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Flock Cape Cod – day 4 and considerations

Three full days of sessions, three full days of fun, three full days of hacking, talking and dreaming with other Fedora friends. That was Flock 2017, but we still had the last day and it consisted mainly of a recap of the working sessions and talks. After some insights from the people who hold the sessions we were told what worked well and what they tried to fix during Flock.

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These could help to make next year’s Flock better and more successful. After the recap Matthew and Brian closed officially the conference, and so we could start our Council meeting, during which we discussed some important topics and had a pizza. It is always a good thing to meet in person, because things get discussed much faster and without any distractions, so we had a really good session. Unfortunately I had to leave the meeting after 2 hours, because I needed to catch my flight back home.

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The way back was unspectacular, I slept most of the flight, but in the end I discovered my baggage has been lost…
Some personal considerations:

  • The advertising and recap sessions are very new, I am not sure how much they can help to improve Flock. I could see that most of the attendees already had a fixed schedule before coming to Flock.
  • I am very in favor of working sessions, but we focused on classic workshops. Some of them were almost empty and we should avoid that. I want to get things done during Flock because it is a unique occasion for anyone to meet in person. Maybe next year we could see if team hackfests work better, like Infrastructure, Design or Hubs(apps). Those hackfests had good audience, maybe this works better than setting up a classic workshop to gather new contributors from other teams (this is not a FUDCon).
  • We can do better evening events, definitely. The games arcade evening was nice, but people spoke not much unless between old friends. They played a lot and it was fun, we could do that better and bring people together even more. Also the Game night in the Hotel is something not all people seemed to like, we always had events where people were brought more together, like the beergarden event in Charleston or the photografy evening in Rochester.
  • Badges are great fun and the badge workshop always is very nice. Why not think about an evening event where people can win badges after a sort of outdoor survival session or whatever. I missed that we didn’t bring people together as much as during last Flocks.
  • Last one: I know we were near Boston and it is normal, but we had too many RedHatters in this conference. I hope this will not be understood wrong because we need them there also, but while during the other Flocks I never had this impression, this time I noticed it immediately. I know most of the key contributors are RH employed, but let’s not make the mistake and close out of the door people who should have been there.

All in all, a nice Flock again, arrived already to its fifth edition. Thanks to Fedora for making this possible, and thanks to all attendees for coming.

Flock Cape Cod – day 3

Day 3 was going to be heavy, there were a lot of talks and sessions and it was the day of my talk! Logistics in the morning, but it was already just a meetup before sessions start, having a coffee and setting up the schedule for the day. After that, and in the same room Mike McGrath started to give the “What does Red Hat want?” talk. I think I already saw similar talks in Rochester, but there were some news I didn’t know.

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Then I moved to Kevin’s Infrastructure session about Infra infinity and beyond (even the title was something special). Kevin always has packed rooms and is able to give interesting answers to whatever question people are asking. I like this and it was great to be there and to listen what is happening on the infra side of the project. From Openshift migrations to cloud instances, but even plans to work together with CentOS folks, it was all very interesting and it gave us a look in which direction we are moving.
It was time for lunch again, same packages so I got the one I didn’t eat the other two days, some fruit, cookies and a coffee and I was ready for the afternoon.
It was time for my talk, I expected some more people, but there were a lot of other interesting sessions at the same time, and Mindshare is not so popular still, but I hope that will change soon. I did a short presentation about what we are doing well as outreach teams, and where we are failing. That leads to plans how to solve the issues and as Mindshare is a Council objective I worked out some solutions which will probably have a high impact on ambassadors, marketing and other teams. I decided then to open the talk to have some discussion and people asked really nice questions, which surprised me. I expected people complaining about the plan, but probably most of them understood the convenience this initiative will have. (maybe I will make a dedicated blog post about Mindshare the next days).
The schedule was set up correctly, so after my Mindshare talk it was time for the ambassadors workshop in the same room, where Nick and Jona talked about this specific group, the issues and the new workflow after fedora.next and the migration to pagure.

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I closed my third day with the talk about G11n, where Jean-Baptiste had some really nice examples to show where we are failing and what is needed to improve the situation. The rest I discussed with him already the day before in front of a beer :)

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There was no evening planned for the third day and so we moved towards the town to get something to eat, but then got back to the Hotel where we found many people hanging around at the bar discussing, hacking on urgent stuff or just drinking a beer to watch one of the last preseason matches before the start of NFL. It was nice to exchange opinions and many people came to me to talk even more about Mindshare, the curiosity people have in this initiative made me happy and I was able to answer all their questions and understandable doubts.
After three days of sessions and workshops I was tired, so I went to bed rather early, next day we had some other stuff but it was also the day we would have gone back home.

