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This is a living document.
This document can be updated as discussion dictates, etc. Not sure why we have personas? Read the Personas FAQ.


Why do we have personas for the server product? Read the personas FAQ.


  • ‘application developer’ could be one right? someone who wants to build server applications
  • ‘home/small business’ where they are constrained to one server/limited resources?
  • ‘enterprise datacenter’ where they want to roll out many server instances and automate.
  • A mid-level Microsoft administrator who does not have time for a steep learning curve.

Primary Personas

Persona #1: SysAdmin MacGuyver

Sandra Summers

Senior System Administrator; New Amsterdam Historical Society

"We're a small organization and we have limited resources... we just can't order new hardware for every new service request we get."

Profile SysAdmin MacGyver
Age 36
Location Brooklyn, New York, USA
Technical Level Advanced
Years Experience 15
Primary Tools ? Not sure. Thinking about things like puppet, nagios, splunk, etc.
Referrals Learns about new tech from team members, USENIX mailing lists, blogs


  • Keep IT team within budget.
  • Minimize late-night phone calls.


  • Clean, secure, and manageable deployment of multiple server applications to a single server.
  • Unified management of server resources.
  • Ability to understand resource usage across server inventory to identify underutilized resources.
  • Ability to easily deploy apps to underutilized resources.


  • Home-grown scripts for deploying apps that have been around forever that have mysterious voodoo power. Difficult to reproduce application deployments consistently.
  • Proliferation of various management console interfaces to have to manage.

Work Description

< description of a typical work day goes here. >

Persona #2: DevOps

Joe Franklin

Ruby on Rails Freelancer; Joe, Inc.

"I want to build amazing, easy-to-deploy server applications for my clients."

Profile DevOps
Age 27
Location San Francisco, California
Technical Level Journeyman
Years Experience 7
Primary Tools Uses a MacBook Pro as his workstation. Uses Ruby on Rails and Github.
Referrals RubyWeekly, Ruby Insider, engadget, lifehacker, ... (?)


  • Use the latest and best technology to solve interesting problems.
  • Produce high-quality applications that excite my clients and build a great reputation for it.
  • Grow my business and gain key clients.


  • Agility
  • Rapid recovery / rebuild of servers when they go down.
  • Anticipating outages / becoming aware of outages before they happen or as soon as possible in order to mitigate them.
  • Seamless migrations/upgrades of my applications.
  • Deploy projects to PaaS, multiple cloud providers, and even bare-metal

(Perhaps not relevant to Server)

  • Balance multiple ongoing development projects at the same time.


  • Platform bugs that casue me to spend cycles porting my code forward. It's time-consuming and uninteresting work.
  • Cloud providers that change their APIs in an incompatible way with little notice! Having to develop new connectors for production servers with only a few days' notice is not cool.
  • Spending cycles packaging code up for an endless array of platforms - it's time-consuming and uninteresting work.
  • Building software on a platform so old it doesn't have the python or ruby library I need and not being able to pull it in from out-of-stream.
  • Being forced to build on top of or connect together poorly or undocumented platforms, and/or use weak platform APIs
  • Frameworks configured by default to require a lot of customization. I want to start running right away instead of getting bogged down in that kind of detail.

Work Description

< description of a typical work day goes here. >

Persona #3: Traditional App Developer

George Simpson

Principal Application Developer, Defense Contractor

"Critical bugs could seriously injure real people, or worse. We have a strict regimen behind our development process to minimize risk."

Profile Traditional Developer
Age 43
Location Washington, DC
Technical Level Master
Years Experience 22
Primary Tools Uses a Thinkpad as his workstation, emacs, gcc and git.

Has a smartcard and various x509 certificates to access critical systems.



  • Keep the people interfacing with my software safe.


  • Stability and predictability
  • Minimize risk; vet every code change before it gets in and causes potential problems.


  • Bureacracy - although I understand why it's in place, it takes the effort of moving a mountain to move a molehill in this codebase.
  • Hardware vendors not supporting hardware for as long as we need to run it in the field.
  • Testing matrix requires a lot of infrastructure to perform various tests in a reasonable time frame on as many configurations as possible.

