as their are people to passionate to assist the community it will always go well in the community (but I do agree to find a balance is the best :p )

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  • Links 6/8/2011: Catching Up With a Week Ago | Techrights :

    […] On conquering fears and future contributions… The next Ubuntu Developer Summit (UDS-P) is scheduled to be held in Orlando, Florida at the Caribe Royal Hotel from October 31 through November 3, 2011 and the Ubuntu Community is busy preparing blueprints, requesting sponsorships, and checking to see if all the action items from the last UDS have been completed, deferred, or are in progress. (Gotta luv those burndown charts!) Reminder sponsorship requests close on August 24, 2011. […]

    10 years ago

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