My first experience with Free/Libre Open Source Software (FLOSS) was with Mandrake Linux, given to me on a set of disks by a High School friend. Over the years I've distro-hopped through a lot of different Linux variants, finally settling on Fedora. RPM-based distros just feel very comfortable to me, and I used RHEL/CentOS in my day job for nearly 13 years, so there was a lot of "cross pollination". Around 2005, I switched to using Linux full-time on all my home systems. I've also had a few dual boot machines here and there, but I rarely find a reason to boot into Windows.
I work as a software developer, and I am fortunate to build all of my projects on top FLOSS applications. For years I had to use a Windows system for various corporate items, such as email and a scattering of process tools, but at my new job it is all on MacOS. This took some getting used to, but I really appreciate how much easier it is to pull in so many familiar Linux tools. This is really great, as I chose a software engineering focus mostly because of my increasing interest in Linux and the communities around Free Software while I was working toward my Electrical Engineering degree.
In 2008, I worked with the Subversion developers to implement a new feature. The Subversion guys are really excellent, with high standards and attention to detail, while being very welcoming and supportive. Working through this project was one of the most rewarding and influential software development experiences I have been involved in. As a result of that experience, I have also suggested to every Co-Op I have mentored to find a project to contribute to in order to really improve their skills.
Shortly after this Subversion feature implementation, I stopped having as much time to contribute. My young family started to get very busy, and my day job got more demanding. However, I never stopped tracking new developments in the FLOSS community and learning new technologies. Almost a decade later, my kids were getting older and I found time to once again participate. As I have been using more Python, I decided to start helping out Fedora's Python 3 Porting Effort. It was awesome learning about how the distro is actually put together and how much it takes to make it successful.
While looking through the list of packages that did not yet support Python 3, I ran across a familiar project: Subversion! It seemed like a perfect re-entrance into contribution by working with the awesome Subversion devs once again! With the help of the great contributors at Subversion I did get through a lot of initial work for getting the Subversion bindings over to Python 3. Alas, once again life got in the way, moving across the country and starting a new job took over most of my free time. Additionally, at the new job I no longer used Subversion in any capacity, which further distracted my attention to other priorities. After I let the branch lapse for a while, Yasuhito FUTATSUKI took interest and started it back up. Eventually, he worked with the rest of committers and managed to get it over the finish line and Subversion 1.14 released with Python 3 support.
Fast forward a couple of years, and I've continued to do little things on occasion with Fedora. I've been on the look out for a package to take over that I am interested in, but nothing has come up at this point. Other than the bug report here and there and some update testing, I did write a few articles for Fedora Magazine. I also worked a bit with Ulauncher and I continue to play around with GNU Radio, including taking over the gr-pager module. Mostly, my contributions are just here and there as I have interest and time.