Meet the Platform Team Managers: Jono Bacon

In the first four parts of this series, we heard from Robbie Williamson, David Mandala, and Rick Spencer of the Canonical Platform team, and Pete Graner of the Kernel team.

Now we meet Jono Bacon, the Ubuntu Community Manager and community columnist for Ubuntu User . I meet Jono earlier this year and later reviewed his recent book, The Art of Community.
Let's Rock and Roll then, shall we!?

Amber Graner: Could you please introduce yourself and tell me a little about what you do at Canonical and for the Ubuntu Project?

Jono Bacon: I am Jono Bacon and I am the Ubuntu Community Manager. My job is to help build a strong, enjoyable, and enabled Ubuntu community – a place in which anyone with any discipline can join our incredible community and participate in making Ubuntu better. I have a wonderful team in the form of Jorge Castro, Daniel Holbach, and David Planella, and each day we work with a diverse community – ranging from developers, to translators, to advocates, to documentation writers, and more – and help them to do great work.

AG: Out of all the things in the Karmic release what are you and your team most proud of?

JB: Every cycle we have a range of events, commitments, and responsibilities, and this always keeps the entire team running at full steam with work for the entire cycle. I am proud that we have not only kept up with our commitments, but we also managed to achieve even more in this cycle with Ubuntu Developer Week, Ubuntu Open Week, Karmic Release Parties, Ubuntu Global Jam, Ubuntu Free Culture Showcase, and more.

A key element of our work is also keeping up with the hundreds of queries, questions, and requests for help that we get each week, and each cycle brings more and more of these requests. I am proud that the team has remained responsive, given these extra cycle commitments and these extra queries.

AG: What was the biggest obstacle you faced for this release and how did you over come it?

JB: From a management perspective, the biggest obstacle is figuring out how my team can deal with the sheer quantity of work before us. The way we overcame this was to lean on the community more and more, identify areas in which we can work with our community leaders and collaborate better on these projects. This has in turn helped us to maintain our growth and also be even more open and transparent.

AG: What can be expected from you and your team for Lucid Lynx, Ubuntu 10.04?

JB: I expect more and more community objectives and initiatives, I expect even more queries, and I expect even more email. One of the greatest things about our jobs is that we deal with incredibly passionate and inspiring community members every day who have oodles of enthusiasm and ideas. We try to help our community be successful in their ambitions, and each cycle brings more ideas to the fold and more coordination on our part to help these ideas reach fruition. We then combine these with our own plans and goals, and this maps out a cycle.

In the Lucid cycle we are really keen to focus on growing our developer community and working closer with upstreams. These are big challenges, but challenges laced with opportunity and we am excited about them.

AG: Understanding that every developer and community member's contribution and participation is appreciated, but if you had to name a "rockstar" that helped Karmic's Karma Rock, who is it and why?

JB: It sounds a little tacky, but you, Amber Graner! You have provided endless amounts of excitement, drive, and help in many areas. It is your passionate and excitable personality that underpins what I consider the ethos of Ubuntu.

AG: Thank you, Jono. I appreciate you and your team, and all the encouragement and direction you all give. How and where would you encourage more community contributions?

JB: Everywhere, essentially! My goal is to ensure that my team are always approachable and keen to hear ideas, and ready and raring to help Ubuntu community members be successful in their work. To do this we want to continue to grow an atmosphere of outreach in which everyone feels welcome to join us on our journey.

AG: When you think of the Ubuntu Community and the Spirit of Ubuntu, what comes to mind and how do you foster that within yourself and your team?

JB: The spirit of Ubuntu is togetherness, openness, and collaboration. As I have written about before, I think Ubuntu holds a huge amount of opportunity for everyone involved in the journey. Every day when I wake up I feel excited and motivated about Ubuntu, and five years into this story I have never felt so excited about the potential. I think what is important is that we stress our sense of family in the project and we help each other to succeed. Community is all about collaboration, and building a sense of social reliability with each other helps us to collaborate better and achieve our goals, both personally and for the project.

AG: Jono, as always it is a pleasure to interview and collaborate with you and your team on projects in and around the community. Thank you again for taking time out of your schedule to give some insight in the release cycle and the community.

More information about the Community Team can be found at: For more info on how you can participate in and contribute to Ubuntu, visit:


Follow along as Ubuntu enthusiast and Community organizer Amber Graner helps put the "You" in Ubuntu.

Amber Graner is an active Ubuntu community member and organizer who encourages everyone around her to participate, support, and learn about Ubuntu and Open Source. With a smile and a sense of humor, Amber reminds people that there is a place for everyone in the Ubuntu community – regardless of technical skill level (or lack thereof). She is constantly looking for people, places, and events within the Ubuntu community that help inspire Ubuntu users to participate actively within the Ubuntu community. Email Amber at amber AT ubuntu-user DOT com.


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