I have just completed my first week as a Senior Consultant at Red Hat, and I’d like to what I’ve learnt about working for a company with an ‘open-source business model’.
This post intends to share something I found interesting and not to market a company or employer.
My first week at Red Hat aligned with an internal event called ‘InterLock’, or for 2020 ‘InterLock Down’; this event allowed me to learn about the Red Hat ANZ business and people involved. Unsurprisingly the presenters and attendees demonstrated a passion for all things open-source. What was surprising to me is learning that a passion for open-source extended beyond software development and technical information sharing and into every part of the company.
Backtracking a little, when joining Red Hat I saw the phrase ‘open-source business model’ quite a bit. At the time, I thought that this was only to do with software or was corporate marketing like the line ‘We are a family’.
I’ve contributed to open-source projects previously, and I’d even consider this an open-source blog content as it’s entirely free to consume (though I do need to add a feedback loop). Through my interaction with the open-source community, I thought I had a good understanding of what the term applied to and means, but, I was wrong.
The event demonstrated a desire from many different people within Red Hat to contribute where they can, because they think it’ll be helpful.
The open-source business model means that everyone is encouraged to participate where they feel they can add value, not just technical contributions. For example, when a client engagement ends, final documentation is to be uploaded within a week, and anyone can provide feedback.
The business runs on open communication; people are encouraged to talk and communicate amongst their peers, to learn, educate or say ‘Hi’. There is a LOT of communication going on within the company, and I’ll admit that it’ll take some getting used to.
In previous employment sharing of ideas was encouraged but, I feel that applying the open-source principals, particularly feedback loops and anyone can contribute, adds a bit extra and makes it less intimidating to reach out.
So, messaged a few presenters and to the OpenShift channel to say ‘Hi’. Each interaction was nothing short of positive, warm welcomes and offered to help when needed or just a general social chat.
Encouragement to Share from Day 1
Typical onboarding tasks and orientation courses made my first week. One of my goals was to get back into writing, posting things I have learnt along the way. My manager has been fully supportive for me to get back into this, including giving the site an overhaul.
While this is a small example I’ve found it incredibly encouraging as a significant part of my desire to learn is a desire to share what I’ve learnt. So to be encouraged to share on my personal blog translates into an encouragement to grow in a manner which works for me.
Bearing witness to the application of open-source principals to business processes at all levels has been eye-opening and amazing to see.
I’ll be the first to admit that I may be writing this post through rose coloured glasses, and my opinion or enthusiasm may change over time. So, in the interest of being open, I’ve set a reminder for six months to revisit this post and create a part 2.