Interview with Izabel Valverde
Case Studies II – Interview
Who are you and what exactly you do for openSUSE and GNOME as well?
My name is Izabel Valverde. I’m Brazilian and work as a Development Coordi-
nator for a Brazilian IT company.
In openSUSE currently I’m part of the openSUSE Travel Support Program
as Finance Planning  . Since last year, I have been helping openSUSE Con-
ference -committee on fund raising and sponsorship matters. Also I’m helping
to spread the word about openSUSE in Brazil attending local conferences. For
GNOME for the last 2-3 years my talks at conferences are related to GNOME
Women subjects.How to get more women involved in GNOME project, also how
the project works in simple terms.
How did you involved in openSUSE and GNOME?
Long ago I started with Mandrake and windowmaker. My father and brother
were the ones that brought Linux to me. My brother was (sometimes is!) my
personal support desk. Around 2000 he introduced me a very powerful tool
called Yast! Since then I felt smart enough to choose and use the Linux that
I wanted and I fell for SUSE!!! It was love at first sight! Back in 2003, I met
Timothy Ney. He was Executive Director at GNOME Foundation. During that
time Tim asked me to help him to organize a local GNOME Forum. I did
and after that that I joined the GNOME Foundation and still am a member.
The ”I Frum Gnome” happened in 2004 with just few people, now is a big
community. Today few people from the first Forum are still contributing to
GNOME , but to different Free Software Projects. The same happened to
me. In 2010, a friend called me to help to organize an openSUSE meeting in
Latin America Conference – Latinoware(3). Because of this organization I joined
openSUSE by IRC to understand the project and get to know people. During
Latinoware, Jos Poortvliet invited me to join openSUSE Marketing and since
then I’m supporting openSUSE in the best way I can.
Apart from these what else are you working on?
I’m studying about SCRUM and reviewing some PMI best practices. It’s very
well useful for my everyday job.
Can you tell us, which is the relationship between openSUSE and Gnome community?
In openSUSE, we are lucky to have some engineers and contributors who pro-
vide a very polished and stable GNOME release running on openSUSE. As a
community in Brazil our people are really great! Because of this, it is is easy
to have collaboration between projects. At conferences when they invite us to
talk about GNOME, we can also to present openSUSE and they welcome us.
The same happens in the opposite way I can talk about openSUSE and have
time to spread about GNOME in general. It is a amazing! In some conferences
we have the GNOME booth close to KDE booth and when I can choose I make
openSUSE in between! It is fun for all of us and we take care of each others
booth doesn’t matter the OS or desktop. We are such a rich community of
Can you explain why use Gnome in openSUSE?
In the past when I was SLED user, it was a bit complicated cause the perfect
marriage was with KDE. A lot of work to update my Operation System. Now
since openSUSE releases with 4 desktop is pretty easy! I’m using GNOME for
so many years that I don’t no how or what to say about difficulties. GNOME is
pretty intuitive for end users and great for developers. You can find whatever
you need to work. What is not immediately or update Zypper can help you…
or for end users Yast! Nice and easy almost a ”click install”
Can you imagine the future of openSUSE and GNOME community as well?
GNOME is a very mature community. Very well organized and I can say today
is pretty easy to follow and understand how things happen. Many projects are
happening and many people are able to make big compromised that deliver
great results. Every year when I can go to Guadec(5) – the GNOME Users and
Developers’ European Conference – in the Foundation General Meeting we can
see how bigger and professional we have become. In openSUSE I love the way
it is. A mix of passionate and chaotic people with who look for results. Again
I love it! openSUSE is not a highly structured community, but we do have a
Board to help. We can easily reach our Board without a lots of bureaucracy.
Last year I attended openSUSE Conference in Nuremberg and the atmosphere
was fantastic! The only thing I can say is everyone in their was are amazing and I
don’t plan to leave. Of course some issues happen, fortunately – or unfortunately
- not technically related, but I’m involved in Foss for many years to know isn’t
always a paradise! But then you just need to sit, wait and issues tend to be
naturally solved… because people without the best intentions” leave or be cause
your group, team or board helped. Sometimes isn’t related to you but you, there
always a few bad apples… Nobody likes to have their project attacked. After all
isn’t it about to have lots of fun? I believe in the future of both communities.
I was a bit afraid about the future of GNOME two years ago, but now I can
see how strong GNOMEis. I believe GNOME learned not to be focused in just
one operationsystem or company. This means we are even more mature and
experienced enough to guarantee quality on what we build. openSUSE as OS is
amazing. Any project related to openSUSE is technically great. As community
we are growing quickly ”multi-culturally” and surely we are dealing pretty well
with these diverse ways of seeing things and thinking.
Thank you for the opportunity to present my GNOME and openSUSE history :-)
(1) http://en.opensuse.org/openSUSE:TravelS upportP rogram
”…The Travel Committee is responsible for gathering all the requests and ideas
from the community and working with them to decide what the most valuable
conferences and events are and deciding on who to support and how much...”