Interview with Kev (elfy) of the Ubuntu Community Council

The Ubuntu Community Council is the primary community (i.e., non-technical) governance body for the Ubuntu project. In this series of 7 interviews, we go behind the scenes with the community members who were elected in 2013 serve on this council with Mark Shuttleworth.

In this, our second interview, we talk with elfy about his experience with Ubuntu Forums, QA and beyond.


Tell us a little about yourself

I spend my day dealing out drugs – luckily I drive a van for a pharmacy. Though previously I used to work for an aircraft manufacturer – life changes and choices led me to not working for a few years. If nothing else I see there are a lot of people out in the world much worse off than me.

What was your first computing experience?

I did an apprenticeship with British Aerospace – they used Ditmco for testing harnesses, you can find it on the web – but in the early 80s it was tapes – big room, really good to be in there in the winter, hangars are not warm places. Used desktop PCs in the 90s – with proprietary software for work. Then there was a gap of some years when I had no use for computers of any sort. Eventually I got one in the early 2000’s but I only *use* it then and it’s not different now (though the machines are).

I’ve been involved with Ubuntu since 2007 – the day I installed Ubuntu. I needed some help so joined Ubuntuforums and got it and more, then I started to help others as I learned more. Since then I’ve mostly hung about the forums, was asked in 2009 to become a moderator and am now one of the Forum Council. I do bits with AskUbuntu – but it’s not my favourite support medium. I’ve been on the Community Council since late 2013 when enough of my peers voted for me – proud moment.

What are some of the projects you’ve worked on in Ubuntu over the years?

In the early part of my time I joined and took part in the Ubuntu Beginners Team – that was fun, I learnt things and taught things, but mostly it was about mentoring others. So mostly I’ve been involved in support, the only other parts of the Ubuntu project I’ve worked have revolved around testing both on Xubuntu, I’ve been working with that team for 2 years or so in QA and testing and in the Ubuntu Manual Testcase project.

What is your focus in Ubuntu today?

Much as it’s always been – supporting people who need it the most.

If you were to give a newcomer some advice about getting involved with Ubuntu, what would it be?

Don’t be scared of the command line, don’t be shy. Ask, then ask again. Join in where you feel able and as you become more confident – look around at what else is going on, there is plenty out there – support, translating, docs, coding, advocacy – have a look at the Community find-a task page

New to this series? Check out the first Community Council interview:

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