Came around for software, Stayed back for friends
- Preferred name: Akashdeep Dhar
- Do you consent to this story being published on the Fedora Community Blog?: Yes, I do.
About your Contributor Story
- Who is your story about?: Ankur Sinha, Vipul Siddharth, Marie Nordin, Justin W. Flory, Michael Scherer, Sumantro Mukherjee, Onuralp Sezer, Michal Konecny
What is/are their FAS username(s)?:
My Contributor Story
I still remember how helpful Ankur Sinha was with onboarding me to the community back then I made my first piece of contribution on Ask Fedora, back when it was not combined with Fedora Discussion. I had an experience with contributing to Free and Open-Source Software communities, but I was yet to meet folks as friendly and responsible as him there. He walked me through my first pull request on Quick Docs (and perhaps to Fedora Project overall) back in early 2020 and to this date, I never hesitate to reach out to him on anything related to the efforts of mentorship and onboarding folks to the community, that I found myself becoming part of as time went on.
In a world where you can be anything, be kind. I do not know if that is Vipul Siddharth's motto or not but he sure as hell lives by these words. From interacting with him back in late 2019 about some projects I have been working on during the COVID-19 led curfews to meeting up with him in person for the first time when I stayed at his crib in Goa, he is one of the most caring friends that I have. While today, he is not as around the community as he has been before - we have still kept in touch on things like Fedora Mentor Summit and I cannot imagine what trajectory my life would have taken, had I not had a friendly mentor like him in Fedora Project, in Red Hat and in life.
If there is a secret black magic of bringing people together to work towards a common goal, Marie Nordin knows it. Okay, scratch that - she is the original inventor of that art. People know about how useful she has been in organizing events like Nest With Fedora, Fedora Linux Release Parties, Creative Freedom Summit and many more but what less people know about is how instrumental she has been in helping Fedora Websites and Apps Community Initiative to reach its goal. For what it's worth, the team could not have reached the maturity that it has if she did not spend her time organizing meetings with me, Ramya Parimi and Matthew Miller every fortnightly to evaluate the progress.
One of the people that changed the course of my life for the better quite literally is Justin Flory back in 2020, when he believed on me, Ramya Parimi and Nasir Hussain far more than we could trust ourselves for building and leading a team to maintain the websites and applications in the Fedora Project universe. Being one of the most empathetic people I have met in the community, interacting with Justin made me feel like home and that did not change one bit from the time when we were fellow contributors to Fedora Project to the time when we are colleagues in the same organization. His unparalleled experience in community management now helps the entire Fedora Project community.
Behind that fine sense of humor that Michael Scherer has, he conceals his anime-like expertise in infrastructure and a friendly helpful soul. I still remember when I crept up in his Telegram DMs in early 2020s with one of my projects that I proposed (but to no avail) as a CPE initiative - and he actually went through the codebase and provided me pointers on how I can improve upon it. Ever since then - he has always been a great friend, helping me out with Fedora Websites and Apps Community Initiative and a bunch of other stuff. Oh and the joy of meeting him in person for the first time during FOSDEM 2023 (and failing to recognize him for almost an hour until his name was called)!
While we have been collaborating on a bunch of things since late 2020, it is in early 2022 that I began to see the compassionate person behind the methodical nature that Sumantro Mukherjee has on the surface. Just like Dutch van der Linde, he almost always has a plan for the community but unlike him, his plans always seem to work. I still remember how he helped me with organizing my first in-person Fedora event, Fedora Hatch 2022 preparing for my first in-person conference visit and how we delivered a talk together during FOSDEM 2023 to a huge audience. We have been travelling together quite a lot to the conferences and here is to having more of that in the future.
If you were to pack your bags and leave on a journey to find a free and open source software contributor who is as motivated and experienced like Onuralp Sezer, it will be quite a while before you end up finding one. The dude always seems to be building something new but that does not mean that the 750+ packages that he (co-)maintains, the Fedora Websites and Apps Team that he is a Mindshare representative of and a bunch of other Artificial Intelligence stuff that he is working on are ignored. I still remember when I met him for the first time in one of the Fedora Project Social Hours and I immediately took a liking for his cheerful and forefront nature.
Unlike other folks in this list whom I have met with the interactions that I have been having with them in the Fedora Project community, the first time I met Michal Konecny was when I was getting interviewed for the Red Hat Community Platform Engineering team. In hindsight, it is funny to think how our systematic approaches to software engineering, being motivated about the team's involvement with the community and organizing everything in proper documentation, made us grow from being fellow colleagues to being good friends. Michal has been both being an experienced mentor and a driving force in the bunch of projects that we investigated and built.
Still not sure about what you want to say? See example stories from 2018 shared here: https://pagure.io/fedora-commops/contributor-stories/issues?status=all -->