An Interview With Jono

I’m about 100% sure that the next person to be interviewed needs no introduction – everybody will have heard of Jono at some point, whether it be from his role within the community, his activity on & twitter, or maybe even from Lernid…Either way, I hope you enjoy this as much as I have!

1. Tell as much as you’re willing about your “real life” like name, age, gender, location, family, religion, profession, education, hobbies, etc.

I am Jono Bacon, the Ubuntu Community Manager working at Canonical for three years now, I am 30 years young and an Englishman living in the Bay Area, California with my wife, Erica. My parents live in Northern England and I have a brother living in Northern England and another brother living in the Isle Of Man. I was born in the north of England in North Yorkshire, raised in the south in Bedfordshire and and studied at Wolverhampton University in in the Midlands, graduating with a 2:1 in Interactive Multimedia Communication, going on to become a a journalist writing for a number of Open Source magazines and websites and writing a few books. I then became an Open Source consultant for the UK government-funded OpenAdvantage before moving to Canonical to become the Ubuntu Community Manager. My hobbies include writing, recording and producing music, videogames, movies, writing, travel and relaxing with friends.

2. When and how did you become interested in computers? in Linux? in Ubuntu?

I got interested in computers when I was a kid playing with a Commodore 64. I used to play games on it and try to write simple little programs in BASIC. Computers fascinated me, and my interest in video games (I was an epic Sega dork) got me into first learning BASIC and then learning C.

When I was 14, complete with bowl haircut, jack ups and large white socks, I went to night school to learn C and got more and more interested in the technology behind how software works, despite largely sucking at C. Shortly before I left for University my brother Simon came to stay for a few weeks and got me interested in Linux, specifically Slackware 96. Although it was ultra-technical, what really fascinated me was the concept of a global community of passionate contributors working together to build an Operating System that we could all share. I went to University and immediately formed a Linux User Group in my new home and progressively got more and more interested in Linux, starting to contribute to projects and then starting to write for magazines. I heard about Ubuntu when it was known as No Name Yet and it really captivated me: it really represented something I had been dreaming about – the fantastic technical foundation of Debian, but a different focus on integration, usability and ease of use.

3. When did you become involved in the forums (or the Ubuntu community)? What’s your role there?

My primary involvement in Ubuntu at the beginning was getting to the know the community, contributing bug reports and feedback and co-writing The Official Ubuntu Book. At the time I was spending most of my spare time knee-deep in the GNOME project and working with local Linux communities in the West Midlands, and my interest in Ubuntu grew from there.

4. Are you an Ubuntu member? If so, how do you contribute? If not, do you plan on becoming one?

I am an Ubuntu Member, and proud to be one! I contribute in a range of areas. I lead a team at Canonical that is tasked with helping to produce a rocking community to participate in and we work on a wide range of projects as part of that role. My contributions include team management, governance, software development, some translations, bug triage, raising awareness of Ubuntu and creating new initiatives to get people involved.

Outside of Ubuntu I like to develop community best practice with The Art Of Community and the annual Community Leadership Summit, do some podcasting with Shot Of Jaq and FLOSSWeekly, videocasts with At Home With Jono Bacon and Severed Fifth: Live In The Studio, record Creative Commons metal with Severed Fifth and work on some software projects such as Lernid, Acire, Python Snippets and some other projects.

5. What distros do you regularly use? What software? What’s your favorite application? Your least favorite?

I naturally use Ubuntu as my Operating System, both on my desktop as well as on the server that hosts my site and a range of other sites I run. I have so many fave applications – I love Empathy,, The GIMP, TomBoy, Scribus, Thunderbird, Docky, Network Manager, Gwibber, Quickly, Glade, and many more. As for least fave, I am not really sure I have a least fave – there are so many programs I haven’t got to yet.

6. What’s your fondest memory from the forums, or from Ubuntu overall? What’s your worst?

Fondest memory is a kid who emailed me telling me how he walked five hours from his village in Africa to an Internet cafe to to work on Ubuntu for an hour and then walked back. He emailed me telling me it was worth the effort and that he loved Ubuntu.

7. What luck have you had introducing new computer users to Ubuntu?

Fairly well, I think. Basically anyone who is not an Ubuntu user gets the advocacy pitch from me about how Ubuntu would rock their world. Many have tried it, which is what I consider a win, and a bunch have switched. Some don’t, which is fine, but my first goal is to have people take a sip of Ubuntu before they drink the rest of the bottle. ':)'

8. What would you like to see happen with Linux in the future? with Ubuntu?

I want to see free software, delivered via Ubuntu, become the most ubiquitous platform in the world for users and developers, available to all, respecting local languages and culture, and inspiring innovation and sharing.

9. If there was one thing you could tell all new Ubuntu users, what would it be?

Welcome to the Ubuntu community and welcome to the start of awesome journey in which we can all put a brick in the wall to create an incredible free software platform. I look forward to meeting you all!

[Discuss Jono’s Interview on the Forum]

Originally posted by Joe Barker here on Tuesday, February 9th, 2010

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