GNOME Gtk Developer

I tried and I failed.

This summer, during the GUADEC 2018, the GNOME foundation announces some job positions. One of that job was for a Gtk+ core developer. I tried to get that job and after a long period I was rejected.

The final developer selected for this possition is Emmanuel Bassi, a very active developer in the core of GNOME and the one that's behind the great The History of GNOME Podcast.

To be honest, I really wanted that job. It's a dream job for me, working fulltime in a free software project, by a foundation, with the great GNOME technology and community.

But I've to say that just when I saw the foundation announcement about this position I thought about ebassi, because as far as I know, he's the best one to do that job. In any case, I wanted to give a try and go for that job, I didn't know about other people going for it, so maybe I can do it.

Some background

I'm working in my own little company since 2010. We're three coworkers with the same percentage of the company, like a cooperative and we work mainly as external consultant for bigger companies. We do a lot of work related with GNU/Linux and free software, but lately we mainly do web apps with python and react, because that's what our current clients ask for.

But the first paid project for wadobo was a GNOME project, I started the company with a small project to improve accessibility in PDF documents, working directly in evince. And then we worked with Qt, QML and other technologies, but I wasn't able to get a paid work on GNOME or Gtk+ since that initial work.

In any case, I continued working in GNOME in my spare time, trying to contribute, first with libgepub, trying to bring epub support to evince, and then to GNOME Books. And the last year I became more active because of Fractal and Gnome Translation Editor (gtranslator). And I've been mentor for the GSoC 2018 and now I've two interns in the Outreachy program.

I've some time to spend in GNOME, but I'm not making money from that, so now I'm starting to look for that actively, because I really want to have more time to spend working with free software.

So, I talked with my coworkers, to be honest with them, and I told them that I was going to try to get the Gtk+ core developer position.

The process

This was a long process, I think that it was long because there was a lot of people for that position.

  • The Email: I sent the initial email in mid July, with a long description about me and my work in gnome and free software, with a little hope in my heart.

  • The Survey: Then I received an email with a link to a survey to complete with more information. That was great, because it sounds like I've passed the first cut.

  • The Interview: At the end of August I received a conglatulations email. My resume was positively reviewed and I'll have a personal interview.

That was really nice and I started to think that maybe it was possible after all.

At the mid of September, I've a video conference meeting with Carlos Soriano and Matthias Clasen. For me was a great interview, talking about my experience, GNOME and Gtk+. Maybe the interview was a disaster and they are just a very nice people being nice with a poor developer, but at the end I thought that it was well and I was very exited about this.

The failure

After a long time without knowing anything, I received the email that I was waiting for. I wasn't selected for the position. The next week, the foundation announces the new staff member and in that moment I noticed that I've had no chance to get the job. He's the better candidate and I'm really happy because this is really good for GNOME.

And now what?

At the end of the process, I think that this was a great experience for me, because this forces me to think about my career, what I want to do in the future and I went through a full selection process, something that I've not done since 2009.

I will continue trying to find the way to work in GNOME or something realated with the GNU/Linux desktop or core technologies.

I did a lot of web development, I've a lot of experience and I'm really good doing web with django, but I really want to go back and work with other technologies, programming in C, the new Rust language and with some low level technologies.

If someone need help, I'm here and I can work as a contractor. For now I'll continue working in Wadobo, trying to find clients that requires desktop or low level work.

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