FUDCon

FUDCon: Lawrence printable travel sheet – USE THIS AND MAKE YOUR LIFE EASIER!

TL;DR version: Download your printable “get me to FUDCon” sheet. It will help you. Seriously.

For those reading on (and about to be sorely disappointed by my lack of spherical or cylindrical  puns):

I know many folks are prepping for their trips to FUDCon: Lawrence – with some people arriving today (Wednesday) and the majority arriving tomorrow (Thursday), it will be a busy time. Many folks are taking advantage of the provided shuttle service, others are renting cars, etc. If you need help en route – joining #fudcon-help on IRC should do the trick,  or #fedora-fudcon will be a good place to just hang out and keep in touch with others as they arrive.

For those staying at the Springhill Suites, we’ll have a booklet for you at check-in (and by “you” I mean, a pile at the front desk, and we have about 1 per person, so don’t go crazy making paper airplanes); and we’ll have more onsite at FUDCon at the registration desk / “Command Central” for those of you staying elsewhere, or just local. Please, please, please take some time to read through this booklet – it is filled with additional details beyond the printable sheet, has a fillable schedule you can use to jot down your planned attendance for barcamp sessions, info about FUDPub, and more.

In the meantime: We’d like to make sure you get to the hotel and event, and know when to be where, so we’ve made a handy-dandy printable sheet to help you do just that. It contains super-pertinent information like:

  • For those taking the arranged shuttles from Kansas City International (MCI) to the Springhill Suites, reminder info about timing, who to look for, etc.
  • Details about when FUDCon starts, and when to catch shuttles downstairs from the hotel, so that you don’t have to walk in the cold, bitter, piercing weather, uphill, both ways. Yes, I want you on the bus on time, and we can’t all take the last bus, so I’m counting on many of you to get downstairs around 8:00-8:15 for the ride over to campus.  So we don’t start late. FUDCon starts promptly at 9am.
  • We will have coffee, water, soda onsite at FUDCon; there is free breakfast at the Springhill Suites, so be sure to eat. :)
  • Emergency phone numbers. Protip: “All the bars are closed” is not an emergency. 

And many other fun snippets and details. But don’t take my word for it (well, you sort of are when you print it out, but you’ll just have to TRUST ME) – DOWNLOAD IT! And then PRINT IT OUT. (Don’t be like Robyn, and print something out, and subsequently leave it on your printer, and then leave. Seriously.) And make sure your friends going to FUDCon have heard about it as well.

See you all as you arrive today and tomorrow. I’m sure that you will all have your ruby red slippers on, hackfests thoroughly planned, barcamp sessions ready to pitch. Yes? :) (Also – if you haven’t put your proposed hackfests or planned barcamp pitches on the wiki yet – there is no time like now, now, now! – though you are welcome to still do so, or invent new ideas,  when you get to FUDCon. 

Go on, man. Have a cow. Fedora 18 (Spherical Cow) is here.

Hopefully by now most folks have “herd” the news: Fedora 18 has been officially released, and the Spherical Cow is in the vacuum of the intertubes.

<marketing interlude real quicklike>

If you haven’t read the announcement, I encourage you to take a moment to check it out. Or, take a moment to check out the Feature List for Fedora 18.  But don’t let me stop you if you’re already downloading and just moments away from full-blown F18 glory.

Though I will gently nudge you and recommend that you read the release notes, including details about installation and upgrading. We’ve got a lovely new installer, and a lovely new upgrade tool, so it’s definitely worth reading over. And, hey, checking out the list of common bugs in Fedora 18 is worth a gander as well.

</end marketing interlude>

Moooooving on:

I think I can succinctly, udderly (what, you thought I’d leave the puns behind as we moved beyond Beefy Miracle?) summarize this release event in just a few letters:

ZOMGHOORAY

Yes, yes, I believe that pretty much covers it. 

No, really, in all seriousness: this release was a heroic undertaking. There are people, many, many people, for which the phrase “above and beyond” doesn’t even begin to cover the amounts of effort, sweat, bugzillas, biting-of-tongues, tears, praise, helpfulness, git-er-done-ness, and general awesomeness that I have seen in this release cycle.

