Mary Campbell, Senior Manager of Training Solutions for the Linux Foundation, shares her background in this month’s ‘Meet The Community’ post. Mary talks about the path that led her to the Linux Foundation, including a hiatus spent sailing the Caribbean on a 42′ sloop!
It’s been almost six years since I made the brilliant decision to join the Linux Foundation and a team of incredibly intelligent, forward-thinking, and very caring individuals. It’s a long way from where I started as a system’s engineer at Electronic Data Systems (EDS), but the path, to me, has been a natural one.
I grew up in Detroit with eight siblings in a neighborhood full of kids, where we spent most of our time outdoors. Our vacations were in northern Michigan, enjoying the lakes or snow skiing. I’ve known from an early age that I wanted to work with computers. I’ve always had a strong love of math, science, and anything cutting edge (PC’s were still new back then). At EDS, they encouraged frequent skills training to stay current, but they also required constant soft skills training (time management, public speaking, self-awareness). I’m so grateful for that today.
However, I wasn’t meant to stay in a cubicle. I took a leave from EDS so my husband and I could sail the Caribbean on our 42′ sloop. We made it to Trinidad before sailing back up to Florida, where we sold the boat. The time away, meeting so many new people from so many different cultures, gave me a lot of time to think about my career direction. Rather than returning to EDS, I chose to move into technical sales. My background and the certifications I had earned were a great advantage when selling back-end servers and outsourcing engineers to Fortune 500’s.
Then came the dot com boom, and I needed to be part of it. I joined a company that specialized in reaching the right online audience using the right digital technologies. It was an excellent study of new consumer behaviors in the digital world. That grew into emerging technologies, working with analysts who kept a close watch on what was coming out of Silicon Valley. We took advantage of the west coast focus and moved to Whistler, British Columbia, where we skied our hearts out.
Then, finally, the analysts were talking about Linux and Open Source. They were predicting exponential growth across all industries. And they were so right! I love the fact that open source has opened the door for so many people around the world who are actually encouraged to share their ideas and contribute code, and can enjoy knowing they are making a difference. If you haven’t been to a Linux Foundation event, I recommend it. The energy in that community is powerful!
My husband and I are now settled in coastal North Carolina with the ocean, rivers, and plenty of golf courses nearby. Thankfully, we are still surrounded by family. Lots and lots of family!
With more than 25 years’ experience in technical services account management, Mary works closely with organizations around the globe who are using open source software to create new opportunities, products, and experiences. She helps identify the perfect corporate solution to suit every need and budget.