Elizabeth has been using Ubuntu for quite some time, she’s on the Community Council, the Americas regional membership board, she’s very active in the Ubuntu women team, the beginners team , the learning team and the her LoCo community! Lyz and I were on IRC at the same time, so instead of emailing her the questions I opted to interview her on IRC which gives us a bit more of a fluid, natural interview.
So, how did you get involved in open source?
After I started using linux my first “involvement” was with the Philadelphia Linux Users Group (phillylinux.org) and by starting a LinuxChix chapter in Philadelphia (phillychix.org) where I could meet other women in the area.
Awesome, was Ubuntu your first distro?
Nope, I started out with Red Hat back in 2002, quickly switched to Debian, dabbled with Gentoo before going back to Debian. Installed Ubuntu for the first time in 2005, these days I use both Ubuntu and Debian.
Why do you like Ubuntu specifically?
I love Debian, so Ubuntu’s appeal of a stable OS targeted at being awesome on the desktop and using apt but with more current packages was too good to pass up.
Great. So what do you do in the Ubuntu community? I know you’re active in the Ubuntu women team.
Ubuntu Women was one of the first things I was involved with and I still do work there attracting more women to use and contribute to Ubuntu, I’m currently involved with the Ubuntu Community Learning Team (we develop course material for Ubuntu and work with other doc teams), do a lot of work with Ubuntu California and previously Ubuntu Pennsylvania. I am also a member of the Ubuntu Beginners team, working to help newcomers to Ubuntu and direct them to places to contribute to in the community. And I’m on the Americas approval board, reviewing and approving new Ubuntu Members, and in October I was elected to the Community Council.
Fantastic, that’s really cool. I know I’ll be working with the Learning Team a lot as the Ubuntu Manual will be sharing a lot of material with you guys. How do you think Ubuntu 10.04 is shaping up?
Ubuntu 10.04 is looking great! I’m very excited to have a new LTS.
Yeah, I think the Lynx will be a great step forward in bringing Ubuntu into the mainstream and fixing bug #1. I know you’re going to UDS in Brussels next month, what are some things you are looking forward to discussing?
I’m really looking forward to discussions on more documentation collaboration, the Manual team has really impressed me when it comes to making contributions easy and attracting contributors. I’m also looking forward to some of the sessions about Ubuntu Women, the team has grown a lot in the past cycle and I see more great things for the team in the future.
It sounds great, I really like your initiative to run competitions, the play day one looks great and I know a lot of our readers will be entering.
Yeah, Melissa Draper is the brain behind those competitions, they’ve really raised the profile and excitement for the project.
Due to popular demand we’ve decided to grab a desktop screenshot of the interviewee:
So, with the Lucid Lynx out in a few days, all eyes will be on Maverick. Mark announced his plans for 10.10 and some of his goals revolved around having the fastest OS experience. Do you have any specific areas in Ubuntu that you think could be improved to meet this goal?
Usability is a great concern of mine as I see more desktops being deployed to folks who are relatively non-technical, so I really like the steps the project is making to address those concerns.
Yeah, absolutely. Funny you should mention that, mpt, some people from the design team and myself are starting up a new initiative to improve usability and open design in the community, more on that in the next couple of weeks.
So obviously you must be pretty busy with your day job, how do you find the time to be such an active member?
I am really passionate about what I do and I don’t own a television :) I’m also lucky to have an awesome boyfriend who puts up with it, and even encourages me!
…have you forced him to use Ubuntu?
He’s been using Linux longer than I and has Debian on his servers… but he uses a mac at home. The community really drives my involvement, it’s really exciting to work with so many amazing people, and know that in almost any major city in the world I can call upon a local team and see about having a meetup while I’m in town.
Yeah, Ubuntu is really cool like that – we’re all one big family :)
1. Browser of choice?
2. Guess for 11.04 code name?
Hmm, let’s see… Nimble Narwhal!
3. What one application is your *must install* on a fresh copy of Ubuntu?
The first thing I install on any system is the proper version of vim.
Nice! Most people say a new theme or dock, you’re functionality first.
Yeah, and I’m not really one for flashy GUI functionality.
Alright well thanks for taking the time to be interviewed!
Thanks for doing these interviews, they’ve been a pleasure to read and I’m honored to have mine be added to the list :)