Work Description

  • Triage of bugs filed by support/users
  • Short daily or weekley status meetings
  • Prepares design documents for new futures or bug fixes
  • One of the following:
    • Writes code/bugfixes
    • Writes unit tests
    • Writes memos for doc writers or writes documentation directly

Persona #4: Junior Enterprise SysAdmin

Andy Grant

Junior System Administrator; MegaBank, Inc.

"Automation is critical to managing a rollout to a server environment this large."

Profile Junior Enterprise SysAdmin
Age 24
Location Jersey City, NJ
Technical Level Apprentice
Years Experience 2
Primary Tools bash, ssh, mutt, ?
Referrals ?


  • Avoiding screwups - I want to get noticed at my company and build a good reputation.
  • Learn and become a better sysadmin.


  • I manage the email infrastructure; my goal is 95% uptime this year.
  • Minimize unplanned outages.
  • <ugh what automation goals might he have with mail infra?>


  • Bureacracy - I work at a large company, and it's really hard to make change happen here.
  • Spending cycles porting code to an endless array of platforms – it’s time-consuming and uninteresting work
  • Spammers - gunking up the works. One of the things that sucks about working on mail infrastructure.
  • End-user interaction - it's hard to walk people through tasks on the phone, and we have a heterogeneous environment so I'm not always quite sure what mail client they are using.

Work Description

< description of a typical work day goes here. >

Persona #5: Decision-Maker

Priya Moore

CTO, Cloud Startup

"In this competitive startup market, we need to be fast, efficient, and use technologies that attract developers to the company."

Profile Decision-Maker
Age 31
Location San Francisco, California
Technical Level Advanced
Years Experience 12
Primary Tools Uses a ThinkPad with Linux or MacBook Air, a tablet for meetings, and supports developers using their choice of hardware and OS
Referrals TED, Twitter, Google+, Reddit, TechCrunch, GigaOm, Hacker News, Mailing Lists, Strata, Wired, Big Data newsletters, blogs (especially ones from Facebook, Twitter, and similar industry-leading engineering departments), other industry conferences


  • Building a great company around great technology


  • Communicate the organization's technology vision to the world
  • Interface with upstream projects to see where technology is headed and influence the direction
  • Establish good, key metrics to encourage work in the right direction


  • Needing to get a minimum viable product (MVP) shipping
  • Security models
  • Linking services together across machines
  • Playing office network admin in addition to CTO
  • Tension between choosing respected, traditional choices and things that will give the company an edge.
  • Integrating developer tools, QA needs, and production needs
  • Cloud versus bare-metal economics and overhead
  • Proprietary versus FOSS/in-house service options

Work Description

  • General executive meetings (short daily ones, longer weekly ones, and occasional retreats)
  • Coordinating with VP Engineering on weekly- to roadmap-level planning
  • Preparing internal communication materials for sales, marketing, support, and the general company presentations
  • Blogging, writing articles, and participating in online discussions
  • Coding and code reviews
  • Planning hackfests to improve FOSS projects, meet external developers for recruitment, and learn about projects
  • Attending community meetups
  • Vetting candidates and participating in interviewing
  • Preparing responses to security questionnaires from potential clients

Secondary Personas

Persona #6: Server Role Creator

Edward Bryant

System Administrator

"The work I do would be helpful to others, so I want to share it."

Profile Fedora Server Contributor
Age Indeterminate
Location Silicon Valley
Technical Level Moderate to high
Years Experience 5+
Primary Tools Shell scripts, source-control, IRC
Referrals Flock, FUDCon, FOSDEM, LinuxCon, Fedora mailing lists and IRC


  • Enhance the State of the Art
  • Minimize effort for deployment


  • Create a new role for Fedora Server so that he can use Fedora Server for an application that doesn't currently have a role to support it. He would like this application to plug nicely into Fedora.


  • New to Fedora community; not sure how to get involved.
  • Documentation is often sparse, out of date or scattered between many sites.
  • Guidelines are built around packaging projects, not solutions.
  • Hates seeing people solving the same problem over and over.

Work Description

  • Coordination between multiple upstream projects
    • Release schedules.
    • API stability promises.
  • Builds deployment scripts and setup tools.
  • Communicates with the Fedora Project and its Server SIG.
  • Acts as a liason with one or more companies with a goal to achieve.
  • Helps prioritize the high-value roles for construction and maintenance.
  • Attends conferences to evangelize and listen to pain points.