I've been using Debian exclusively on my home computers since 2007. From the very start I was thrown in the deep end, being walked through compiling nvidia graphics drivers from source (this was before DKMS existed) by someone helpful on IRC that I now can't remember the name of. I started submitting bug reports and patches not too long afterwards - #483600 was my first bug report, though the maintainer had already taken care of it by the time I figured out a fix; I was determined to compile a tool that I needed for a university course, rather than resort to installing Windows.
Outside of Debian I'm also a developer for the Tor Project and the Freenet Project, and have mentored for both of these during Google Summer of Code. My day-to-day work is research and development on secure group messaging systems. I help various cryptography projects such as OTR and PGP, as well as CryptoParties in Berlin and previously London. Every year I go to CCC, RWC, FOSDEM, the Tor developer meetings, CTS/CTF when it happens, and occasionally HOPE and PETS. 2015 will hopefully be my first year at DebConf.
I have a lot of respect for Debian. It is one of the largest and most structured FOSS projects existing today. It has a strong drive for developing standards for interoperation between projects; this is important in order for many smaller projects - and most FOSS projects are small, yet many - to work together in a wider context to achieve greater real-world affects. It has a consensus-based process for forming these standards that is continually being questioned and improved; this is important so that unity may be achieved without sacrificing the components' independence and individuality. Not only do I want to contribute technically to Debian, to improve the state of FOSS in the world; but I also want to explore this method of organisation further, and I believe that this will help future societies in ways that are deeper and broader than what is commonly meant by "technological progress".
I've been using Debian exclusively on my home computers since 2007. From the very start I was thrown in the deep end, being w... (expand)