You might think that this will be just a typical carrier journey of a Red Hater put in a blog post. But the opposite is true. This is going to be a hell of a career journey with a lot of different projects or teams along the way. It may take your attention from the work you need to do, for a few minutes. So let’s jump into it.

Who is Tomas Tomecek in the first place?

Tomas is 32 years old Slovakian Red Hater, currently working from home like everyone else, as a Product owner for project Packit. Born in Skalica and raised in Holíč Slovakia, now living in Brno. As a fun fact I have to quote him: “In 2017, people in Czechia drank 276 glasses of beer on average. I’m one of the people who’s raising the numbers.” If you work at Red Hat and especially in Brno office, you’ve probably already met him. With more than 208cm (almost 6.10 feet) height he is really easy to spot. 

Why did he choose IT?

Like many of us, he first became curious about computers when he was just a little boy playing computer games. As he says: “My fondest memory on videogames was when I played Atomic Bomberman with my brother and my dad on a single keyboard.” Most of us know how the games looked back in the time, but still, it was something that made us so addicted to it. From that day Tomas knew that somewhere in the future the command line was waiting for him.

Well, primary schools are not much into IT stuff, but he still did read and play around with computers to have something to start with. Then he started studying at high school (Stredná Priemyselná Škola Myjava). This high school had one class that had strengthened informatics and math more than the other classes, and that’s why Tomas chose it. Unfortunately, the IT classes were only about Microsoft software and no Linux, what a bummer.

His university time

When Tomas had to choose what he was going to do after he graduated from high school, there was a lot to choose from. He knew that the school system in the Czech Republic was much better than in Slovakia. So he decided to study Informatics at Masaryk University in Brno. During school, he started to be interested in Red Hat and how to get there. He tried to apply for an internship program, but unfortunately, he didn’t pass the tests back then. As he mentioned, the internship program was much harder to get into when he was studying, than it’s now. Also, there were much fewer positions available for interns, which made it even harder.

Red Hat replied yes!

August 2012. The time when Tomas’s real journey started. After graduation, he applied for the Red Hat again and he finally got it. Associate Software Engineer at Red Hat. When he first came to the office and got to know the team and environment he was blown away. It was exactly how he dreamed about it. Maybe even better. The project he was assigned to was Covscan (static analysis tool). He was ready, and he knew that this was going to be the best thing that came into his life.

The journey of the Red Hater

As mentioned before he started at the Core-services team, working on the Covscan tool. When he got a little bit oriented on how it works in Red Hat, he started to maintain packages for Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) and Fedora. This was something completely new for him, so it was a good start to a learning path. 

After some time container technology started to be pretty popular. And that’s what got him thinking if he could switch to something different and more engaging. Red Hat encourages his employees to try new things and to speak up when they want to change something, so it wasn’t so hard to change a project. He started to work on the OpenShift Build Service (OSBS) container build system as a lead engineer.

He realized that this change gave him something special. Yes, it was hard. It was challenging. Without doubts much more time and energy-consuming. But it gave him so much experience, that he wanted to try it again. Try to change a team or a project he’s working on. And by that time he managed to work on the CuCoS project as an engineer.

Tomas still didn’t want to get bored and so he switched to another project. This time it was Modularity. He was working on the first modular OS release – Boltron. Which was fun, but only for some time.

Yep, you guessed it. He changed the project again. This time he took a part in founding the Userspace Containerization team, as a team leader. Again he played some part there but it wasn’t enough for him. He still wanted more and more diversity. So he was working on an ansible-container in his spare time. Later on, he also took a part in founding another project, called ansible-bender.

But of course, also he had to stop somewhere. And that somewhere was a Packit team. When he came there he started as a team lead, but later on, he managed to work as a product owner, which he genuinely enjoys. Every position has its ups and downs of course, and what Tomas misses the most in this one, is the coding. He spent a lot of time on meetings so he doesn’t have much time to code like in the old days.

What do you do with so many experiences?

Of course, contribute to the open-source as any of us would think. But also, Tomas had some more ideas about what to do with the knowledge. As he said: “You know, when I learn things, I learn them as deep as I can, to get the most out of it. And one day I realized that I have a lot to talk about, so I’ve tried to talk on conferences like OpenAlt or DevConf, and I continue doing it ever since.”

And that’s why he is so precious to the open-source community because he is open to the others, and he wants to make this world a better place. Oh, I forgot to mention, he is open to anything beer related too.