James Westby (james_w)
Location: Bristol, UK
IRC Nick: james_w
How long have you used Linux and what was your first distro?
I’ve been using Linux for around 4 years now, starting with Debian.
How long have you been using Ubuntu?
I’ve been using Ubuntu for around 9 months.
When did you get involved with the MOTU team and how?
I got involved with MOTU after UDS Hardy in Boston. I was invited to UDS as an upstream developer, and got to know a few MOTUs there. After that I started working on some Ubuntu development, mainly on things that benefited Ubuntu and Debian, as I was involved a little with Debian development. I have been concentrating more on Ubuntu for a while now, as the community was more welcoming, and it’s easier to find a place for yourself as it is smaller.
What helped you learn packaging and how Ubuntu teams work?
I learnt packaging while working in Debian. It was mainly a case of getting stuck in and googling a lot when I got stuck. I learnt a bit about Ubuntu from the UDS, especially from Daniel Holbach, Stefan Potyra and Reinhard Tartler. The rest was just looking at the wiki and mainly asking questions.
What’s your favorite part of working with the MOTU?
Two things really, firstly the community, it’s a pleasure to work with MOTU and other people involved with Ubuntu development. Secondly, making a great distribution even better is a great feeling.
Any advice for people wanting to help out MOTU?
Just get stuck in. Find a bug that annoys you in a package you use and try to fix it. Often this is more about looking in the right places and talking to the right people than knowing how to code. Also, ask questions, people will help when they can, and if you don’t get a response then it’s probably a hard question, and so fixing it will be even more satisfying.
Are you involved with any local Linux/Ubuntu groups?
I’m a little involved with Ubuntu UK, but I don’t do as much as I would like.
What are you going to focus on in Intrepid?
For the little that is left I’m going to focus mainly on fixing as many bugs as possible. I’m also going to be looking for the most important things to focus on for Jaunty.
What do you do in your other spare time?
Drink cider and dance like a fool.