Open Source Foundations: GNOME Hires Stormy Peters

The GNOME Foundation – engaged to further the goal of the GNOME project to create a computing platform for use by the general public that is completely free software – hired Stormy Peters as Executive Director.

Stormy will be focusing on accelerating the adoption of GNOME desktop, working with the board of directors, to strengthen the foundation by attracting new industry members and community contributors.

Luis Villa welcoming Stormy on board said:

This is obviously a big commitment for GNOME. It has been a while since we’ve had a full-time employee, and we’ve clearly been doing pretty OK without one – we continue to have good relationships with our advisory board, we still have a strong community, and we continue to develop very strong, relevant software. So there is an obvious question of ‘why now?’ My answer is that this a time of opportunity for GNOME – we have a ton of opportunities in the mobile space; we’re starting to see Linux desktop uptake at places like Dell and Asus; and we serve an important role as a critical infrastructure provider for exciting, dynamic projects like Mozilla and OLPC.

The GNOME board felt the need to employ a professional with a proven track of record to face challenges and to pursue opportunities diversely treated by the actual organization. As result from a recent academic research, volunteers are key drivers of peripheral activities, while community-integrated paid developers have an important role in project  development, maintaining the infrastructure aspects of the code base.

Attracting industry members and similar strategic tasks are not an autonomous peripheral participation,  a term used to describe activities that support and complement code development within /OS projects, like translations, interface aspects visible to the user, writing, marketing and artwork.

Is Stormy Peters the right person for that job? She shared with me a little background of her.

I’ve been involved with the GNOME community for eight years now – they were my introduction into the world of open source. After my first GUADEC, I was hooked by the GNOME community’s passion and excitement about creating a free and open source desktop for all as well as an awesome development environment.

Luis Villa reporting about Stormy hiring process says very good things of her, so she is probably the most suited for such job. A tough job, requiring to accommodate pretty different needs, being even if the GNOME Foundation is a sponsored community project.

I didn’t find much about GNOME Financial information, and I asked Stormy the following question:

How does the GNOME Foundation pay your salary?

The GNOME Foundation has a number of income streams from sponsorship fees to GUADEC (their annual conference). The current funding will cover my salary, but the hope is that my involvement will increase the community and industry involvement as well.

Stormy will be creating her own job, and it is a probably a very new one.

I wish you best of luck!

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