Quick question about Canonical's culture

Dear Ubuntu community/Canonical team,

I’m currently working on a project for a global engagement seminar where I build a theoretical/hypothetical study aboard course. The main point of the project is to consider how to engage globally in a meaningful way, since study abroad isn’t an option right now. I’m also aware Canonical doesn’t offer internships, so this course I’m designing is purely hypothetical and more along the lines of “Wouldn’t it be cool if…?” than practicality.

I’ve decided that I wanted to make a course that offers a hands-on, internship-like experience as a supplement to my college’s operating system course in which students would learn more about operating systems by assisting Canonical in shipping an Ubuntu release. Ideally, this would take place in London at Canonical’s HQ in Southwark. One of the major aspects of the project planning is considering the societal experience; i.e., the societal aspects of the country we’ve selected. I figured a good place to start would be looking at the corporate culture at Canonical, since that would be a smaller scope.

For those working at Canonical, what’s the culture like? I’m curious to know what the experience is like, at least more on the social/cultural side of things.

Note: I initially asked this in the Ubuntu Podcast Chatter Telegram group, and I was recommended to post here. I apologize in advance for not having this properly categorized; I wasn’t sure what categories would fit.

Thanks in advance.

Edit log:

  • Added where the theoretical ICA would take place for clarification purposes.

This is a really cool think piece! As a former academic, designing courses was one of my favorite things, even though there were always challenges. And so even though this is a thinkpiece, since we don’t have internships, I think you’ll learn a lot, and I hope those of us with the aubergine circles can help!

So just to be checking - this theoretical experience you’ll be developing will be remote, and just looking at company culture? Or would it also look at a country’s culture? In that case, you might want to “tie” the fictional internship to one of the offices.

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Thanks for the response! Company culture is just a portion of the societal aspects I’m looking at. I’m also considering other things such as the political climate and the country’s culture.

In terms of “tying” it to an office, I failed to mention that I have already done so, and I apologize. I have “tied” it to Canonical’s HQ in the UK.

I hope this helps. Thanks!

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Yay! That’s really helpful. I am going to have a nice thoughtful answer for you in the morning, and I’ll see who I can steer this way to add their comments - though it might be a little while for some of us to answer, given that it’s release week! :grimacing: :tada:


I hope release week for Hirsute has went well! I wanted to check in and see if there were any updates to this thread, as well as offer any clarifications or additional information that may be needed to answer the question.

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Ack! Hello! Thank you for nudging me. My answer is from a newcomer’s (2 1/2 months) perspective, but I hope it helps!

So, it goes without saying we’re super flexible. My hours are mine to set, though I do keep it around 9-5 or 9-6, with a few days where I’ll start later or take a midday break since I’m doing something like a CC meeting in the evening. Haven’t had an issue with scheduling meetings, and for things involving everyone, there’s usually two sessions to cover all the different time zones we work in. Also, since we bring our own device, I could decide what I wanted - though surprise surprise, I got my first ThinkPad to celebrate becoming a Canonical employee, and got one preloaded with Ubuntu to see what the experience was like.

I’d also say that, given our flexibility, there’s also an expectation to be self motivated and self disciplined. My weekly tasks are a combination of things that come up in stand ups and planning meetings, and things that just organically happen as I interact with the community. So it’s a lot of things to balance and stay on top of!

My coworkers are some of the most brilliant and passionate people you’ll ever meet, and they’ve also been incredibly supportive to me during my first few months here. There’s definitely a lot of energy around things like the community reboot, and for me, that definitely gives me the feeling this is somewhere I could be and grow for a while, and be supported in that.

I hope this helps, and I will hopefully nudge some others to post here - thank you for being patient, though, since with release and sprints it’s pretty busy!

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