The lovely press folks (hi!) who get me on the phone right around this time tend to, and already have, ask the following question: What did you, Robyn, learn from this release? Well, gee, where to begin? Sure, I can go on about hindsight being 20/20, things of that nature.  But the important thing is this: Even though I knew it inherently already, I discovered what an amazing band of people the folks in the Fedora Project community are.  We didn’t shy away from doing the Hard Things, we didn’t abandon ship in the face of adversity, we didn’t give up or cut corners on the things we believed absolutely needed to be done right, we didn’t waffle on our commitment to freedom, open source, to building a quality distribution for our users and contributors. 

As we’re now in the part of this blog known as “full-on-cheese-land” – I’ll add this following thought: We often talk about Fedora’s core values, aka four Foundations – Freedom, Friends, Features, First – and I’m so glad that what we release continues to embody those foundations, every release. We continue to be committed to freedom, to having cutting-edge features, to being a leader when it comes to introducing new technology.  But most of all: We stick together. We watch out for each other. We tell each other to go to sleep, we recognize good deeds, we help out when we can, where we can.

Or to paraphrase slightly (but only slightly, because I already feel dirty not properly quoting Lennon/McCartney): We get by with a little help from our friends.

FUDCon: Lawrence is coming this weekend. (More on that soon enough.) To more heavily modify the aforementioned lyrics (aagggggh): We get beer and a little fun with our friends. It will be a gathering of getting things done and celebrating the release all at the same time, I suspect, and I look forward to seeing how everyone else around the globe is celebrating the release of Fedora 18, both because it’s just awesome, and because we deserve to celebrate ourselves and our great work as well.

FUDCon, cerveza, playa, baño!

The four words I need to know to get by in Valencia, Venezuela, for the 2012 FUDCon in LATAM while being an english speaker. (The fifth word may be “poker,” we shall see tonight.) I’ve had a lovely time here thus far, though the internets have been somewhat unkind to me :) I’d go on and on about how lovely it is here, and how good it is to see everyone, but you all know that stuff anyway (all true!) so I’ll skip right ahead to the meat of this post:

FUDCon here is distinctly different from from how it works in North America, and even EMEA to some extent; I haven’t had the pleasure of attending a FUDCon in the APAC region yet, but I suspect it is somewhat similar.  Lots of people showing up to learn about Fedora; there are maybe 30 or so people here from various parts of South America who are Fedora contributors, all of whom contribute in varying parts of the Fedora Project, in different capacities.  Lots of sharing of knowledge – from the use of different applications, robotics hacking, graphic design, becoming a contributor.

We did get the opportunity today to have two solid chunks of time to gather the regional ambassadors and spend some time making plans around a few things, though we did see a few folks shuffle in and out to give presentations.  It comes down to a few things, and they’re things that I’d like to be seeing ambassadors in all regions think more about.

One of the items is planning for the next year to 1.5 years. First off: the budget for each fiscal year (our money year runs from March 1 – February 28) gets set around the December/January time-frame, maybe into February a bit.  So knowing what the needs are when that time comes helps us to get the money we need to continue to do outreach, FUDCons, etc.   The things I’m talking about planning, at least in this particular situation, are specific events where we’d like a Fedora presence.  There are a few things we need to know:

  • Event name/type of conference
  • When, where, how many attendees, does it have a booth fee
  • How many people needed to staff at a minimum; how much it will cost to get people there if they need sponsorship

The “we” here is the Ambassadors from the LATAM region – finding this out for each country, making sure that there is coverage, and then prioritizing what to go to. If there are events where we want to have a bigger presence, figure out what the plan is around that.  Figuring out what the needs will be for swag at the event.

The second major issue for ambassadors here is really logistics of shipping; some countries can’t ship to others, customs is a nightmare, and items need to be printed in various languages.  We talked today about the possibilities of just possibly having a hired person specializing in shipping, or outsourcing to a logistics company who can package and drop ship things as needed, having FADs where we can put together packages and bring them home, as well as simply coordinating what countries are best for production and shipping, finding out who their friendly neighbors are, and making sure there are volunteers to wrangle ordering, payment, shipping, etc.