Flock Cape Cod – day 2

Day two started with a Logistics session as every day, but nothing really new on this side. It was good to be there to wake totally up, also because I was co-speaker at Andrea’s workshop about Fedora websites just after the opening. I helped him to go through some tricky questions, because yes, we had some people participating and they started working immediately on websites stuff with was great. We explained a bit our I18n markup and how translations are handled within the websites, but then went soon to take some tickets and working on them. People were able to fix some of them and we opened new issues to improve the websites even more, so I was quite happy to see all these results. For Andrea it was the first workshop, but he made it without any big problems, so my help was just when people needed a clarifying answer or during the local build of the websites. The outcome of this workshop was positive and I hope people will continue doing some stuff even after Flock ;)

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It was time for lunch, I switched to another package as the meal was pretty the same as the day before, and then got some coffee to be ready for afternoon.
I planned to use almost all the afternoon in Aurélien’s Hubs workshop session, because I really want them to be deployed soon and I did the first presentation of Hubs 4 years ago, during Flock in Charleston…The vagrant setup was not working for me, although Aurélien made a nice tutorial just for this workshop, so with the help of Sayan I was able to get into the hubs using the good old virtualenv I still love, despite all the new virtualization possibilities. Hubs are nice, but there is a huge need of working widgets, so I hope I can find some time to create one, maybe for ambassadors or websites.

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Towards the end I decided to get out and to head over to the talk of my friend Gabriele (mailga), about Marketing’s visions and future. He mentioned in some way also my Mindshare talk the next day, which made me happy, because the two things are really related and we should work together to set up a good initiative from which all people can take advantage.
The day was almost over, so we went to the evening event at Wackenhammer’s arcade. It was more or less the same event we had in Rochester, just in a smaller format. Games were ok and I had a lot of fun. We had dinner from a food truck and a couple of free beers too. All in all it was a good occasion to talk to other people about other stuff, while playing some classic arcade games.

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The event closed early, so some of us continued in local pubs, while I decided to get back to the Hotel and to have some beers at the Hotel bar, were I talked until after midnight with Jean-Baptiste about translations and his plans to optimize this important part of the project.

Flock Cape Cod – day 1

Day 1 started very early, registration at 7:30am, out of the Hotel to get something for breakfast and then back at 8:30am to the ballroom for the opening of Flock.
Matthew Miller, our Project Leader, had some very nice slides and statistics to show, which I followed interested.

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Brian Exelbierd completed the presentation by giving us some logistic informations and introduced us into what we would do during Flock this year. The focus was more on do-sessions, so we had many of them in the schedule and many would have been interesting. Unfortunately I had to choose some of them, because sometimes I had two sessions at the same time I would have been interested in.
We made the group foto and then it was time to present our talk briefly to all people in the room in order to try to get people interested in attending. This was not a bad idea, but it is not a bad one, as the room the first day during the opening is full.

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After that we went upstairs to have lunch, some sandwiches and fruit and the it was time for sessions. As Council member I started with my other Council friends an open Budget session, during which we answered all the questions people had about the budget, activities etc. I think it was not bad, people had the possibility to ask almost everything they had in mind, and we really tried to get things sorted out to be as clear as possible to all.
After that I headed to the badge workshop, where I met Marie again, who did a great job. I knew that already, because I attended also the session in Rochester, but it’s always good to refresh your knowledge, and also this time I got some more informations about this funny part of the design team.

Then I had an hour to meet some people, and it was nice to meet all of them again, speak about upcoming stuff and plan some features we might want to have soon. Time flies and so I had to leave soon to go to Tom Callaway’s talk about Fedora Legal. I like his way of presenting even difficult topics, and so I appreciated his talk very much and would say it was one of the best of the whole Flock.

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The session’s day directly flow into the evening event, which was a game night where we also had pizza and some beers offered by RedHat. During that event I participated also in building Fedorator, a nice machine to produce USB sticks ambassadors can use during their events. I brought it back to Italy where we will use it soon.

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It was a long first day, we had many things to do and I fell into bed soon, day 2 was waiting for me and I wanted to do even more as during the first day.

