Red Hat Summit: The culture shock I needed

I was not suppose to go this year because it was the turn for a co-worker but since that person left us for greener pastures I was lucky to be the next in line.

I was quite happy to be going.

I did not really remember why I wanted to be there until I was there for a few hours. Yes I wanted to go to many of the technical sessions and my agenda was made before the event started. I am always impressed that the presenters are the people doing the code or in charge of the technical team responsible for what is being presented. The presenter can answer many of the questions and if they can’t most of the time the rest of their team are in the audience. The quality of these presentations are great because of this involvement.

But as much as the technical sessions are great it was Jeremy from that reminded me why I loved the Summit so much. It is about the culture.

The culture at the Summit and at Red Hat is very different than what I see where I work. The collaboration with everyone is the norm in the open source communities and Red Hat certainly makes it a point to always act in collaboration.

That different mentality is good shock and certainly allowed me to see others thinking differently but also to wake me up. When you are challenged in how you execute your job you can better evaluate the reasons you do it that way. You can also see what you can change.

In my case it is a little more than that. I am uncomfortable in how we approach our execution of what we need to do. I am a lot more interested in the collaboration model that I have seen during the Summit. In that regard I think that I need to challenge a lot more than just myself. Is it just the greener pasture syndrome, I don’t know. I think that I will have to wait a month and re-evaluate what I have seen and how I feel about it.

I think that the most important sentence from this Summit will be “culture over strategy”.

Taking Advantage

I was listening to the Animoto CEO on a building 43 interview and Brad Jefferson struck me when he was explaining that they are excited about everything that is happening. For him, HD TVs are good for his business because people will want to watch their photos in a cool video on them. The new cheap digital boxes that you can attach to your TV is good for his business. Even photo books are good for him because he wants to offer his product to those people selling photo books so they can offer 2 products instead of 1. Everything that was thrown at him was basically good for his business in one way or an other.

I have to think like that and get moving on all these positive challenges that are available to me and will allow me to do good business.

We have complicated systems, great! There is a need for more automation so I have more code to do.

We have complicated rules on how and when we can do changes, great! More automation or systems that can simplify the user interaction with all these rules and help them navigate in all of it.

There are many possibilities and we can’t look at them as an other layer of problems. These challenges allows us to better serve our users/customers and have more business. It is a lot more fun to look at it this way and go for it.