Red Hat's Products and Technologies organization is doing game-changing work in the IT industry, so we're taking a closer look at some of the talented Red Hatters from around the world who are enabling our continued evolution. In showcasing their unique stories, it's clear that there's no one path to finding success as a Red Hatter. For each of us, it's about open collaboration and building something together.
As a principal software quality engineer in Beijing, Red Hatter Shi Wei often sees how his role impacts the company. “Each year at Red Hat Summit, there are usually one or two presentations that are directly related to a project I’m working on, which makes me feel that my daily work is closely related to Red Hat’s success. It’s nice to feel like a part of that.”
Even before joining the company, Wei was a part of the open source community. “My Linux journey started with Red Hat. I clearly remember using my first Linux distribution—Red Hat Linux 9—for the first time. It really made an impact on my career path. In my previous position, I was an operations and maintenance engineer, working on Unix business support systems for a telecommunications provider. My whole career has been about Unix and Linux. So, when I joined Red Hat, I was excited to be a part of the team behind these products.”
Testing on the cloud
“As a quality engineer on the virtualization team,” Wei says, “my job is to test Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) on major cloud providers. It involves a lot of cross-team collaboration—both internally and externally.”
He gets a front row seat for the impact his work is having on the technology landscape every day. “I see the way that organizations around the world are increasingly relying on the cloud, and it’s a core component of Red Hat’s strategy. To be a part of that is cool. I think my work is really valuable because what I do helps us to deliver quality products for our customers.”
Wei has come a long way since that first Linux distribution. Now he’s helping to ensure that future distributions meet the needs of users. “I work on a team of around 20 Red Hatters who are testing RHEL on various platforms. Everyone has their own individual expertise, but we all rely on the same tools, the same workflow. We come together regularly to share our technical knowledge with each other and solve problems together. They’re all very creative and eager to innovate. I’ve learned a lot from my team.”
Finding his place
“I think I do have the freedom to be myself and try anything I want. And through practice and experimentation, I’ve been able to benefit the whole team. Some of that exploration has become part of our best practices.” Wei clearly enjoys making things better and having an impact. “Together we’ve developed new tools for automation and continuous integration, helping to improve productivity.”
For Wei, being a Red Hatter isn’t just about the work itself, though. “I feel that Red Hat cares about every associate’s well-being and our work-life balance. I don’t feel like I need to work nights and weekends to keep up, like I have at other companies. And I have flexibility on when my work is done. That helps me create a schedule where my personal and family life can easily balance with my responsibilities at work.”
Exploring new opportunities
Outside of his day-to-day responsibilities, Wei has also been able to explore other parts of the open source community. “I think being at Red Hat is unique when compared to other companies because we have the opportunity to take on new challenges and experiment. Our managers encourage us to try new things and test out new roles. Because of that, I’ve been able to do things like work on the Red Hat booth staff at conferences. That led to some great experiences as I got to meet a lot of people at the booth. I saw the interest and passion many have to learn about our products and our open source model. It reminded me of my own early explorations of Linux.”
“Another opportunity that I really enjoyed was being an organizer for Open TestCon and quality engineering (QE) camp events for several years. It’s quite different from my testing work, but it gave me the chance to work with different teams that I wouldn’t normally encounter. Vendors, too. I’ve now done both internal and external events. I don’t think I’d have the opportunity to freely participate in things like this at other companies.”
Creating new solutions, together
Wei has definitely found ways to make his own place in open source through the opportunities provided by Red Hat’s culture. “I really enjoy the open and free atmosphere at Red Hat,” he says. “The people here are very responsible, creative, and willing to share their ideas and collaborate. Everyone’s voice is valued and respected. Red Hatters have a strong passion for technology and like to use it to solve problems and create something new.”
What new solutions could you help create in Red Hat’s open culture? Join us to find out.
About the author
Red Hat is the world’s leading provider of enterprise open source software solutions, using a community-powered approach to deliver reliable and high-performing Linux, hybrid cloud, container, and Kubernetes technologies.