In December 2015, I was selected to be part of a research project in the Czech Republic, and a few days later, I got my Turris 1.1 router, which is still running at my home and is using automatic updates. I started to fiddle and get more details about Turris and its features, how it is running, what it does, how you can run your own services, and getting used to it and advising or trying to get more details from other people to be more knowledge, so I can become in the future as they are. It started on the old Turris forum (only in Czech and only for someone who remembers it).
Then I saw a job offer on Twitter that Turris is looking for someone for a Technical support position and I did not hesitate any second and opted for it. My interview was somehow weird because almost every single Turris person was like that’s he? The guy who still complains on the forum? It’s really amazing how things went and that I could be part of the Turris team for such a time, during which I got fantastic opportunities to try other positions in the Turris team even though I could not focus on only one thing. Still, even in recent days, I have been involved in the support department. And now… it is time to say goodbye. I tried to sum up my 5 years working at CZ.NIC in a few paragraphs, so it’s up to you if you are curious and if not, just move to the last paragraph, which is kinda TL;DR.
My support experience
Two years later, the exact month I joined the Turris department as a Technical support guy, my job was not only replying to you through the ticket system, which we were using. Some of you even got responses after midnight and even on weekends. I hope that I was doing a great job over there, but as always, any feedback is necessary, but it should be in good manners.
I was getting involved with our R&D department on the same floor to cooperate with developers to know if they were aware of some bugs which might happen with a new feature, which they released, and how I could help the user who reported the problem.
Among other things, I started to work with the community and occasionally send several packages to appreciate that you guys are helping Turris keep it going and providing your opinions and thoughts.
Because I always like to learn new things, why could I not know how to become familiar with Turris OS and how I could build it locally together with the OpenWrt, which Turris is using? Things went okay overall. I started with a few parts, like easier packages, which should be at the beginning okay. If something is wrong, I should ask or try to cooperate with the package developers or just search the Internet if somebody did not experience it already.
I almost forgot about the Indiegogo campaign for Turris MOX as it was my first campaign, but not only as a backer, but I also have it from the other side, being on the team and responding to comments. It was a very great experience, I must say and I learned quite a lot from it.
I do not precisely remember what the first release I prepared for you was, but I think that’s not important to share with you. I prepared so many Turris OS releases. If I am going, to be frank with you guys, some of them did not end very well due to multiple configurations and setups, which are not possible to cover at all even though you could notice that occasional bugs happened, which should not happen. We are all people, and we learn from our mistakes. I am so sorry that happened on my watch as Release Manager.
As I was a charge of Turris OS releases, I attended and talked at a few conferences, but my biggest priority was to be open as much as possible, even while cooperating with the community, but also upstream as many things as possible. When I began sending pull requests, I was like I didn’t want to have any closed pull requests as it looked bad. Still, after your first closed pull request, you don’t care and try to work on the stuff. Even it sometimes takes time, do it properly because others will benefit from it and if you do it carefully, then it will be included in next OpenWrt release, and you do not need to rework it or do it differently once it is there, then its great, because you can remove it from your to-do list and work on other things. It’s true that if you want to have things fast, then you are not doing it exactly as you want, but it will kick you in the future and you need to do it properly, but of course, if you have time.
Getting to the end (some statistics)
- 1 141 commits to the Turris Build repository (Turris OS 4.x+)
- 621 commits to the Turris OS packages repository (all Turris OS versions)
- more than 510 pull requests to the OpenWrt packages repository
- I have commit permissions there and many commits were cherry picked to the stable releases
- more than 100 pull requests to the OpenWrt main repository, but also I sent several patches through the mailing list.
- just a few days ago, I got commit access to the routing repository.
- too bad I don’t have statistics from the support as it would be quite interesting.
I can just hope that someone in the team will continue doing that.
(cross-reference: Industry supporting OpenWrt - #12 by Pepe - Hardware Questions and Recommendations - OpenWrt Forum )
Since 1st March 2023. I decided to take the opportunity to work at a different company. I wish all remaining colleagues the best at CZ.NIC That’s why you can see in these last days that I started to use the
Former Turris team member, because I still do have a contract with CZ.NIC, but that will be the end of this month (March, 2023) as I do have vacation for the remaining days.
To sum it up, overall, it was a pleasure being part of such an amazing community with you guys, and I’m glad for the great opportunity that CZ.NIC could provide me with it.