18 Aug

Membership Board Member Interviews: Alan Pope

The Ubuntu Membership Board is responsible for approving new Ubuntu members. I interviewed our board members in order for the Community to get to know them better and get over the fear of applying to Membership.

The sixth interviewee is Alan Pope:

What do you do for a career?

For the last 3.5 years I’ve worked at Canonical on Ubuntu. Previously I was an SAP Consultant for ~10 years and before that I’ve been a server and desktop admin.

What was your first computing experience?

I got a Sinclair ZX81 for Christmas 1981, 34 years ago. Computers were pretty dumb back then, booting directly to BASIC. My Dad had typed in a program listing from a magazine so I’d have something to play with on Christmas morning. I was hooked from then on.

How long have you been involved with Ubuntu?

According to Launchpad my account was created in March 2006, so I guess around then. I started by answering support questions on Launchpad Answers, and moved on to other community related activities

Since you are all fairly new to the Board, why did you join?

I’ve actually been on the board before, but stepped down in late 2011. I re-joined because I knew it was only a small amount of time/effort on my part and is beneficial to the project. I want to see more
contributors apply for Ubuntu Membership, and I hope we can help foster that over the coming months.

What are some of the projects you’ve worked on in Ubuntu over the years?

I’ve worked on supporting new users on launchpad, irc and AskUbuntu. I have moderated mailing lists, been a LoCo Team lead, and on the LoCo Council and Community Council. I also started an Ubuntu Podcast with some friends which is still going after 7 years with thousands of listeners.

What is your focus in Ubuntu today?

Currently I spend most of my time working on the Ubuntu Core Apps project which makes many of the Free Software apps we ship on the phone.

Do you contribute to other free/open source projects? Which ones?

Not really other than filing bugs in upstream bug trackers when I need to.

If you were to give a newcomer some advice about getting involved with Ubuntu, what would it be?

Look for something you find fun and interesting. Treat it like a hobby rather than a job. If you have fun contributing you’re more likely to stick at it. Don’t be afraid of asking for help as there’s a lot of people who have contributed for a long time and will happily answer your questions.

Do you have any other comments else you wish to share with the community?

I’ve met many friends through Ubuntu and have spent nearly 10 years contributing to the project both in my own time and now as a day job. I’ve really enjoyed being part of the community. It’s a great feeling contributing to a free software project, and I hope to continue for as long as I can.

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