Flock Cape Cod 2017 – day 0

Yes, it was this time again, and the last week of my holidays I was preparing myself for Flock. This year, beside Gabriele (mailga) another guy from Italy was joining us in Fedora’s developer conference, Andrea Masala (veon), and I was happy to introduce him a bit more into the Project.
My journey started very early in the morning, at 5am, because I had to reach Milan from the Alps and I chose to get a train, which was incredibly for Italy in time! Anyway, I had to run to the airport to catch my flight where Andrea and Gabriele were waiting for me. We had some delay, but reached Düsseldorf perfectly in time for our flight to Boston. At the gate we met some other guys which had the same destination, Jona, Jiri, Marianna, Fabian, Douglas and Rafal. I didn’t expect that, but it was nice to have so many Fedorians on the same plane.

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After 7 hours we landed in Boston, the flight was smooth and I even slept a bit. Unfortunately we had to wait 40 minutes for our bus to Hyannis, so when it arrived I was really tired and slept almost for the whole 2 hours. I thought we were near the bus station, but it turned out we were on the other side of the city, so after a long walk we finally reached the hotel.
I was hungry, but many people were already there and we started immediately to talk, when we decided to go out for some dinner almost all places were already closed. We found a nice pub, which also had a good pizza (really, no kidding), so we ate there and had a beer. Back at the Hotel we got another beer at the Hotel Bar, where we continued talking with other Fedorians.
Finally I went to bed and had a peaceful night, which was good, because day 1 was starting very early.

Flock 2017 – I’m waiting for you, Cape Cod!

I am very happy I was able to organize my family and holidays to attend Flock again, this will be my third edition after 2013 and 2015, where I had a great experience and made a lot of friends, so I am sure this year will be even better ;)
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The flight already will be very nice, because this year I will travel with Gabriele Trombini (mailga) and a new entry of Flock, Andrea Masala (veon). Cape Cod is a real nice venue and although I will be very busy during the conference, I hope we will have a couple of hours to make some sightseeing.
I will be co-speaker in a session I normally gave for the last years, but I am happy Andrea will handle that this year for me. He helped out a lot during the last two releases and I hope he will do even more in the near future. Our workshop will be rather interesting, because we will put our hands on real tickets, look how to fix them and also answer questions about how we handle, develop or debug the websites we are managing.
My talk, given with Gabriele, is a bout the Mindshare initiative, a Council objective for 2017, which aims to retool outreach teams. You will probably already understand this will not affect only ambassadors, but all outreach teams in Fedora world. If you are interested in knowing more, or give your feedback to the plans we have, then come to my talk, I will be happy to open discussions even after the talk, maybe in front of a cold beer :D
Other sessions will see me directly involved, as for example the Council session, but I will also attend the Ambassador workshop-session. Not only because it is directly related to the Mindshare talk, but because as the actual FAmSCo chair I am very interested in this session.

See you all there, and thanks to Fedora to make this possible.

FUDCon Phnom Penh 2016 – day 2

While the first day was a great success, the second day didn’t have the same number of attendees and interest. Unfortunately it was sunday and although the rain season was over, it was raining in the morning.

And last but not least, my websites workshop was the first talk this day, not the best conditions to get a lot of people. And indeed, there were just a few persons in the room, so I decided to change the workshop a bit and sit down with them to explain how the websites development is done and how we build the websites in Fedoraland. I knew network connections were critical and I would never been able to build getfedora.org locally without a connection, so I prepared USB sticks with the websites repo on it and also a patch to apply to the repo to be able to build the websites without data from outside.

At the end probably we won’t get new contributors for the websites team, but never say never. Some guys were very interested and started also to do some work on easy fixes. It was very useful also for me, because their questions made me understand where people encounter difficulties and where we need to improve our docs.

IMG_20161106_103032The next talk was about Localization, yes I call it still localization but I was also told we have Globalizations now. Well, Tommy He did a good job to introduce people in translations, although some aspects where probably too deep for new users. As a maintainer on Zanata I wanted to understand how we can do better Internationalization and what translators need most to get their work done faster.

Tommy was able to touch some good and interesting points within the translation process and showed also how the teams are working actually. It’s always a good thing to get these kind of stuff directly from a very experienced translator.

After lunch I decided to attend some minor talks, some of them not directly related to Fedora, but where I spoke to the attendees about our Operating System, handing also out some DVDs for those who didn’t get one the day earlier.

The evening was FUDPub time! Yeah, not as normal, but we had almost the whole restaurant for us, because all volunteers participated, even from the barcamp. Food was good and beer too. All key volunteers got a nice price and were mentioned publicly during a sort of victory ceremony, with live music.

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The combination with the Barcamp first and then also with all the volunteers at the end of FUDCon for the FUDPub was a good choice, we had a lot of fun and personally I also learned a lot more about APAC in general. It’s a very interesting region with big opportunities, specially in countries like Cambodia. Thank you for inviting me and a big hug to the organizers and volunteers who made this event happen.

