Stepping down as community manager


It is with a definite mix of emotions that I have to announce that I am stepping down as the community manager of Foreman. This post goes into some of the details, and some of our shared history…

After nearly 8 years in the Foreman community, I’ve decided that it’s time for me to move on to new things. The quote below, while not entirely appropriate, does a pretty good job of summing up my thoughts right now:

It’s all right, children. Life is made up of meetings and partings. That is the way of it. I am sure that we shall never forget Tiny Tim, or this first parting that there was among us.

  • Kermit the Frog (as Bob Cratchit)

Whilst, of course, Kermit was discussing something far more serious, he’s right about the meetings and partings. I first “met” Foreman nearly 8 years ago, at Puppet Camp Amsterdam in 2011. I didn’t actually meet Ohad that day, but he was there, as were many other people I would come to know over the following years. What I did discover was a tool that would come to define my work for nearly a decade to come.

Following that early introduction (version 0.3, I think), I deployed 0.4 in production (old screenshots), I rapidly became a regular contributor, the Debian packager, then a full-time developer (check the Red Hat email address), and latterly the community manager. Such a path would have been unthinkable to the person sat in that Puppet Camp, all those years ago. All that has happened in the years since has been made possible by this amazing community which I have had the priviledge of helping to shape. The Foreman community is, without a doubt, the finest group of people I’ve had the pleasure of working with - knowledgable, friendly, helpful, and welcoming. I very much hope that never changes.

We’re still in the process of figuring out who should replace me - while I would love to hold some kind of open community nomination process, the realities of life require that this role be a Red Hat employee (because of wrangling budgets, etc). My hope is that I’ve earned your trust over the last 3.5 years as CM, and that trust extends to me selecting a successor. I won’t leave you in bad hands, I promise.

As for myself, I’m not going far. I’ll still be at Red Hat, and I’ll be looking in from time to time. Those who’ve followed my posts and demo videos over the last year will not be surprised to learn that I’m moving to full time data work, trying to improve how we use data to make better decisions in our communities. I’ll be around for the next month or so, while we get all the handover dealt with, after which you’ll mostly need to @ me to get my attention :)

I’m proud of what we’ve accomplished together over the years. The community has increased by orders of magnitude, the plugin ecosystem has born fruit many times over, and the community has built a self-sustaining structure of helping each other to solve problems. It was my dream to try to build such a community, one that could outlast the people who began it - today, we get to put that to the test. I think you’ll all be just fine.

So yes, meetings and partings. We met in 2011, in 2019 we part, and that is the way of it. What’s important is the memories we keep of each other, and how we honour those memories. So keep on being amazing - you deserve it.

Greg Sutcliffe, (ex) Community Manager, Foreman


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