UPDATE: Right now, I’m based in the San Francisco Bay area, so I’ve re-posted this article and updated it to be current.
I haven’t scared you off yet? Great! Let’s try being a bit more specific.
I’ve worked a lot in Free and Open Source Software communities over the last five years, both in Australia and overseas. While much of my focus has been on the Python community, I’ve also worked more broadly in the Open Source world. I’ve been doing this community work entirely as a volunteer, most of the time working in full-time software engineering jobs which haven’t related to my work in the Open Source world.
I’ve spent the last few years swapping context between building and working with communities I love, and working in a field where these strong ties weren’t useful. This hasn’t been sustainable, so late last year I resigned my job to refresh myself, and considered what my future might look like.
It’s pretty clear that I want to move into a job where I can use the skills I’ve been volunteering for the last few years, and put them to good use both for my company, and for the communities I serve.
What I’m interested in doing fits best into a developer advocacy or community management sort of role. Working full-time on helping people in tech be better at what they do would be just wonderful. That said, my background is in code, and working in software engineering with a like-minded company would also be pretty exciting.
- Something with a strong developer relations element. I enjoy working with other developers, and I love having the opportunity to get them excited about things that I’m excited about. As a conference organiser, I’m very aware of the line between terrible marketing shilling, and genuine advocacy by and for developers: I want to help whoever I work for end up on the right side of that line.
- Remote-Friendly. I’ve got conference travel lined up already for the first half of 2016, mostly to the US, but I need to primarily be in Australia so I can run linux.conf.au 2017. I’m happy to work from wherever I happen to be, but having the support of my employer to do so is really important.
- Relevant to Open Source. The Open Source world is where my experience is, it’s where I know people, and it’s the world where I can be most credible. This doesn’t mean I need to be working on open source itself, but I’d love to be able to show up at OSCON or linux.conf.au and be excited to have my company’s name on my badge.
Why would I be good at this? I’ve been working on building and interacting with communities of developers, especially in the Free and Open Source Software world, for the last five years.
You can find a complete list of what I’ve done in my résumé, but here’s a selection of what I think’s notable:
- Co-organised two editions of PyCon Australia and made a successful bid for linux.conf.au 2017. I’ve led PyCon AU, from inception, to bidding, to the successful execution for two years in a row. As the public face of PyCon AU, I made sure that the conference had the right people interested in speaking, and that we had many from Australian Python community interested in attending. PyCon AU attracted presenters from six countries, and attracted more than 300 people to my geographically isolated city in the middle of winter. I’m taking what I’ve learned, and am doing this again for linux.conf.au 2017.
- Given talks at countless open source and developer events, both in Australia, and overseas. I’ve presented at OSCON, PyCons in four countries (soon to be five), and myriad other conferences. I’ve presented on a whole lot of technical topics, and I’ve recently started talking more about the community-level projects I’ve been involved with.
- Designed, ran, and grew PyCon Australia’s outreach and inclusion programmes. Each year, PyCon Australia has offered upwards of $10,000 (around 10% of conference budget) in grants to people who otherwise wouldn’t be able to attend the conference: this is not just speakers, but people whose presence would improve the conference just by being there. I’ve led a team to assess applications for these grants, and lead our outreach efforts to make sure we find the right people to receive these grants.
- Served as a council member for Linux Australia. Linux Australia is the peak body for Open Source communities in Australia, as well as underwriting the region’s more popular Open Source and Developer conferences. In particular, I led a project to design governance policies to help make sure the conferences we underwrite are properly budgeted and planned.
So, if you know of anything going at the moment, I’d love to hear about it. I’m reachable by e-mail (email@example.com) but you can also find me on Twitter (@chrisjrn), or if you really need to, LinkedIn.