March 5, 2013

Behind the scene: Andrea Veri is new GNOME part-time SysAdmin.

Behind the scenes: Andrea Veri, the new GNOME part-time System Administrator.

Some days ago Andrea Veri was  chosen by the GNOME Foundation to support and maintain GNOME’s IT infrastructure.

His hiring comes at the end of a journey, during which Andrea has shown his technical abilities and passion for GNOME, and could be considered a sort of acknowledgement and thanksfor all the work he’s done so far.

The love between Andrea and Free Software started when he was a teenager and a Fedora user. In 2005, he discovered Ubuntu and got involved with its community very quickly. Andrea joined the Ubuntu Italian community, then became an Ubuntu and MOTU member. In 2010, he became a Debian Developer and started his collaboration with the Debian GNOME Team. The deep experience Andrea collected while managing both .deb and .rpm packaging systems makes him very comfortable working with different environments. It’s not easy to comprehend the role of a System Administrator, because that’s the person behind the machine. A System Administrator must ensure that the infrastructure running is constructed in a workmanlike manner, and ensure that everyone involved in the community has the tools to work at their best.

There are many key activities behind a community as large as GNOME, some of them considered mission-critical, such as the upkeep of the web server or of http://git.gnome.org, where developers store and collaborate on GNOME’s code.

“The work of system administrators is often undervalued”, says Andrea, “but I firmly believe that having a good infrastructure allows us to optimize several processes within a community or a company”.

This could be one of the reasons that led to the creation of events such as the
 Sysadmin Appreciation Day, when you can express your gratitude for the hard work of System Administrators everywhere.

Andrea’s perspective and plans for the infrastructure team have changed radically since he was hired by the GNOME Foundation. Previously, as a contributor, he wouldn’t plan effective changes, but he can now focus on dozens of things to do and plan more radical changes to the GNOME infrastructure, such as installing services like Gitorious, ownCloud, etc.

«This hiring is a dream that came true. Working for the DE that has marked the history of Linux and the Free Software movement is both an honour and a pleasure beyond compare. There’s much to do regarding to GNOME’s infrastructure – you can check the todo list – but I’ll do of my best».

The effort which Andrea spent over the last several years has qualified him to be accepted as a GNOME Foundation member,  and,  some time thereafter, to serve as the Chairman of the GNOME Foundation  Membership Committee. For now, best of luck to Andrea with his new responsibilities, and thanks to GNOME System Administrators everywhere!