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FUDCon Phnom Penh 2016 – day 1

The first day of FUDCon was probably one of the best FUDCon days I have seen, so many attendees were reached only in Beijing. In both cases FUDCon was co-hosting with another event, Gnome Asia in Beijing and here in Phnom Penh it was a Barcamp. Well organized and with a lot of other people exposing their open source projects and products.

Fedora played a primary player during the barcamp and we were invited by the organizers to the podium for a group Photo, and everyone of us got a present from the University with a special khmer krama. Brian Exelbierd presented the key notes and I think he did it very well, and focused on the users/contributors to get as much interest as possible.

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After the keynotes I headed downstairs to talk to some people, which were looking around to get informations, and then went to Alex’s Eng talk about Zanata. I’m the maintainer of the websites project on Zanata, so it was interesting also for me to hear the plans and the features we will hopefully have in the near future.

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Alex answered all the questions very well and translators got a good insider view about the whole project. I think this was very useful specially for L10n folks, means for Fedora contributors.

After a quick lunch I followed a Python workshop, where Kushal did a really nice session for beginners. In Cambodia Python is not taught at Universities, therefor people started immediately to have this oooh and ahhh effect Python gives you when you see it the first time. I love Python for its simplicity (which does not mean you can write also very very complex scripts) and for its speed.

I guess the same feeling I have about Python, Kushal was able to transmit to the attendees of his workshop. It was very user focused, but he also talked a lot about the opportunities, also job opportunities, Python can give you nowadays.

Then it was my turn, I submitted a talk about the Council, which was intended to get together the leading folks of the APAC region and present what the Council is doing, what we are aiming to and to discuss with them the budget.next, which is still very new for all. A sort of “meet your Council” we are used to have at FLOCK, but in a smaller form. Brian, as FCAIC and Council member was so kind to assist me and to add more overviews about the budgeting process.

The discussion was an interesting one, and even the next day people told me they were very happy to get all these information about budget etc. I think it was very important to transmit to APAC folks how the process has changed and what they need to do from now on, while in the past some activities were less important. Reporting will become a key factor for all, and we need to improve the communication between regions and the Council/FCAIC in terms of budget planning, objectives and reporting.

First day was over and after a short shower we went to an original Khmer barbecue very near to our Hotel. We got meat, fish and vegetables and some beers….. :)

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It was a very nice evening and a good end for a very useful day for Fedora.

FUDCon Phnom Penh 2016 – day 0

After a long trip through Venice, Dubai and Saigon I finally arrived to Phnom Penh and the first thought I had was: wow, so hot and humid, that will be fun! At the exit of the airport a Tuk Tuk driver was waiting for me with a nice Fedora banner. He took my luggage and ten seconds later were in the middle of Phnom Penh’s rush hour. I think there is not really a word for it, you need to see the traffic with your eyes to understand that. Although I’m italian and I was several times to Naples and other cities of South Italy, it is nothing compared to Phnom Penh.

We reached the hotel where Sirko was already waiting, and after a bit also Bryan showed up and we decided to take a shower and go to a Khmer ‘all you can eat’ barbecue. So we took another Tuk Tuk and started a discussion about Fedora world, ideas, plans, etc. It was a very nice and useful discussion, and we did it on a cool Tuk Tuk. The barbecue was really awesome, Sirko showed us how to cook and we had a great evening.

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The next day was still partially free, so we decided to do some sightseeing with Ryan, Alex and Noriko. We went to the Royal Palace, got some food and then got separate directions. I decided to change my “Public Transport” and took a Mototaxi to the Russian Market. It’s cheaper and faster, and from that moment I always chose Mototaxis.

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The Russian Market is great, something like the Zoo Market in Beijing, but instead of having it in a building it’s located on a square. I got some souvenirs for my kids and then got back to the Hotel. We had some more beers and then went to sleep.

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Expecting FUDCon Phnom Penh

This year was a bit heavy for me and unfortunately I was not able to attend any event, but I’m going to FUDCon APAC now and I’m really happy I could plan this.

I’ll give a talk about the Fedora Council, where I’d like to explain the changes we did time ago, the budget.next thing and our plans for the next months.  Furthermore I’ll give a workshop for Websites, where I want to show our workflow, how we develop the websites and what we are planning in the near future. I hope we will have time also to work on something specific, maybe some tweaks for the upcoming Fedora 25 final release. I think it’s going to be an interesting session, so don’t miss it.

Phnom Penh will be also the occasion to meet many friends again, and I’m really happy to attend FUDCon this year.  Looking forward to see you all, I feel this is going to be a great FUDCon in APAC :)

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