Goodbye OpenAdvantage, hello Canonical

Well, after an awesome time working with my good friends at OpenAdvantage, I am moving on and recently handed in my notice to move to a new role at Canonical. On September 4th I start as the Ubuntu Community Manager, and I am raring to go.

I have had a wonderful time at OpenAdvantage, and the team there are fantastic to work with, incredibly supportive and great fun. I will miss each and every one of them, and particularly enjoyed the impromptu discussions, debates and demos in and around all manner of subjects. At OpenAdvantage we have made huge strides in developing the West Midlands as a hotbed of activity for Open Source, and it has been great to be part of the ride. As the project nears its completion, I really hope OpenAdvantage can continue to do such sterling work across the West Midlands and hopefully across the UK. My departure from OpenAdvantage is entirely amicable and I look forward to staying in touch with all my friends there.

So, onto the Ubuntu role. Some of you may have seen Mark’s blog post about the position. It is an interesting and challenging role, and one I am ready for. For the last eight years I have worked in a number of different communities, developing community relations and working to understand, rationalise and manage the different aspects of community effectively. Most recently I have been doing this with the Jokosher project, and we have an awesome community with a strong culture and direction.

As Ubuntu Community Manager, my energy will be focused in a number of different areas, each a foundation for a strong Ubuntu community. This includes:

  • Ensuring the wheels of the community are well oiled, and the different teams (Documentation, Art, LoCo, Marketing, Press, Accessibility etc.) can effectively work together, resolve conflict, source resources and more.
  • Refine and explore methods to make the Ubuntu community as approachable as possible. I want to ensure potential contributors can get started quickly and know when, where and how to get involved easily.
  • Develop processes and practises to ensure we get the most out of contributor time. Many contributors only have limited time they can dedicate to a project – we want to make sure they get the most out of that time and there are as few obstacles and red tape in the way. Happy contributors get things done and achieve doable goals – lets make this rock even more.
  • To foster innovation at every level. We have so much potential to think outside the box, develop better ways of working together and new ways of delivering in each of the different teams.
  • Making the Ubuntu community as inclusive as possible. The ever-growing Ubuntu community spreads across many countries, cultures and communication mediums – lets make sure that we always retain community feel and spirit.
  • Measure and explore patterns in the community so we can understand it better and ensure all aspects of the community get the attention they need.

This is just a small subset of the work I will be doing as part of the Ubuntu project, and the job will bend, twist and move in the same direction that the community moves. Importantly, I am here to be a point of contact for the Ubuntu community. If you want to discuss something, have a concern, are unsure about something, do get in touch.

So, where now? Well, in the meantime I need to get the usual new-job related things set up, wrap up a book and finish up some OpenAdvantage projects. This should take me up till the end of the month and then I get started.

While I am doing this I want to know what you think about how the Ubuntu community could be improved, where is excels, what you would like to see happen and where you see the Ubuntu community in two years. I will be asking the same question to the different Ubuntu teams when my company email is set up, but I am interested in readers of’s comments too. So, share with me your thoughts…

  • Rob…

    Congratulations! I’m sure you will do an excellent job.

    Do you have to move?



  • jono

    Rob – thanks! No I will be working from home. :)

  • Me :)

    Well done baby; I am very proud of you, even though I am jealous that you can stay in bed til 8.58 and still be early for work while I’m sat on the M6 😉 xxxxx

  • A Conservative Techie » Blog Archive » New Ubuntu Community Manager

    […] Congrats Jono on the new position.  SABDFL announced this today and it is great to see Jono taking this position.  I had an opportunity to work with him throughout the time we wrote The Official Ubuntu Book and it was a great experience.  I know he will do a great job in this position.  Congrats again. […]

  • Paul Mellors

    Congratulations :) Nuff Said.

  • Oscar Carlstedt

    Congrats Jono! In the last month that I have spent working with you on the art for jokosher I have realized that your new job is what you are all about, the community. There’s probably no position in the world that fits you better and so will the people you’ll be working with also say.

  • Andrew Montgomery

    Congrats on the new job ( and the sweet telecommuting deal, bastard 😛 )

  • Aigars Mahinovs

    Congrats! Please also consider how the Ubuntu comminity should fit into and cooperate with a larger Debian community. It is a mayor point of contension around here and a very important problem to solve.

  • Bill

    Good news! Well done.

    If Mark needs anyone to hold his space hat put in a good word for me!

  • Imran Chaudhry

    All the best Jono, I am pretty sure they have the best person for this job.

  • Jon


  • Nik Butler

    Congratulations. Couldnt think of a better person if you ask me ? But will this be beard vs grin in the fight to the end ?

  • Trae McCombs

    Kudos on the position! Anyone who is one letter away from being Bono has my thumbs up. :) [I’m a big U2 fan]

    Good to see things are moving on the UCM spot. I look forward to seeing where we will go from here.

