From beginner to Gentoo developer

This is my first step in blogging universe. I did that never before and hope my english isn’t to bad. The reason, why i decided to blog from now on, is that i reached the Gentoo developer state. Which gives me the chance to get a central theme to write. My personal goal is at least one post per month, maybe a little bit more if there is something i want to share. For sure the content of this blog won’t be Gentoo only related.

Lets talk about the way i became a Gentoo developer. I get  in touch with Linux in the end  of 2001. The reason why i tried out linux was that i want to discover something new in the computer world. New in the meaning of gain experience. So the first distribution was SuSe linux. Followed up by Debian, Red Hat, Mandrake and some other that i forgot in the meantime. None of these really satisfyed me. In 2003 i heard about a Linux distribution with a very good package manager, a good written installation handbook and all packages build from source. The name of the distrubution was Gentoo, as you may have already guessed. I was really enthusiastic about it, started the installation and felt in love. In the first years of using it, i had tried out other distributions  on seperate partions from time to time. But whenever i have done this, the partion is faster deleted as you can count to three.

While my time as Gentoo user i tried out several window manager/desktop environments. First was Gnome which i had have no longer than 1 week. It was to slow (yeah my former pc was not that good) and i didn’t like the handling at all. So i decided to take a light weight window manager. I tested White-, Black-, Open- and Fluxbox, choosen the last mentioned finally. After several time and new hardware i wanted something new and found XFCE. I liked it very much and sticked with it a long time. A friend convinced me to have a look at KDE 3.5, but after short testing period i had the feeling that XFCE is much better and switched back. With one exception to the other window manager/desktop environments experiences: didn’t unmerge it, because i used a lot of KDE apps from this time on and wanted to give KDE a chance with newer versions. As KDE 4.0 was released, i know that this would be my next desktop environmet and finally switched over with KDE 4.1.

I used IRC all the time, but with KDE my old IRC client XChat felt not so integrated into the desktop, so i searched for a new one and found Quassel. After some time i started to contribute to this opensource project (bug triaging, wiki & code contributions) and got an core account, which gaves me the posibility to idle in several gentoo related channels and of course one them was #gentoo-kde. In July this year i made some contributions to the kde overlay. The Gentoo KDE project lead tampakrap gave me write access to the overlay and asked me very quickly, if I want to become a Gentoo developer and that he would mentor me. I was surprised and honored, so my fast answer was “why not?”. After some weeks i started the ebuild quiz and finished it in September and started with the end quiz in mid October. While the end quiz we decided to switch over to the Gentoo recruiters web application (the usability is not so good at the moment) and  he created the “New Developer” bug. In the start of November all questions were approved by him, so the waiting period for a recruiter started. On 2011-12-01 the Gentoo recruiter hwoarang picked me up. The recruiting process was finished on 2011-12-07, after the third & final review session.  The official mailing list announcement was done  one day later on 2011-12-08.

My special thank goes to my mentor Theo “tampakrap” Chatzimichos. He has done his job as mentor wonderful. I have no comparison to other mentors, but i can say that he is the best :). If he make the offer to mentor you, i can truly say, just do it™. And of course i want to thank  all the members out of the Gentoo KDE project for the support and my recruiter hwoarang for pick me up & recruiting me finally.