Thinking About Ubuntu And 2011

So here I am, and it is the night before I go back to work for my first day back in 2011. I have had some wonderful and frankly much needed time off work. Towards the end of 2010 I was pretty bushed and was ready to spend some time with my wife and family, my guitar, and my Playstation. The time off was worth every second and I am now rested and raring to go…raring to contribute to making Ubuntu a success in 2011.

I thought I would take a few minutes to bend your ears and talk about some personal goals in 2011 that I am shooting for. These are not specific objectives such as build feature X into Ubuntu, but more personal goals that I think will help to continue to improve my effectiveness in my role and improve the community experience in Ubuntu. The reason I am sharing these goals is that I think it is good to be open and transparent about personal growth, and it makes it clear to everyone what my goals are.

So my plans are:

  • Be the best manager I can be – my team are my top priority at Canonical, and they will continue to be my top priority in 2011. While I think we have a happy and productive team, I don’t want to be complacent, and I want to help the guys be the best they can be and have the most fulfilling and productive environment for them to grow and enjoy their roles. I am incredibly proud of Jorge, Daniel, David, and Ahmed, and I know 2011 is going to be a great year for them.
  • Improve the personal Ubuntu experience – I talked about this at UDS, but I want to make the Ubuntu experience far more personal. I want it to be less about engaging with processes, and more about engaging with inspiring, encouraging, and supportive people. We have seen explosive growth in Ubuntu over the last few years, and I want to augment that growth with a strong 1-on-1 experience in our community. I want people to join because of the software, and stay because of the community.
  • Help others to work with the community more – this is something that my manager, Rick, and I talked a little about before Christmas. We are both keen to have me work with some other Canonical staff members to have a more forward facing and inclusive community role with our community. I want to work with key members of the teams and encourage those folks to respond to community feedback and concerns, and actively work to inspire and encourage contributions.
  • Manage my productivity time better – like many other people, I work a long week, but I feel like I can better tune my time. I spend huge amounts of time on the phone and processing email, and I feel like I need to protect more of my time so I can be working on projects and working with specific folks. I recently saw an excellent National Geographic documentary about Air Force One in which then-President Clinton said that he loved Air Force One because when he was up there there were fewer interruptions, phone calls, and meetings, and it gave him a chance to be really productive. I want to build more of an Air Force One environment in my work day so I can open up a little more time and be more productive in my projects.
  • Blog more – I go through fits and spurts of blogging. I typically stop blogging when I am really bogged down with a lot of work, and then when I have a bit of a breather it gives me time to share some thoughts. I respect that great communities are driven by transparent and open leaders, and I want to be more transparent and open and share these thoughts via my blog.

Of course, like anyone else, there are many other individual goals and ambitions that I am striving for, but these are part of my initial thinking. I am looking forward to getting stuck in at 7.30am tomorrow morning. :-)

  • http://nwlinux.com Mark Moore

    I resonated with your comment about managing productivity. That documentary about Air Force One was really cool by the way. I have read more and more articles that talk about giving yourself uninterrupted time to accomplish goals. How are you supposed to meet goals when you have interruptions every 5-10-20 minutes? I put a sign on my chair that tells people that I am working once every couple of days around the same time of the day. People realize that this is my uninterrupted time now. I get quite a bit accomplished during this time without offending people or turning them away because they know that they have my full attention when that sign is off.

    I saw you at O’Reilly MySQL 2010. Great and lively presentation. Thanks for that wake up!

  • http://www.jaduncan.com James Duncan

    I’d personally really love it if you could get more packages jointly maintained with Debian – it seems best to pool resources where possible. Is this something you’re going to be looking at?

  • http://www.theeternaluniverse.com/ Joseph Smidt

    I’m glad you got some much needed rest. I wish you and the rest of the Ubuntu team the best for 2011.