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Fedora's New Project Leader

  • February 14, 2012
  • By Sean Michael Kerner

Employment on the Linux Planet is going strong according to a number of barometers. On one hand, this past week Red Hat appointed a new Fedora Project Leader. On the other hand, the Linux Foundation published a new study with career website dice.com painting a very rosy picture for the Linux job market.

1. Robyn Bergeron Named Fedora Project Leader

Unlike Debian, where the project leader is a democratically elected position, the Fedora Project (FPL) has its leaders picked by Red Hat. This past week, Red Hat picked Robyn Bergeron to lead the project, after having been active in multiple levels of the Fedora community since 2009. She has been a Red Hat employee since November 2010 as the Fedora release program manager. Bergeron succeeds Jared Smith who had held the post of FPL since June of 2010.

A key part of Bergeron's role as FPL will be helping to guide the project forward, especially as it gears up for its next major release. Fedora 17, known also as the 'Beefy Miracle,' is currently set for general availability on May 8. The release could well be the beefiest Fedora release ever, with potentially 62 new features that could land in the Linux distribution.

Looking beyond just features, Bergeron has a background in business analysis that will serve her well as she applies those skills to understanding the analytics of the Fedora project.

"One of the things I personally want to see improve is -- do we know who are?" Bergeron said.

2. Linux Jobs on the Rise

While Bergeron has a new job, there are many other opportunities for those seeking Linux jobs in general. A new study from Dice.com and the Linux Foundation is showing growing opportunities for Linux job seekers.

According to the report, 47 percent of hiring managers plan to add new Linux hires in 2012. Going a step further, the report found that 85 percent of survey respondents are having a hard time finding the skilled people they need to fill their Linux jobs.

For those who do have the Linux jobs, the combination of supply and demand is helping to make them among the best paid IT professionals. According to the study, Linux professionals saw a 5 percent pay hike in 2011, in contrast to other IT skill sets which averaged just 2 percent.

"Linux jobs have become some of the hottest jobs in all of tech," said Jim Zemlin, executive director at The Linux Foundation. "Clearly, hiring managers throughout the IT tech sector understand this and are aggressively seeking Linux professionals."

3. Sabayon 8

All those Linux pros have many different Linux distribution from which to choose. One of them is Sabayon Linux, which has just hit its 8.0 release.

Sabayon is based on the Gentoo Linux distribution, providing an easier to use experience. The new Sabayon 8.0 release, like its upstream Gentoo parent, is constantly being built as a rolling distribution with frequent package updates.

Among the interesting new items in Sabayon is the inclusion of the Cinnamon desktop, Cinnamon is all about providing a classic GNOME desktop without the user confusion that the new Unity and GNOME Shell interfaces have delivered.

Cinnamon is the creation of Linux Mint, which itself is based on Ubuntu, which in turn is based on Debian.

4. Debian 5 EOL

Debian 5 -- aka 'Lenny' -- reaches its End of Life this month. Lenny debuted three years ago in February 2009.

Debian gives its users one year to upgrade to the latest stable release. With the release of Debian 6.0 Squeeze in 2011, that year has now passed.

5. SUSE Turns 20

While many people view Debian as one of the oldest Linux distributions, the distinction of being the oldest surviving commercial Linux distro belongs to SUSE.

SUSE, which originally stood for Software und System-Entwicklung (translated as Software and System Development), has undergone its fair share of evolution during the past 20 years.

On the ownership front, SUSE was acquired by Novell in 2003 for $210 million and remained part of the Novell brand until last year. Under Novell's leadership, SUSE became part of a patent and interoperability deal in 2006 with Microsoft that the company claimed was intended to protect its Linux users.

When Novell was sold to Attachmate for $2.2 billion in 2011, SUSE was spun out as a separate business unit. As its own unit once again, SUSE officials have claimed that the company has been reborn and revitalized.

Sean Michael Kerner is a senior editor at InternetNews.com, the news service of the IT Business Edge Network, the network for technology professionals. Follow him on Twitter @TechJournalist.

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