Interview with Leann Ogasawara

My name is Leann Ogasawara and I’ve been working for Canonical for the past 3 years. Since joining the Ubuntu Kernel Team, I’ve been involved with QA and triaging, stable maintenance, and am now this cycle’s Ubuntu 10.10 kernel release manager.

Penelope Stowe: How did you end up working with Canonical and Ubuntu?

Leann Ogasawara: Prior to ever working for Canonical and on Ubuntu, I was an Ubuntu user and fan like many people are. At that time I was involved with Kernel QA and Testing. Coincidentally, some former colleagues of mine had mentioned a job opening at Canonical for a Kernel QA Engineer. It sounded like an amazing job opportunity so I submitted my resume, crossed my fingers, and began diving into triaging Ubuntu kernel bugs. A few weeks later I received an email to set up my first interview and now here I am.

Amber Graner: How is being the kernel release manager for the Ubuntu 10.10 differed from the other work you have done on the kernel team? Do you see this rotating team position as something that strengthens the team?

LO: Every role has different, yet crucial, responsibilities. Being the kernel release manager, I’m the gatekeeper for what goes into our current kernel. It involves a lot more patch review and testing. Also, not only do I have to be responsible for completing my own tasks for the release cycle, I have to ensure the entire team is on track with their work items as well. It requires a lot more organization than any of the other roles I’ve been in.

I definitely feel that rotating different members of the team through this position only makes us stronger. We have this “bus theory” we often talk about within the team. Should any one of us get hit by a bus tomorrow, we want to have full confidence that another person on the team can step right in and take over a person’s tasks and responsibilities. I also think everyone enjoys being able to do something new and different within the team.

PS: What are some of the things you’ve done with Canonical/Ubuntu that has you most proud or you just enjoyed the most?

LO: Regardless of what role I’ve been in, the one aspect of each role that I’ve enjoyed the most is that moment when I’ve been able to fix someone’s bug. Whether it’s simply applying an upstream patch or writing some quirk for a device, it’s just very gratifying when someone sincerely thanks you for solving an issue they’ve been facing.

PS: What are you most excited to see happen?

LO: I’m obviously the most excited to see our Ubuntu 10.10 Maverick Meerkat release! I’m completely biased since the Maverick kernel has been near and dear to my heart. It’s just been this huge milestone I’ve been staring at the entire release cycle and I hope to be extremely proud, and relieved, when it goes out the door.

PS: What other open source work outside of Canonical/Ubuntu have you done?

LO: To be honest, there’s so much to do within Canonical/Ubuntu already that I haven’t found huge amounts of time to focus on other open source projects.

PS: What do you do with your free time? Are there any hobbies you’d like to tell us about?

LO: I’m a fairly active individual and love to spend time outdoors, so you’ll often find me running, skiing, golfing, etc. Anything involving some sort of athletic activity and light competition is right up my alley.

PS: Is there anything I haven’t asked that you’d like to say?

LO: I just want to thank Full Circle Magazine for the opportunity to be interviewed. I was extremely flattered when asked to be a part of this issue, so thank you.

[Discuss Leann Ogasawara’s Interview on the Forum]

Originally posted by Penelope Stowe in Full Circle Magazine Issue #41 on September 26, 2010

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