Long live Release Engineering

My involvement in Fedora goes back to late 2003 early 2004 somewhere as a packager for fedora.us. I started by getting a few packages in to scratch some of my itches and I saw it as a way to give back to the greater open source community. Around FC3 somewhere I stepped up to help in infrastructure to rebuild the builders in plague, the build system we used before koji and that we used for EPEL(Something that I helped form) for awhile until we got external repo support in koji.

I was involved in the implementation of koji in Fedora, I joined OLPC as a build and release engineer, where I oversaw a move of the OS they shipped from FC6 to F8, and laid a foundation for the move to F9. I left OLPC when Red Hat opensourced RHN Satellite as “spacewalk project” I joined Red Hat as the release engineer for both, after a brief period there was some reorganisation in engineering that resulted in me handing off the release engineering tasks to someone closer the the engineers working on the code. As a result I worked on Fedora full time helping Jesse Keating. When he decided to work on the internal migration from CVS to git I took over as the lead.

During Fedora 14 the transition was made from Jesse to me. For the following 10 Fedora releases I was the primary person doing the work to get Fedora out the door. During that time there has been tremendous change in Fedora, how we do things and what we deliver. Fedora 14 shipped with 12905 packages, 1 install tree, a handful of livecd’s across two architectures. In Fedora 24 we shipped with 19760 packages, 4 install tree’s, 10 livecd’s, Cloud Images, Vagrant Box images, Container Base images, Atomic Host (Iamges and ostree) across 3 architectures. Along with all the primary deliverables we had a much more robust and functional Alternative Architecture program running. In Fedora 26 we added aarch64 and ppc64le to primary koji and in Fedora 27 we added s390x.

During this time we added things like Fedora Editions, and support for many new technologies. The tooling we used to compose Fedora grew in complexity to meet the growing demands and reduce the need for people to manually do the work. Management of the development of the tooling we use was taken over by different teams inside of Red Hat working upstream in the community.  Fedora Release Engineering gained a project manager who helped us to grow and become less of a black box and deal with the growing pains we faced. Fedora Infrastructure provided people to help develop and deploy the ability to build layered images for containers. Pungi the compose tool got a major version bump and grew up a lot. We also developed and worked with upstream koji to get new features and functionality into the buildsystem. Release Engineering was one of  the first adopters of pagure.

Mohan Boddu Joined Red Hat to help with Fedora just before Fedora 25, we worked on Fedora 25 together and Mohan has primarily been the person responsible for composing and making sure we ship Fedora since. During that time I have been the Team Lead for the platform team in release engineering inside of Red Hat, I have been spending my time between Fedora and RHEL and making sure that we bring together the way we build and compose both Operating Systems.

Recently I have accepted a Job offer to become the manager of a different team inside of Red Hat. My new role will be working on multi-arch support for internal products. As a result of my change in roles inside of Red Hat I will be stepping down on Friday the 23rd of March as the lead for release engineering in Fedora so I can focus on my new role. Mohan will be taking over for me,  he will be helped by the current project manager Suzanne Yeghiayan along with a cast of a handful who work tirelessly to ensure we can ship everything. All requests for projects should go though pagure or taiga for grooming and prioritisation.

Please give Mohan a big congratulations and be sure to make sure that you work with Suzanne to get your requests prioritised.

4 responses to “Long live Release Engineering”

  1. Thank you for the efforts you put into Fedora over the years, Dennis! Looking forward to working with you in your new role.

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