  • davee

    Yeah, nice one Jono: no idea you were up for this post. All the best, Mr Nobacon.


    Jono Bacon becomes Ubuntu Community Manager….

    As revealed on his blog earlier today Jono Bacon has become the new Ubuntu Community Manager for Canonical. This is fantastic news. Jono is well known for his love of Linux and open source software. He was instrumental in getting the Jokosher project o…

  • port7

    Congratulations, yer bastard!!! I applied for that job too!

    You are deffo the man for the job though, keep an eye out for some good openings for me too though…

  • Ronald S. Bultje

    Rock on, Jono, you deserve this. You had an excellent predecessor, but I’m sure you can do an absolutely amazing job here as well. Congratulations!

  • Philip Johnson

    Congratulations! :smile: You’re the man! You deserved this and you’ll be excellent at the role :).

  • ubuntu_demon’s blog » Ubuntu Community Manager appointed

    […] read more […]

  • Open Source Advocacy with Reverend Ted » Congratulations to Brother Jono

    […] Brother Bacon has recently accepted a position as community manager for Ubuntu. His description details a lot of focus on the developer side of community, which is very different from my role at Novell. Jono is an outstanding person for the job, and I think the Ubuntu community very fortunate to have him, so I also congratulate Canonical on a fine choice. […]

  • Lucas Rocha

    Congratulations Jono! I’m sure you’ll do a great job!

  • pen

    I knew all that endless Ubuntu-pimping wouldn’t end in vain :)


  • Anonymous

    So what happened to your Freespire Leadership Board membership? I guess Canonical’s money was more interesting?

  • Og Maciel

    Hey Jono,

    We haven’t really talked but I have followed your blog posts and accomplishments for the last 2 months or so. I want to congratulate on your new journey and I’m sure we’ll eventually get to talk about the Brazilian community and how we can all work together toward the same goals.



  • Tom Haddon

    I’d echo the comments about the relationship with Debian specifically. As an Ubuntu user (desktop) and a Debian user (server), I’m very interested in the relationship between the two. I think as Ubuntu’s success continues, it’s Debian foundations will be ever more important (and under ever more scrutiny), as will the relationship between the Ubuntu and Debian communities.

    Good luck with the position!

    Cheers, Tom

  • neuro

    Hey jono, congrats dude :) One thing I will say about working from home – I did this for two and a half years with SmoothWall, and one of the two reasons I left was the cabin fever of telecommuting. Make sure you get out often: go for a walk at lunchtime, go out to the movies or something with Sooz at night. The danger of being in at 11pm, noticing something needs done, starting it then realising it’s 3am is huge. :)

    Oh and the other reason I left was getting an offer of more money elsewhere – mercenary bastard that I am 👿

  • WTFShelley

    Nice one mate. I hope the new job goes swimmingly for you. Try not to spend 4 days at a time locked up at home with the pc. How long before you get your shiney golden hat?

  • jono

    Wow, thanks for all the kind comments folks. I am looking forward to getting started at Canonical and helping to make the Ubuntu community rock hard. :)

    Some of you mentioned some of the issues between Ubuntu and Debian, and this will certain form part of my work. I have added it to my agenda for when I begin. :)

  • Mike Dolan

    Congrats Jono, we’ve never met, but I was always interested in seeing who Mark would pick for this role and had to stop by. This is definitely a challenging and rewarding role and one I think will show the value of open communities. All the best.

  • Joseph Smidt

    Just make sure Ubuntu stays mostly a community project. Some fear Ubuntu will be controlled by its payed workers while the volunteer community mostly provides free laobor to keep up Universe, translate, and answer forum posts. If the main parts of Ubuntu are not substantially influenced by the community, in governence etc…, Ubuntu will become another commercial OS like microsoft or Mac. Only if the community has a very signifigant influence in all sectors will the project stay a true community distro.

  • jono

    Joseph – I can assure you that the community, and its involvement in Ubuntu is essential. To be honest, I had exactly the same concern a while back, and if you dig through old episodes of LUGRadio you will find it. One thing you should find comforting is that my role is there to ensure that the community plays a key role in Ubuntu, to ensure Ubuntu remains the most community focussed distro out there. :)

  • John Meadows

    Congrats and best wishes in the new role! In many ways it sounds like a dream job!

  • Scott Thompson

    Congatulations Jono. You have been a great asset at OpenAdvantage and will be sorely missed, but I cant think of a better man for the job. Have fun and kick ass:lol:

  • Jim

    Congratulations! Your going to do Canonical proud!

  • Jayne

    Well done Jono! – I’m sure you will do a fantastic job, you’ve achieved a lot in your young life and I’m really proud of you 😀

  • jonobacon@home » Thanks!

