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The opinions expressed in this blog are those of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of op5. Keep in mind that what is described in this blog may not be supported by the product or by op5.


Introduction

I am very happy to announce that I've been offered the torch as OP5's new Open Source Community Manager (OSCM) and of course I gladly accepted this new challenge! This will be a part-time responsibility for me from my normal duties as a Support Engineer here at OP5.

About me

One does not simply introduce himself...But well, I'll do my best. My name is Fredrik Mikker and I have been working at OP5 for about five years in multiple departments. I enjoy to listen to music and go to music gigs. Music is a wide area and my favorite genres range from classical, classic rock, country (as a few might see from the title), heavy metal and punk, and some occasional hip-hop. I'm also a moonlighting forester and don't mind swing an axe or using a chainsaw in my own woods when I find the time. Movies and TV series takes up some time as well.

Open Source and Free Software has been circling around me since about 1999 when I discovered the Linux distribution Slackware 7.0. About then I was struck by the philosophy surrounding free and open source software. Setting up systems with FOSS (free & open source software) and fiddling with applications has been a large part of my life ever since, first on my spare time and in non-profit organizations, and later professionally.

I started out as a consultant in the Professional Services department back in 2011. Traveled around Sweden and the Nordics for about three years implementing OP5 Monitor and its add-ons at customer sites. In 2014 the support department here in Gothenburg were expanding, and I thought something like "I've never lived in Gothenburg, so why not?". I accepted the offer and a lot of water has passed under the bridges since then.

Background

As I implied earlier, a large part of the reason for working at OP5 is that the company is actively developing open source software. We are involved in and contribute to the community. We originally were a large contributor to the Nagios project and nowadays to Naemon.  As well we release various parts of the product as FOSS; Ninja and Merlin to mention a couple.

My position changed at the company and I ended up in Gothenburg at customer support, literally just across the room from the developers that were actually developing the product and working closely with the community around Naemon. This lit a light bulb and I started to getting involved in the community around OP5 Monitor, and working closely with my predecessor Unknown User (alofgren) (Catharsis). He decided to go on an adventure, and away from his current position at OP5, and he kindly recommended me for this position to Unknown User (perasb) (Development, IT and Customer Support manager).

Why me? I guess because I was sticking my nose in everything that was related the to the community and also because since I have a genuine interest in all things FOSS. I think that Collaboration in the way as free and opensource software communities are working is the key to how to evolve technology and software to meet the needs of the future.

The role of OSCM

What is a Open source community manager anyways, and what does one do, really?

My intention with this position is to continue the good work that Anton Löfgren started on in his presentation of the role: fostering OP5's engagement with the communities that are directly associated to the things we develop at OP5 or projects that we cross paths with; and also improve our communication with external projects to which we develop or contribute.

He mentioned a few things in his presentation of the role, and I would like to pinpoint what my focus areas are now in the beginning of my journey:

Documentation & public communication

To get people involved in discussions of the projects that we develop and contribute to, and freshen up the information and documentation for all things open source at OP5. I started to contributing to this long before I accepted this role as OSCM. I want to continue focusing on this part as the primary area, for now.

This involves answering questions and engaging in discussions on OP5's mailing list  and related projects, such as Naemon and Monitoring-Plugins, as well as the official unofficial IRC-channel #op5 at irc.freenode.net. If you want to talk with me on IRC my handle is 'bol'.

Clarify and simplify involvement

We have already taken a leap to simplify involvement by moving our projects to Github which handles feedback, bug reports and pull requests quite nicely -- but there's always more to do. The documentation on how to contribute and get involved as mentioned above is one of them.

Conferences, talks and workshops

I would also like to get out there to visit conferences, talk to people in real life and get inspired by other projects and hopefully engage a few people to be a part of the community or neighboring projects or communities.  Personally I've attended a few local conferences of these over the years, and to name a few: foss-sthlm, FScons, a few of OWASP's meetups in Sweden and foss-gbg.

And of course I'm a frequent visitor on OP5's own Dev-Beers here in Gothenburg.

Publish more projects

As of now, we have a few projects public on our Github Page, but we have more things internally that need some polish before they are published externally, mainly the documentation as mentioned before.

Aside from the core projects Merlin and Ninja, a small project was published recently which is a tool to bulk-import hosts into OP5 Monitor utilizing the REST-api. You can find the project in our Github repo op5Monitor-Excel-Import.

More to come.

Effort and contact

My work as OSCM is a part time engagement and is limited to four hours per week as for now, and there will always be a lot more to do than the available time offers me to do, but I'll try to make the best of it!

If you have any questions, comments, feedback - positive or otherwise, please come back to me via email fmikker@op5.com or the mailing list op5-users@lists.op5.com.

 

That's all for now. Live long and prosper.

/F

 



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