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Wanted: Linux Community Manager

January 27th, 2010 by

At the end of this month Zonker, our openSUSE community manager for the last two years, will be leaving Novell. On behalf of the whole openSUSE community I would like to take a moment to thank Zonker for all the great work he’s done. openSUSE is a larger, more open and more engaged community than ever before – one where experienced hackers and new Linux users can all find a home. Zonker has been at the forefront of our community outreach, and has been a great steward for SUSE. As he now moves to start the next chapter in his career, I want to thank him for all his hard work and wish him the very best for the future.
The openSUSE community is more vibrant than ever and we want to sustain the momentum. We are looking for the next great community leader who can help SUSE reach even more people and make an even bigger impact on the world. If you’re passionate about Linux, love to work with people around the world, have some ideas about marketing, and think you can make an impact, we want to hear from you! Please contact Joe Goss (jgoss at novell dot com) if you would like to be considered.
In the meantime, I will be working with Andreas Jaeger and other Novell colleagues in marketing and engineering to cover openSUSE community relations activities. Thanks everyone for your inquiries and support.

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10 Responses to “Wanted: Linux Community Manager”

  1. John Smith

    So can anyone actually tell me what great things the Zonk has done for openSUSE? I can’t remember a single thing. I can only remember him being on the SUSE booths on events like FOSDEM and looking severely out of place.

    So can someone enlighten me and point me to his great achievements?

    • Travis Smith

      He didn’t say great things, he said great work. The guy is leaving on good terms therefore he deserves a little respect.

    • John:
      I’ve heard Zonker speak at conferences, on panels, and on podcasts. I’ve seen his technical posts, and heard about his behind-the-scenes advocacy from former colleagues who are still at Novell. Zonker represented. He also took on a the job at a tough time (not too long after the MS-Novell deal), and represented a not-for-profit product at a seemingly aimless company that has never really understood Free Software.
      Acerbic comments like that increase an all-too-real reputation about the openSUSE community being a mean spirited bunch–something that Zonker definitely helped to reduce. Maybe it’s time to re-read openSUSE’s <href="http://en.opensuse.org/Guiding_Principles"Guiding Principles and consider whether being nasty to the exiting community manager makes it any easier for SUSE to recruit a new one.
      Ted Haeger
      a former Novell guy

  2. Travis Smith

    Is there a job description? I’m curious what the responsibilities are.

    • Justin Steinman

      Hi Travis,

      The job responsibilities are “To manage Novell’s relationship with the openSUSE commnunity.” We’ve intentionally left the job description very vague, because we think the right candidate will come to the table with a plan to do just that. Our hope is that the next community manager comes from the openSUSE community and steps forth with a plan to grow both openSUSE contributors and openSUSE users. That’s what Zonker did… he came in with a plan, and I’d submit he was very succesful in implementing that plan.

      If you think you’re the next community manager, and you have a plan to grow openSUSE, then we would love to talk with you about your plan and why we should hire you to implement it!


      Justin Steinman
      VP, Solution & Product Marketing

  3. Chris

    How about you get Martin Lasarsch aka localhorst back?!

    He did a great job before, knows what the job is about and is also well respected by the community.

    So, please, do us all a favor and ask him if he would come back although he was let go before!

    • John Smith

      Get real. Nobody was ever hired back after being fired by SUSE. I’m pretty sure they are not going to break this iron rule now ;)

      (Even though I would be delighted to see that happen)

  4. Rod Donovan

    Ah! Ola! Boys and girls. The marketing of our beloved Linux distro is most important.It is time to play hard ball. Time to make the money so as to be profitable to Novell,and me Laredoflash. OK, here we go.

    1. Tee shirts are fine. Hard ball = Short and Long sleeve dress shirts with our beloved lizard on the lapel, or shirt pocket! The OpenSUSE name below the lizard proudly advertising that we are OpenSUSE aficionados and professionals. Of course, artwork can vary greatly. This is a great and powerful advertising venue for us and Novell.

    2 Handbags are ok. Hardball = Netbooks with the OpenSUSE Logo and operating system installed. I have an EeePC with 2 GIG Ram, and 16 GIG solid state drive. This puppy is fast, reliable, with no moving parts to wear out. Of course better to use the Atom 330 dual core processor than the N270 single core. Even better, powerfull little tablets,Tablets,TABLETS with our logo!

    3. Our OpenSUSE website is noble. Hardball = Send teams out to do seminars at universities, colleges, school disticts on the benefits of changing to free and open source software (FOSS). This helps spreads the word! Education entities are always looking to cut back costs on software licensing. I won’t mention any names Microsoft……

    3. Get OpenSUSE is good. Hardball = Set up a training center with a Big and Prould Lizard on the Building, flying the OpenSUSE, and Novell Flags. This gives relevance on our mainstay, the OpenSUSE Linux Operating System. Maybe even invite the GNU people to peddle their stuff.

    Even though I am working on my dissertation phase of my PhD, I have many more ideas on making OpenSUSE, and Novell the best known and respected brands around. I have a passion for this, so let’s Rock and Rooolll!

    Rod Donovan

  5. Zonker really deserves respect not for his work but for his great moral support to all suse lover and for ever encourage all.

  6. Jonathon R.

    How about the other folks who interviewed for the position when Z got it?

    Hint Hint Hint (Pssst. . . call me) :-)