My name is Roland Taylor (@rolandixor, everywhere), and I'll be working as an Outreachy intern for Fedora Badges from today, May 29th, 2023.
In my personal life, I'm a man of many talents: a web and graphics designer, a writer, speaker, YouTuber, and connoisseur of all things tech - just to name a few things. Outside of tech, I love to explore the worlds of science and science fiction, spirituality, history, music, film, photography, and so much more. Though I haven't been an avid craftsman for some years now, I also have a passion for creating things with my hands, ever since I've known myself. My mind is a universe unto its own!
Circling back to technology, I have a major passion for Open Source (truly free) software. In fact, I've been using Open Source software in my daily workflow for more years than I can remember, and I've been running Linux on my computers full time (as my primary operating system) since 2007. My first introduction to Open Source software came long before I even knew what it was - when I caught a glimpse of a Red Hat desktop environment running on an old blade server. Since then, I've been enthusiastically learning, contributing, even creating my own projects. Just to give a few examples, I've worked as a community moderator on Ask Ubuntu and Blender StackExchange, contributed various icons to the Numix Project, and written and produced extensive guides, tutorials, and other resources for various open source projects throughout the years. I've even created a number of open source CSS frameworks and libraries, at least one of which (Anole CSS) has been adopted by a real-world project outside my own.
I've always been driven by a strong sense of compassion and justice, coupled with a hefty dose of curiosity, which is why working with open source software always felt like a natural fit. Of course, freedom of cost (and not just code) is also a huge benefit, though exactly why may be easily lost on those who already have the resources to make this a trivial factor in choosing Free & Open Source Software (F/OSS).
For me, it boils down to this: Software is a tool, and no one should be restricted from having access to the tools that can better their lives. By being truly free and available to anyone who wishes to use, modify, or learn from it, truly open software provides means to a higher level of living. This is something I'm passionate about, having come from many areas of disadvantages in my own life, and still experiencing the effects of these disadvantages today. As I've learned first hand, a lack of access to necessary software can be the difference between fulfilling your dreams, getting hired, or even completing your education. Therefore, I see software accessibility as a fundamental right and a means towards establishing social and economic justice.
Furthermore, free software allows curious folks (like myself) to seek, find, and assimilate new depths of knowledge and gain new skills as a result. Whether it's learning how to create games, build an operating system, track your finances, or... my favourite... design and create awesome things, open source software makes it possible to explore! Having more access to a vast array of knowledge bases has only made me want to learn more, and now, I get to share this knowledge with others!
Over my (many) years of using and learning about F/OSS, I'd been hearing about the Outreachy program for several years now, though I was more familiar with other programs such as Google Summer Of Code. This year, however, I was encouraged to take a fresh look at the program, and after some consideration, I decided to go for it and apply! After an engaging and productive contribution period, I was accepted for the May 2023 cohort, and now here we are!
Many thanks to the mentors, fellow applicants, and community for making this experience a blast! I'll be posting regular updates of my progress and experiences on this blog, so make sure to subscribe by adding the RSS feed to your favourite app if you'd like to follow along.
You can find me on Social Media under the handle @rolandixor, just about everywhere, but my preferred platforms at the moment include:
I'm also on Twitter @rolandixor, if you'd like to get in touch there.
Feel free to reach out and connect! I'm always happy to hear from you, the community!