On how I became a GNOME community member

I find the recent posts from Jeff quite entertaining, it's actually pretty good exercise to sometimes stop and look back to see the path you've done instead of focusing on the path you have ahead. It makes you think about why are you here and where you want to go. Besides, I always find Jeff writing quite entertaining and motivational, I miss it.

Motivated by a tweet from Miguel I am going to try to explain why I got involved in GNOME and why I am still excited about what this community is trying to accomplish. I am not sure Miguel is going to like the length of it 🙂


Just a month before I started university, I attended my first major FOSS event. The HispaLinux congress in 2003. HispaLinux was the main Spanish FOSS non-profit organization and it was very active, this was at the same time that Extremadura and Andalusia made the move to Linux for their IT deployments in education. FOSS was a hot topic in Spain.

During this event Miguel gave a talk on GNOME and Mono, to be honest I didn't put much attention on the Mono stuff, I was quite new to software development and I didn't quite understand the point of it at the time.


On the other hand, I fell in love with the values and goals of the GNOME project as he exposed them. Usability, design, accessibility… computing for everybody. At that point it became clear to me that GNOME was to free software what Apple was for computing back in the 80s. It was a truly open community. It was a project worth contributing to.

In this congress I was also introduced to the GNOME Hispano guys by Juanje Ojeda. The names are familiar and still very relevant: Alvaro Lopez, Carlos Garnacho, Carlos Garcia, Alvaro del Castillo, Roberto Majadas, Rodrigo Moya, Chema Casanova, Jose Angel. How can you not want to spend more time with them?

I had such a great time with that bunch. They were  not only cheerful and fun but passionate about trying to push FOSS mainstream. They were geeks indeed, but a special breed of geeks anyway.

Since then, I've been following d-d-l and Planet GNOME daily, blog posts from Jeff, Vincent, Federico, Elijah, Carl, Seth made me excited about the future of the project, and eventually I started contributing code.

So this is my story, what's yours?