LATAM has spent very small amounts of money in the past; part of this is cultural tendency, part of it is simply difficulty of payment (some places don’t have paypal, we can’t directly pay in some places, etc), some of it is simply lack of coordination, or someone saying, by God, GO FORTH AND DO THINGS, the money is there. So to those of you in LATAM, please: Make plans. Think big. Let’s think about where we can go, where we can reach the most people, in this region of the world where people are incredibly interested in open source and the opportunities it can provide them.

The logistics piece is going to take a number of people to investigate; planning out the event “wish list” for the next year or so should take less time, and I suggested that September 28 (about a month from now) be the goal date for having a complete list of events that could possibly be attended over the next year to year-and-a-half.  Alejandro Perez has a wiki page already for coordinating this, and a number of people volunteered to help push in weekly meetings and to work with other ambassadors in their more immediate regions to try and coordinate this list.  Remember: it’s a “wish list” – once the LATAM ambassadors have that as a starting point, it’s easier to narrow down the priorities, so don’t be afraid to throw your favorite event on the list.  From there, it’s easier to start thinking about swag needs, and when and where things are needed, which helps from the view of ordering things like media, shirts, stickers, and the like.  Which will put us at a good point come December, right as the budget planning for next year starts.  This is also when the planned EMEA FAD in Rheinfelden will be – a fair amount of that FAD is centered around planning the next year+ of events, swag, etc. I’m hoping that we’ll be in way better shape as far as planning and knowing our target budget for next year than we ever have been by this point.

Ambassadors worldwide have always done an excellent job of being responsible with the budget, carefully weighing the value of what we spend against the return on that money, ensuring that those attending events are contributing event reports and blog posts. But I have noticed that towards the end of the year – when we are getting lower on the amount in the bucket, we tend to slow down spending – mostly because of concern about “I don’t know what other people are planning” – and I know that in EMEA and NA, I have seen people say things like, “We’ve already spent plenty, and LATAM and APAC have hardly spent, but we don’t know what they have coming, either.”  So planning – not just in LATAM, but really, in all the regions – is one thing that can absolutely help each of these groups to know what is expected in terms of spending, and helps us to be more confident about decisions towards the end of the year; ideally, spending all the money is where we want to be at, so that we don’t wind up with a lower budget in the next year.

I do want folks in all the regions to start thinking bigger – and thinking outside their normal event types.  We’ve predominantly been attending traditional linux conferences, either of the community/homegrown type, or bigger-budget events.  But I think there is definitely value in getting Ambassadors – and even non-Ambassadors who are contributing in other areas of the project who want to share their domain knowledge (and honestly, I really do consider contributors, in any area of the project, who share with others to be Ambassadors, regardless of the formalities) – to events that are more specific to interests, roles, etc.  There are Ruby conferences, Python conferences, cloud conferences, etc. – and I’d like to see us think about how we can get some of our Ambassadors and/or people who specialize in an area where there is a conference (ie: get a python person to PyCon), to that conference.  Get them in a Fedora shirt. Encourage them to submit a proposal to present. If they want to be learning at the conference, and not necessarily sitting at a booth, make sure they can get at least a small package of media and stickers to be a walking booth, to some extent – so they can spread the brand and media and knowledge at least in presentations they attend, when they meet others.  Hopefully as we start seeing people do more planning for events in the future – we’ll see some diversity in these new areas, and maybe we’ll find that those places are just as good of locations to find new users or contributors, and possibly even better.

It seems to me – with my former program manager on – that thinking about the budget, and event and swag planning, is something that we could definitely be doing on a yearly (every other release) basis, to be coordinated with the time period when the budget gets set.  (That’s not a hint, Jaroslav, it’s just me thinking out loud and wondering if that would help Ambassadors. I promise.)

