пятница, 4 августа 2017 г.

Some words about Red Hat

Some of my friends have already written to me and asked to tell about the work in Red Hat. I'm sorry, that i haven't replied right away and hope that this post will reply to some of your questions. The way i got this job and moved to Brno i will tell you about the next time.

I want to start with the fact that work in Red Hat isn't similar to any of my previous works. Of course, i can't boast about big career experience and work in product companies, but i have already worked in 3 rather big companies in Moscow. All of them had a similar working process, but not Red Hat.

In my opinion, the main difference is that we don't have a customer. There is no a man or a company, which would provide their requirements and we would have to satisfy them because we were paid. Just imagine, there are no infinite meetings with customer representatives, no pressure, no strict deadlines. There are people, who define the development direction of a technology by studying modern trends and people reviews of the previous product versions. Most often it is senior software developers and managers, who have started a project or were its active participants and who also write code when they have time free from manager tasks. Furthermore, a task can be created by anyone. For example, you're our user and you don't like something or found a bug. Simply create an issue in one of our open issue-tracking systems, which exists for every project. And even furthermore... if you provide a solution for an issue, then welcome to the Opensource World!

An obvious question appears: how does Red Hat earn money? And it is exactly what Red Hat is very proud of and always repeats: "Yes, we make money on free software!". In order to understand how, first of all, i need to note that almost every company product has 2 versions: upstream and downstream. For example: Fedora и Red Hat Enterprise LinuxWildfly и JBoss Enterprise Application PlatformJboss Tools и Jboss Developer Studio are upstream and downstream projects accordingly. Upstream projects are those, which you don't need to pay for, anyone can download them and use. A downstream project is the the most and most stable from upstream project, which also can be accessed for free, but you need to pay for the support. This is how Red Hat makes money! You download a downstream product, buy a subscription and Red Hat, in its turn, guarantees a reply during an hour in case of any problem. One my friend told me about his such experience. Red Hat indeed answered in an hour, by the end of the day a patch was sent to him and in a week a minor version of a product was issued, where the problem was properly fixed and tested. And again here "opensource-ness" plays its big role. Any product is used by a huge amount of people all over the world. It means, that when you report a problem to Red Hat, most likely somebody has already bumped into this problem and that it's already fixed. So our support team tells you immediately how to fix the issue.

One more big advantage is that most of our clients are the software developers too, just like we are. That's why we understand what they (read "we") want. So all discussions are going directly with clients via a technical language comprehensible by both sides. Regarding a natural language - most often it's English because colleagues, as well as our clients, are all over the world. For example, only my team has people from Russia, the USA, Switzerland, France, the Czech Republic, India. In the office one guy from Greece is sitting next to me. His friend from Peru is working in the neighbor building, whose wife is from the Czech Republic and they met each other in the USA. Often it causes some problems in the working process. For example, it's very difficult to arrange meetings because of a big difference in time zones. While Indian guys are wishing good evening, the USA colleagues have a bright morning sun in the background. One more problem that i had personally is the understanding of different accents. I don't want to offend anybody, but some accents have been really causing problems. For example, i had never heard french English, before started working in Red Hat. It was very difficult for me to catch all the words. So the first month or two i often had to task the team mates to repeat or say it differently. Thanks for your patience, guys! And sorry for my accent and mistakes!

So here was a little information about how everything works in Red Hat and how it is to work there. If you have any questions or comments, write them down in the comments section. I'll do my best to reply to all of them. Also, i'm going to write about the move to Brno, about the office and about what i'm doing here and the interview process.

Here you can find the Russian version of this post.
Место: Брно, Чехия

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