Career Days: Regional Community Manager wrap-up

On Saturday, April 5, 2014 at 16:00 UTC Laura Czajkowski (czajkowski) gave a Career Days session on her career and current work as the EMEA Community Manager for MongoDB.

Laura Czajkowski

Career Path

  • Laura studied Computer Science at college and participated the computer society there where she began as a Treasurer and eventually became President. This is where she first learned about Open Source.
    • She noted that it was interesting position as the person controlling the purse strings in a male dominated society it was often viewed as the token female by some. But she did introduce new events, like talks workshops and even ran my first conference, Skycon.
  • She got involved in Ubuntu around 2007
    • Loved being involved in the community and having a having a voice
    • Found it different from others that were active around then because she was really focused on the desktop
  • After graduation she worked at a Software Tester for an Irish Software House in Dublin
    • Did not participate in open source as part of her job, but she did get a chance to work on Ubuntu in her free time and participate on IRC
    • Noted that “sometimes you may not get the perfect job on your first attempt but view it as the stepping stone or gaining experience to move on in your career”
    • Put in the time and the effort and people will respect you in the long run
  • She also got involved in the Ubuntu Ireland (Ubuntu-IE) team, where she began attending few workshops and meet ups
  • In 2009 she learned about an upcoming Ubuntu Developer Summit for Karmic (9.10) and thought it sounded interested so she took a week long holiday and went to see what it was all about
  • From there she got involved in more Ubuntu teams, eventually got her Ubuntu membership.
    • 2 years on the Membership board
    • 4 years on the LoCo Council
    • And now on her 2nd term on the Community Council
  • She moved to London on 2010 and in 2011 I started to work for Canonical as Launchpad support
    • This position gave her a view into how various people use one system so differently, not just for code hosting, but translations and not just for Ubuntu projects
  • Current Work

    • Beginning in June of 2013, she took a position as the EMEA Community Manager at MongoDB
    • The Community team is broken down by territory and they work together as a team to help the community with the tools they need
    • They developed a community kit this year which has been useful and we’re looking for more people to help translate it: http://blog.mongodb.org/post/64205973285/introducing-the-mongodb-community-kit
    • She works from home in Guildford, England
    • Looks after the MongoDB User Groups “MUGs” – currently looks after 70 of them, continuing to nurture them and make sure they are growing, looking at ways she can help take their feedback and see where MongoDB can improve of give credit where credit is due and pass along the thanks
    • She recently launched a survey in EMEA for the community and with that feedback help where necessary, since without seeking feedback you can’t know if you’re doing the right thing and if you are that’s great and if you’re not where can you make it better
    • She spend time with each of our organisers making sure they feel supported. Sometimes it’s a call, or a hangout just to see if their last event went well, if they need extra support in their community and make sure they have the resources they need.
    • “I am very privileged that I get to meet the community face to face and get to hear what people want from MonogoDB, but also it’s great to hear what people are doing and the enthusiasm spreads.”

    Some tips from Laura about her career:

    • “I think one that that has helped my career is taking the time to read about different projects, not become an expert in them but know that we often use parts of projects within one project”
    • “If you like technology and it’s someting that always changes you need to keep learning”

    Q&A

    • Do you have any recommendations for other people who are looking for similar types of work?

    I’d look at some of the communities out there and see what they are offering.A good idea would be to see if there are any job openings if you are attending events, many people love talking and it’s not until you actually talk to them at a booth do you make a connection and find out about possible roles

    • Have you faced any particular challenges in your career that others might learn from?

    Yes, people assume once you work with community you’re not tecnical, I find this insulting. My only advice is always continue to learn and read. While you won’t be an expert in the field, ask questions don’t be silent people asusme silence means you don’t know anything, show your interest by asking and engaging.

    Contact

    Full logs which include very thorough answers to these questions are available on our wiki:

    http://wiki.ubuntu-women.org/CareerDays/RegionalCommunityManager

    If you’re interested in getting involved, please see the Ubuntu Women Career Days wiki page or email me (lyz@ubuntu.com).

    These sessions are open to the whole community, you don’t need to be a woman to attend or participate.

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