I look forward to seeing what the folks in LATAM come up with over the next month, and am hopeful that these kinds of efforts will enable them to do a wider variety of events in the future – and I definitely hope that other regions (I’m looking at you, APAC Ambassadors!) start thinking about doing similar planning; I encourage everyone to take a look at Alejandro’s wiki page as he shares that information, and see if something similar will work for you.

Hi-ho! Robyn the reminder-pinger here

Shiny happy Monday to y’all,

  • Fedora Election voting ends today. If you haven’t voted yet, today is the day it comes to an end (Dec. 5 at 23:59:59 UTC), so get your voting finger over to the elections app.
  • If you are going to FUDCon Blacksburg in January, please (1) add yourself to the pre-registration list (2) BOOK YOUR HOTEL. The hotel block expires Dec. 28 but rooms are going quickly. We can likely get more but I personally think you should just be pro-active and book your room instead :)

FUDCon is coming. What are *you* hoping to get done at FUDCon?

Hey, guess what? FUDCon is coming.

Oh, right. I bet you’ve heard me mention that once or twice in the past, oh, 6 or 7 months.

But just in case you’ve missed me, standing on my soapbox, beating my gong (note to someone: I need a gong, please): FUDCon is coming to Tempe, Arizona, January 29-31, 2011.  You can read all about it here, and while time is short, you can still make plans to get there. So, come on down to the sunny southwest and hang out with the rest of your Fedora Friends while we Get Things Done.

The past year has been filled with a lot of, ahem, passionate discussion about the future directions that Fedora may take.  I know that the Board has been addressing some of this, as have the individual SIGs, SCos (that’s short for Steering Committees, in case you’re wondering!), and Teams.   And really, I think that everyone has ideas, be they Grand Scale, or small and individually manageable, about how they would like to shape Fedora.  This is shaping up to be our biggest FUDCon EVAR, with people coming in from all regions of the world, and it’s going to be a fantastic opportunity for everyone involved – and that includes people participating remotely – to collaborate on a Lot of Things.  I encourage everyone to take a look at the attendee list, and start thinking about the things they’d like to accomplish while at FUDCon.  Be ready to be passionate about what you believe in, be prepared to have those discussions that are meaningful to you, and be ready to start diving in and working on making things happen in Fedora.   And better yet – start talking now about those things that you’d like to accomplish. A blog post is a great place to start that thinking ball rolling.

Okay, so, </soapbox>. Put up or shut up, right? Here’s what I hope to see and get done while at FUDCon:

  • Have terrific meetings with the Cloud SIG folks. We have representation coming from a number of flossy Cloud Projects, including Deltacloud, OpenStack, Eucalyptus, CloudFS, Sheepdog, BoxGrinder, and if I forgot you, it’s not because I don’t love you, it’s because I’ve been sweating bullets over FUDCon details. *grin* I hope that by these various projects coming together, we can not only make sure that everyone is on track to have killer feature stuff happening in F15, but that we can also work together on Test Day plans, EC2 getting spun into rel-eng stuff, and most importantly, start to talk about how all these Cloud Projects actually fit together in the real world.  How do we work together? What do other folks at FUDCon, who are likely to be deploying these cloud products at some point, think about how these products are shaping up? Are there gaping holes that need to be addressed? Let’s think Cloud, folks – it’s one of the biggest technological changes going on right now, and Fedora should be ON TOP of that, and leading the charge.
  • Community Working Group stuff. We’ve been discussing Codes of Conduct – I think this is a great time to talk with other folks in the community about how they think things are shaping up at this point, or how they think things should change. Let’s be good listeners.
  • Governance Discussions, and watching the Board Public Meeting. This speaks for itself, I suppose – they are both very important to me, and to how Fedora operates in the future.  I’m very interested to hear what I suspect a lot of folks have to say.
  • Making everyone’s FUDCon experience TOTALLY AWESOME. Yeah, I’ve been busting ass on this for a while now.  And I won’t be resting until it’s over.  I’m super excited to meet everyone, and I hope this turns out to be the best FUDCon folks have been to yet.  If you have any questions, or need anything while you’re in town, or need anything *before* you’re in town, please don’t hesitate to ping me.

What are your FUDCon plans?