Reza Alemy, I am known to my friends and community as Rex since it is easier for them to pronounce. I have been an Ubuntu user since Dapper Drake, and decided to professionally enter the world of Ubuntu in September of 2009.
I have been a software engineer for 20+ years, and in the years of 2004-2006 I wrote an Oncology treatment planning system which run under Dapper, some snapshots of which are in the Novatrex site. In my path to becoming an expert in electronic health, I had to go through development, administration, and data management projects. I created my launchpad profile in October of 2009, and was awarded official Ubuntu membership in April of 2010.
Contributions to Ubuntu
Since October of 2009 I have been constantly volunteering more than 20 hours a week to Ubuntu Vancouver Local Community. the results of this work is summarized here:
Running Business on Open Source: how to set up a complete software development software with Ubuntu Servers and Workstations (200+ pages)
Ubuntu Vancouver Game Development Team: A group of Ubuntu Vancouver members that want to showcase game development solely on Ubuntu (50+ pages)
Ubuntu Vancouver Ambassadors: a volunteer activity of appearing at local coffee shops sporting an "Ask me about Ubuntu" sign during winter Olympics that I continued to date. (12 sessions so far)
I have been contributing as a Support Hero on the Support Saturday events, making presentations at Ubuntu General meetings, holding Tutorials on Game programming with Ubuntu, helping with logistics at General Meetings and Ubuntu Booth.
I have actively participated in marketing strategies and member recruitment, and volunteering with Lab work for CDI projects.
Plans and Ideas
In the past months I have come to closely examine the potential gap that can be filled by Ubuntu in the Vancouver community. Through my contributions to the Ubuntu Vancouver Loco, I have come to contact with many ordinary folk that are fed up with hidden fees, extra burden and inefficiencies associated with the commercial software solutions. While most other solutions that are based on Linux do not target the general population, I believe that there is a crack in the market that can be exploited to encourage the Ubuntu culture among the general user population.
In my view, a person who can not satisfy his own administration requirements does not choose a commercial product because its administration is easy. On the contrary they know that the only answer they may get from the so-called tech support is "That feature is not supported". They select the commercial product because they have a computer professional friend who is using that product. My theory therefore, is that if I can showcase business solutions based on Ubuntu for IT professionals, then they will bring in their circle of friends, which will snowball into a decent user base for Ubuntu in Vancouver. That is the main reason I press on with tutorials and study groups for emerging technologies in the local software job market that are run in Ubuntu.
Secondly, I plan to use my membership with Ubuntu to create a solid team of Ubuntu professionals that can attract the trust of local business owners and build the core reference for Ubuntu support in Vancouver. The blueprint of running business on open source is the first step in that direction.
Third fact of the matter is the community force associated with Ubuntu. To share the gift of Ubuntu with everyone, we need to show people that they don't need to be administrators to make full use of Ubuntu. One of the biggest hurdles holding people from using Ubuntu in my community is that they look at it as a "Linux" that requires you to know lots of "commands" and type them, maybe write a driver or two, and finally "compile the kernel". What if they put all their time and data into it and down the road suddenly find out that they can't connect their printer to it? This is of course a misconception especially with Ubuntu, but it is one that is gladly encouraged by their "expert friends" in the computer shops to whom normal folk go for computer advice.
We can prove this wrong in practice. The power of community can solve the problem of support. In a strong community where there are 12-15% system administrators and 2-5% low level programmers, the rest of the community can have all their administrative needs addressed by Support Saturdays and Bug Squishes that are organized regularly in short intervals. They don't need to learn what is under the hood if they don't want to. they can focus on being accountants, writers, artists, architects, "whatever their normal is"; enjoying the community and the values of Ubuntu. As a support hero, I have reached out to the members, visited them at their homes and invited them to mine, building a trust foundation for them to move their business to Ubuntu.
I believe that Ubuntu community members should discourage flame wars, OS discussions, and technical jargon by shifting them to specialized forums and mailing lists, and concentrate on making the Ubuntu experience fun and rewarding for everyone. they should strive to lower the barrier of trying Ubuntu for others, make the transition fun, and ensure that no one in the Ubuntu community will ever feel alone or belittled. I envision a community where all members try to engage everyone else no matter what their level or area of contribution is, and they all employ technology to become socially active, to build a real character in face-to-face meetings, and to avoid becoming a virtual identity in electronic forums. A community practically showcasing "I am what I am, because of what we all are."
Rex joined Ubuntu Vancouver in October 2009. In six short months, he has contributed consistently at levels far above-and-beyond those of our usual members and the sum of his efforts have been truly commendable. He has energized an Ubuntu gaming team locally. He has provided personalized Ubuntu support to many of our members, including home visits. He has presented at General Meetings. He has volunteered as a SupportHero at our SupportSaturday events. He has regularly hosted his Ambassador coffee-shop event. He has provided behind-the-scenes logistical support and resources for meetings and events. As a trusted advisor he has contributed strongly to the conversation and strategy about building community locally, in Vancouver. I could go on and on as the list is huge! I recommend him for Ubuntu membership wholeheartedly. RandallRoss, 'Ubuntu Vancouver Community Manager / Buzz Generator.'
Rex is a knowledgeable and helpful member of the Ubuntu community and an asset to any organization that would have him. He has my full support. - Sean Rickerd, IT/Networking Instructor and ONA - CDI College, Surrey
I recently joined the Vancouver Ubuntu LoCo and definitely feel that meeting Rex has been one of the biggest benefits to joining the LoCo. Not only is he a friendly face, but he is also knowledgeable and giving of his time. He has spent countless hours of his time helping me enable my own desires to give to the Ubuntu community by conducting his Python programming sessions through the Ubuntu Vancouver Game Development Team. - Nathaniel Senff, Web Devel - 39 CBG HQ
Not only is Rex an educated and dedicated Ubuntu community member, but he genuinely cares about the people with whom he works, and does his best to promote synergy within his group. - Joseph Liau, Manager/Instructor - Languagelab Networks Inc., DrEnglish.net, Vancouver
I have known Reza since Ubuntu Vancouver started up. As I am for the most part, an end user, Rex has been an incredible source of help and inspiration for me and most of the newbies in Ubuntu Vancouver. Rex also was instrumental in helping me get my GPS unit working in Ubuntu by dialoging with the developer of QlandkarteGT and writing some code, getting it accepted by the developer and getting my GPS unit to work with Ubuntu. Rex is also in the process of making up a lesson plan to instruct non-command line users how to become basic command-line users without having to feel like they have to be administrators to use Ubuntu. We need more Rex's in the community - for sure! Ian "Roscoe" Ross