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People of openSUSE: An Interview with Ish Sookun

February 13th, 2020 by

Can you tell us a bit about yourself?

I live on an island in the middle of the Indian Ocean (20°2′ S, 57°6′ E), called Mauritius. I work for a company that supports me in contributing to the openSUSE Project. That being said, we also heavily use openSUSE at the workplace.

Tell us about your early interaction with computers ? How your journey with Linux got started?

My early interaction with computers only started in the late years of college and I picked up Linux after a few students who were attending the computer classes back then whispered the term “Linux” as a super complicated thing. It caught my attention and I got hooked ever since. I had a few years of distro hopping until in 2009 I settled down with openSUSE.

Can you tell us more about your participation in openSUSE and why it started?

I joined the “Ambassador” program in 2009, which later was renamed to openSUSE Advocate, and finally the program was dropped. In 2013, I joined the openSUSE Local Coordinators to help coordinating activities in the region. It was my way of contributing back. During those years, I would also test openSUSE RCs and report bugs, organize local meetups about Linux in general (some times openSUSE in particular) and blog about those activities. Then, in 2018 after an inspiring conversation with Richard Brown, while he was the openSUSE Chairman, I stepped up and joined the openSUSE Elections Committee, to volunteer in election tasks. It was a nice and enriching learning experience along with my fellow election officials back then, Gerry Makaro and Edwin Zakaria. I attended my first openSUSE Conference in May 2019 in Nuremberg. I did a presentation on how we’re using Podman in production in my workplace. I was extremely nervous to give this first talk in front of the openSUSE community but I met folks who cheered me up. I can’t forget the encouragement from Richard, Gertjan, Harris, Doug, Marina and the countless friends I made at the conference. Later during the conference, I was back on the stage, during the Lightning Talks, and I spoke while holding the openSUSE beer in one hand and the microphone in the other. Nervousness was all gone thanks to the magic of the community.

Edwin and Ary told me about their activities in Indonesia, particularly about the openSUSE Asia Summit. When the CfP for oSAS 2019 was opened, I did not hesitate to submit a talk, which was accepted, and months later I stood among some awesome openSUSE contributors in Bali, Indonesia. It was a great Summit where I discovered more of the openSUSE community. I met Gerald Pfeifer, the new chairman of openSUSE, and we talked about yoga, surrounded by all of the geeko fun, talks and workshops happening.

Back to your question, to answer the second part about “why openSUSE”, I can safely, gladly and proudly say that openSUSE was (and still is) the most welcoming community and easiest project to start contributing to.

Tea or coffee?

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