My job: I am a software chef

November 3, 2011 in fedora, packaging, personal, rant

How often are you asked what is your job? Most non-IT people will not be able to understand packaging, dependencies, rpms and whatnot. Hell, I even had trouble explaining what I do to my ex-schoolmates from university working in a traditional corporate environments. And they are software developers.
Was that just my problem? I don’t think so. I had an epiphany while on a vacation few months back. I am almost sure the idea was not mine and it was just my subconsciousness that stole it from someone else. So what is my revelation? As you might have guessed from the title:

I am a software chef. I create recipes and prepare them.

I work in a restaurant, that we call Linux distribution. There are many restaurants, each having their own recipes, rules and so on. Some restaurants form “chains” where they share most of their recipes. In these cases there is usually one restaurant that creates most recipes (Debian is such a restaurant in its Linux ecosystem).
Each restaurant usually has hundreds of chefs, some of them specialize in few recipes (build scripts), some are more flexible. In my case I specialize in a type of recipes dealing with coffee (i.e. Java).
Every recipe starts with customer (user) ordering some meal they have heard about. I look up ingredients (upstream projects) the food is made of and start recreating recipe for our restaurant. Quite often the food is made of more recipes (dependencies) and I have to create those first. Sometimes these recipes are already being prepared by other chefs, so I just use their work for my final meal. However our ingredients can be slightly bit different from the original. For example we have cow milk, but no goat milk that was in original recipe. So I have to find a way to fix the recipe using spices (patches).
Creating recipes is only part of my job though. I also work with our suppliers of ingredients (upstream developers). Sometimes the ingredients are bad, or I have found a way to improve the ingredient so I contact the suppliers and we work together.
Third part of my job is improving cooking process (simplifying packaging). So sometimes I move some furniture around so that other chefs don’t have so much between the fridge and other places. Or I create a new mixer (tools) that speeds up mixing of ingredients.
Final part of my job is to work in a VIP part of the restaurant (RHEL). Only some customers can go there, most meals are usually very similar to normal restaurant, but each meal is tasted (tested) before we give it to customers and if they don’t like it they can complain and we bring them improved recipe.
I find this metaphor kind of works for most things to a surprising degree. For the record:
  • Package maintainers – chefs
  • QE/QA – tasters
  • Security – bouncers
  • Release engineering – waiters (sorry guys)

Do you have an idea where this came from? Or can you think of a better metaphor for packaging? I’ll probably keep updating and expanding this post as I go so I can point people to this when then want to know what I do..

Understood and agreed with

October 16, 2011 in en, lyrics, personal, reply, song

Dear OSS/Fedora/whatever reader. Stop right here.

Oh nothing’s going to change my love for you
I wanna spend my life with you
So we make love on the grass under the moon
No one call tell, damned if I do
Forever journey on golden avenues
I drift in your eyes since I love you
I got that beat in my veins for only rule
Love is to share, mine is for you

Roadtrip to Sagres

August 18, 2008 in adventure, en, personal, Portugal

First, little intro for those not-in-the-know. I am currently on a traineeship in Portugal until December. That means 6 months or warmer-then-average weather for me. During week I work for Edisoft, S.A. and I spend my weekends usually travelling around central Portugal sightseeing, and sunbathing.

Last Friday was Assumption day, that is public holiday in Portugal. I joined group of 14 other people (more-less former or current IAESTE trainees), and we went on a camping trip to the South-West corner of Portugal – Sagres. 15 people, 3 rented cars and a prolonged weekend.

Let me say it again…15 people. Organising such a big group is no joke. Kudos to Fabio for that. I think that the trip would be absolutely different without your skills (and by different I don’t mean better). We took the nice way along the coast through local roads, stopping by a few times. Fabio leading the way with his unerring navigator Kim (seriously, she navigated even through country roads without any problems) with George and me changing places. We didn’t get into any car accidents, so I consider driving experience in Portugal a pleasant one. However we have seen 3 or four of small car crashes (usually just bumpers). Well…that’s what you get in country with such high rate of road deaths per year.

There were quite a few problems with the trip also, beginning with car rental (one reservation got lost somewhere), then full camping sites that were supposed to have lots of free space. In the end all of the bad things faded somehow and all that’s left are nice memories (isn’t that usually the case?). Singing “Move bitch, get out of way” in the car, playing football on the beach during the sunset and visiting beautiful places are just few of them.

Crossing the 25th of April bridge marked the beginning of our trip. Next we headed South to Setúbal where we got a little lost because of the traffic and work on the road. After we found our way we headed to Sines and our first stop…Porto Covo, where we spend few hours at the beach.

We had problems with checking in at the camping site (first Zambujeira do Mar, then Carvalho) our fist evening, so we ended up putting up our tents right next to it (with permission of course). At least we had access to shower and toilets. Me sleeping in the car alone, and others in their tents.

Saturday morning was full of relaxing at the camping site and then a trip to Lagos, Sagres and camping site for our second night near Salema where we spent late afternoon playing football on the beach ,causing near fatal injuries to few of us :)

Since time was scarce on Sunday (we got up late, and some of us had a busy night in Lagos) we ended up on the beach near Lagos. Some on the beach sunbathing and kayaking, others in the bar (again :) ).

Trip back was without any problems (I really thought that traffic will be way worse). That is except for trip from our apartment to the Airport (where we rented the cars), because I lost Fabio in the tunnel, but fortunately I had my GPS set up.

That’s it folks. Once again, thanks to all involved, I enjoyed the weekend and I hope you did too.