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Robert Mayr Blog

Month: September 2017

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.


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.


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.


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 and the migration to pagure.


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 :)



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 ;)


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.



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.


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.

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