    […] Wow, thanks so much to everyone who posted such nice comments, sent such nice emails and made such nice phone calls. I am quite touched by the amount of support you lovely people have given me. Thanks. […]

  • Espen

    I’d be interested in seeing developers more active in the forums really. Or at least acknowledge reading it, for many people I believe the forums is a nice place to adress common grievances and it has a pretty laidback atmosphere, and most users are unlikely to ever post to the mailing lists. I know the developers have a lot to do, but as a link to the user community it would be quite useful.

  • JojoMan

    I love ubuntu (and gnome) but the one real thing i think is lacking is GUI configuration for EVERYTHING. (fstab editor, grub editor, some samba settings, etc, etc, etc). this is important to technical users and non-technical users because i myself help people resolve issues over the phone (on windows) and i don’t know what people would say if i ever asked them to drop into a command line, probably freak. i love the command line :). sadly not true for everyone. if you have any questions regarding specifics, i have tons of ideas.

  • pedro

    i’m so glad to see you now in canonical, for sure you’re gonna do a really nice job :-)

    hope to see you soon in latin america particulary in Chile 😉

    best wishes.

  • matt


    you even made the front page of Digg! No mention of the sterling work you and the team have been doing ono lugradion though:smile:

  • QµiÐâM » Ubuntu ya tiene un Community Manager

    […] El elegido para este cargo es Jono Bacon, un Consultor ingles con gran trayectoria dentro del mundo del software libre, se puede leer en su blog que ya se despide de su antiguo trabajo y pronto comenzara en Canonical, ya veremos que nos cuenta al llegar a su nuevo trabajo…. […]

  • lejt

    Bit late, but wanted to say Congratulations :)

  • jsgotangco

    Congrats on the new job jono. Rock Hard, Ride Free!

  • Quidam

    😎 Congratulations, and sorry for the spanish trackback, my blog is in spanish, this post is just a information about the new Community Manager YOU¡ jejejeje

    Regards Quidam

  • Ariki Gell

    Hopefully Ive found someone at Canonical who answers emails, I want to do Ubuntu training and distribution for a big Linux rollout in New Zeland, I want someone form Canonical in our part of the world to contact me, can you help?

  • jonobacon@home » 2006 Retrospective

    […] Work – As I just said, back at the start of 2006 I was working at OpenAdvantage. I knew back then that the project was going to finish in March 2007, and I knew that I would likely need to consider a new job by the end of the year. One of the problems with my line of work is that there are very few people paid to be Open Source advocates. As such, the scope of companies was and is fairly restrictive. That was not the real sucker-punch though, oh no. The real kick in the goolies was that being a good advocate means you have to advocate things that you truly believe in. As such, this mean’t I could only reasonably work for companies that make the software and subscribe the ethics and direction that I believe in. From a distribution stand-point this locked out Novell, Yellow Dog, Mandriva, Red Hat and more – they all do great work, but I was and am an Ubuntu guy. As such, Canonical were always my #1 choice for my next step. Back in May when I started talking to Mark about the job, I never anticipated looking for work until later in the year, but this blog entry started the discussion. After a lengthy interview process (apparently the job was very heavily applied for) I got the good news and Mark announced it and so did I. OpenAdvantage was a truly awesome place to work at and I miss them all hugely. Working there was a fulfilling, inspiring experience and I hope to work with my friends there again. Now I am at Canonical and working longer days, getting more email and looking after an incredible worldwide community of Ubuntu contributors. Moving to Canonical was daunting, but has been a great experience and I am loving every moment of it. […]

  • Sohbet

    I am quite touched by the amount of support you lovely people have given me.

  • jonobacon@home » One year at Canonical

    […] I just realised that Sep 4th marked my one year anniversary at Canonical and working as Community Manager. I just wanted to say a big thanks to everyone at Canonical, it really is a great company to work for, and thanks to the entire Ubuntu community for being so welcoming to me. I absolutely love the Ubuntu community, and feel so privileged that I get to work with you all on a daily basis. Thanks so much. Posted by jono | […]

  • The Linux Index » Jono Bacon: One year at Canonical

    […] I just realised that Sep 4th marked my one year anniversary at Canonical and working as Community Manager. I just wanted to say a big thanks to everyone at Canonical, it really is a great company to work for, and thanks to the entire Ubuntu community for being so welcoming to me. I absolutely love the Ubuntu community, and feel so privileged that I get to work with you all on a daily basis. Thanks so much. Share and Enjoy: These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages. […]

  • jonobacon@home » Two Years Going Strong

    […] years ago today I came to work at Canonical as the Ubuntu Community Manager. When I started at Canonical, it was just me working with Mark to […]

  • Discussion 3/3: Openmoko Community Manager position? | Risto H. Kurppa

    […] source: […]

  • Tomer

    Congratulations and all the best Jono.

  • Trabajos Medio Tiempo

    Congrats and wish you all the best!