Flock to Fedora: Fedora Contributor Conference

Photo by Fedora Design Team, CC BY-SA 4.0.

Flock is where you meet with other members of the Fedora community who share whatever your interest is, whether that’s the kernel or the cloud, hardware or UX design. Flock 2017 took place in Hyannis, Massachusetts, on 29 August – 1 September and was a more action-oriented event than previous years.

Day #0

This was the second year that I was attending Flock and it’s that time of the year where I can’t wait to meet again the lovely people that are part of the Fedora Community, old and new ones. Surprisingly I met some of them at the airport in Dusseldorf while I was waiting for my flight to Boston: Robert, Gabriele, Andrea, Rafal, Jiri, Fabian and Douglas. A lot of Fedorians in the same plane :). After a long flight and the difficulties to enter in the US 😛 I finally managed to arrive in Boston and we took our bus to Hyannis. Although we arrived very late at the hotel, the registration was still open, we went there to register and to take our badge. Oh, I also forgot to mention that a Flock t-shirt and a pair of socks was waiting for us, yaaay 🎉🎉🎉. After meeting some other people that were still around, I went to sleep in order to be ready for the next day.

Day #1

Photo by Mariana Balla, CC BY-SA 4.0.

Finally, Flock started! Matthew Miller, our Fedora Project Leader, kicked off the conference starting with the Welcome/Intro + Fedora State of the Union. I enjoyed a lot his presentation on the status of Fedora and the metrics he showed us. Brian Exelbierd, our Fedora Action and Impact Coordinator, welcomed us to this edition of Flock and shared some tips that were really useful for us during the days of the conference. After Matthew and Brian’s talk, it was the perfect time for a group photo, say “cheese”!

Photo CC BY-SA 4.0.

After the group photo, everyone had the chance to advertise his/her session. Together with Nick, we talked about our session “Fedora Ambassadors: The future” and explained what we would present during our workshop, Justin and Amita talked about the Diversity Workshop.

After the lunch time I went to attend the Council/Budget Conversation, where all the council members were there to answer all the questions that every person had. Most of the questions were related to the proposal that Matthiew had posted on the Fedora Community Blog, where he proposed that from now onward, all events and spending by Ambassadors (and not only) should be directly related to the target audience of a Fedora Edition or to a current Objective. It was a very useful/helpful conversation where we were answered the questions we had on our mind related to the objectives, budget etc. After this session I went to join the Badges Workshop by Maria and Marie. Even though my design skills are not very good 😛 I was really interested in learning how to design a badge, because together with the Diversity Team we are organizing “Fedora Women Day” and I wanted to have a badge for all the attendees. I successfully finished my task and I designed my first badge, now it is approved and I can award it to people 🙂

The next session I attended was “Fedora Hubs Demo + Roadmap”. Mairin, Aurelien and Sayan showed us Fedora Hubs, that is a sort of project intranet for Fedora contributors as well as a single, unified interface to make it easy to learn about teams across Fedora and to provide a consistent on-boarding experience for new contributors. They gave a demo of Fedora Hubs and discussed the future roadmap. Fedora Hubs it’s on my TO DO list now, after finishing my exams I want to get more involved and contribute there.

At the end of the day was the perfect time for the Game Night in Bass River! We had plenty of options on what we could do that night, yaay! First thing we did was International Candy Swap, where Fedorians all around the world brought some candies/sweets from their country. I’m really happy that everyone enjoyed the Albanian bakllava and llokume, and I took some tasty and special candies from the other people 😍😍.

Photo by Rafał Lużyński, CC BY-SA 4.0.

Of course, I couldn’t miss “Comics and Coffee” at Flock 2017. I enjoyed a lot the interview, sharing my story on how I started contributing to Fedora and how it feels being part of the community and in the end, I took my Comic Cover, a very special memory from Flock 😍.

Photo by Al-Rod Studio, CC BY-SA 4.0.

After having my Comic Cover, I joined the Fedorator session, where a bunch of people were gathering to build a Fedorator. Sanqui gave to all of us the necessary materials to start building our own Fedorator which is a device that people can use to flash Fedora onto their USB flash drive. At the end Mariana and I took one Fedorator with us, to be used at Open Labs for our future events. During the night we could even play different games, eat pizza and drink beers 😀

Photo by Jiri Eischmann, CC BY-SA 4.0.
Photo by Giannis Konstantinidis, CC BY-SA 4.0.

Day #2

The second day started with Brian giving us some information related to lunch tickets and the social event. First session that I attended for the second day was “CommOps and Metrics Workshop”. Justin and Sachin explained us how CommOps uses metrics to understand users, the work that CommOps have done until now and new ideas they were thinking to implement such as “Fedora Appreciation Week”, “Fedora Student Pack” etc. Of course they mentioned Fedora Classroom and new ideas on what we can do such as Python Classroom. After lunch time I attended Fedora Hubs Hackfest and Fedora Marketing, very interesting workshops. Meanwhile I had a meeting with my RGSoC supervisor, explaining the work I have done for my scholarship during that week. This day was really busy because I also had to prepare for both workshops I had the next day and coordinate with my friends for both sessions.

