[Ambassadors] How a company may help FedoraProject ?

Jeroen van Meeuwen kanarip at kanarip.com
Tue May 6 10:02:18 UTC 2008

Jonathan Basse wrote:
> Hello there,
> Beside my role of TAM for Red Hat one of my customer came with the following 
> question on my @fedoraproject.org address.
> As I am not really sure how to deal with that any advice would be much 
> appreciate !
> =================================================
> as we disscussed, I'm very intressed to hear how company's can best help the
> community.
> What lack the Fedora Community to be more successfull in producing a rock
> solid Linux Distribution, As foundation for Red Hat Enterprise Linux?
> I d'like to make a proposal how we can give the community somthing back
> thx for your feedback mike"

I think there's a couple of things a company could do to help the 
community. In no particular order:

1) Use Fedora intensively, ranging from just developers' (should they 
have any) and administrators' workstations to end-user desktops. The 
experience they gain with using Fedora this way will gain them Red Hat 
Enterprise Linux experience in the long run, as there's usually no 
surprise to be found in RHEL for anyone intensively using Fedora. The 
community gains a relatively large, corporate party that can contribute 
back in ways ranging from logging bugs they encounter on various 
hardware, and with various software, actively searching for bugs in 
packages or the distribution itself, writing documentation, bug triaging 
and patching software either upstream or in Fedora, packaging software 
from upstream or becoming upstream for the software a company might 
consider to open-source and license Free, all the way to actively 
developing new technologies the company finds interesting -or is just 
willing to invest in, for the greater good. It is up to the company how 
deeply they want to get involved, and either way it's rewarding in that 
the newest technologies Fedora brings you now, will at some point end up 
in mainstream. This is the easiest way of contributing back to the 
community; it requires little commitment in accepting that it will not 
work flawlessly at all times, and it can easily change from passive 
participant to active contributor and back.

2) Aid in fairly straightforward business on Fedora's side; I'm not 
saying these are simple tasks (it's closer to the other extreme) but for 
a company I'm thinking letting that system administrator participate in 
-for example- Fedora's Infrastructure team is fairly easy.

3) Develop software using Fedora, or develop software especially for 
Fedora. Either join an existing project and improve it in ways only 
companies have use-cases for (RH Emerging Technologies does this kind of 
thing), or develop FOSS software to be used with Fedora. This doesn't 
necessarily have to happen at the enterprise or corporate level; some of 
my customers will let me spend some of my time on contributing stuff 
that doesn't have anything to do with their business.

4) Weigh-in; actively participating in discussions, raising new ideas 
and spending some effort on pursuing what the company thinks should 
happen is certainly valuable. It brings a new pair of eyes to the table, 
hopefully looking at things a little differently. This of course ranges 
from participating in Marketing efforts, to raising new ideas on 
fedora-devel-list or evaluating new features to be added to Fedora 
during it's development cycle.

5) Of course, corporate resources in form of sponsorship are welcome too 
;-) If a company does not have developers or Linux-savvy administrators, 
or it doesn't consider the type of effort involved with FOSS to fit with 
the company profile, contributing back is as simple as saying "Hey, what 
do you need? I might have a little something for you."

My $.02 ;-)

Kind regards,

Jeroen van Meeuwen

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