At the end of the second day, we had another social event, the Evening Activity at Wackenhammer’s Clockwork Arcade and Carousel. There we found classic arcade games, pinball, and other means of entertainment. I enjoyed a lot this social event because we had plenty of options on where to play, I tried almost all of them and I won a lot of tickets that in the end helped to get some really nice toys/games with me :P. We had even an amazing dinner options from Bon Me and refreshments.

Photo by Paul W. Frields, CC BY-SA 4.0.


Day #3

The third day started with the Diversity session. The Flock session was mostly focused on three things, to improve our event organization process, improve our on-boarding, budget and then at the very end, touch on the survey. At the beginning, we spent some time talking / reviewing the upcoming plans for FWDs. Also had some discussion about other events beyond FWD that we could try to coordinate with. There was a lot of discussion about the International Day of Disabilities Awareness in December. Some people in the room thought it wasn’t a great idea for us to focus on something as broad and general as “disabilities awareness” because it has multiple meanings and there are people who might have a disability but might not identify with “disabilities awareness” so we figured that this event might not be a good one for us to focus on / coordinate with because it’s very broad and it would be difficult for us to find a point to focus on and keep. There was the idea that we might end up creating events /for/ people, not with people. That is, the people organizing the event wouldn’t actually have experience / understanding of the group. The idea is why reinvent the wheel when we could potentially reach out to other local meet-up communities that we have in our immediate area and try to work with them on delivering Fedora-specific content, instead of us having to create a custom event again during the year. One way we could try to reach out and have engagement for the rest of the year is by seeking local meet-up communities and trying to deliver Fedora content there, whether it’s technical or non-technical, about Fedora itself or about contributing, etc. After, we spent time talking about on-boarding and defining the steps of being a team member. We identified the need to revisit our on-boarding guidelines but most of the talk was in the ways we on-board people.

Photo by Alex Eng, CC BY-SA 4.0.

During lunch time together with the l10n team we had a quick meeting where we discussed and finished the last details for the t-shirts we will hand out to the l10n contributors, now we are on the last step waiting for them to be printed and shipped 😀

Photo CC BY-SA 4.0.

Next session that I attended was the mindshare talk from robyduck. First he started explaining that what we are doing well as outreach like events, budget process, design, marketing & docs, and at the same time what we are doing wrong in this way to see what we can improve and how. Mindshare will take over some of it’s basic ideas, trying to optimize the contribution process of ambassadors and other outreach teams, by sharing and developing best practices and by improving communication between teams or SIGs. The mindshare targets will be communication, collaboration, best practises, budget managing, and event planning. The ides is that part of the mindshare (and outreachy teams) will be FCAIC, Ambassadors (2 members appointed), Design & Web, Docs, Marketing, CommOps and two elected seats (members of outreach teams appointed). It will be challenging to have ambassadors, CommOps and other outreach representatives within this new body but mindshare is one of the Council’s objective for 2017 and many ideas from different groups will be incorporated to define the Mindshare responsibilities.

Next session was the workshop that Nick Bebout and I thought to do at Flock this year: The future of the Fedora Ambassadors. We started to explain how is the process to require budget when we want to organize an event or when we want to attend an event, what steps we should follow and explain that it is not necessary to be an ambassador to require budget. Also, we mentioned the swag process, event reports that are a must when you require budget and we discussed about the way we can measure the impact of our events or the metrics that we need for the events we organize. Of course that we mentioned again the proposal that Matthew has posted on the Community Blog, if you have haven’t read it yet please do.

Photo by Mariana Balla, CC BY-SA 4.0.

The last meeting I had for the third day of Flock was with the G11n team. Very sad that I missed the other talks from the team members, but unfortunately they were at the same time that I had my workshops :/ but at least at the end, I could join them on their discussion on different “issues” that seem blocker to us in order to improve this issues and solve them. Brian helped us a lot during this discussion.

After this really long day with a very busy schedule, I thought to rest a bit and sleep, but it was impossible :P. Since it was my last day in Hyannis we needed to party, yaay 😀

Photo by Fedora Design Team, CC BY-SA 4.0.

The last day of Flock! Since this year the Flock organizers tried something new, where we did a lot of workshops and hackfests, the last day was dedicated to giving a demo what each team did. One representative of each team volunteered to talk about what his/her team did during this Flock, what they accomplished, the feedback they had from other attendees, what they can improve etc. It was like a short report from each team and very happy to hear how productive each of them was! And yeah came the time to say bye and close Flock for this year!

The end of the conference came really fast, where each of the days was full of different activities. It was so nice to meet in person again each of the teams that you work on Fedora, to be more productive, to discuss with them the state of each team, what it is going right and what can be improved.

Kudos to the organizers for this amazing Flock, that I enjoyed to the maximum. Hope to see you all soon!

Until the next time, keep up your great work on Fedora 🙂