I can’t remember how writing an annual reflection became a tradition, but after writing them for the last two years, it is now a habit. Every time I look back on all that the last year brought into my life, it is surreal. Many things that happened, I could never have expected one or two years ago. And perhaps now, I see that life is defined by the unexpected moments: the things that surprise us, warm our hearts, sadden us, and remind us of our humanity. Thus, I present my year in review of 2017.
Open source projects are built online and a lot of their community members are placed all over the world. Even though projects have people from around the world, this doesn’t stop ambitious community members to organize open source conferences or events in their own cities. Whether they’re focused generally to open source or for a specific project, you can find a variety of conferences, hackathons, workshops, or meet-ups all over the world. Fedora benefits from having Ambassadors to attend these events to introduce Fedora and spread the word about the community. It’s not uncommon to see Fedora participating in these events, and Linux Weekend 2017 in Tirana, Albania was not an exception.
Jona Azizaj, Fedora Ambassador and Open Labs board member, kicks off Linux Weekend 2017
From March 25-26, 2017 in Tirana, Albania, nearly 130 people attended the first-ever Linux Weekend 2017. Linux Weekend was organized by Open Labs Hackerspace at the Universiteti Politeknik i Tiranës as an introduction to Linux for beginners. Throughout Tirana, universities have a strong focus on Windows or macOS operating systems and little focus is given to Linux. Open Labs community members wanted to organize an event that would promote Linux as an open source alternative and demonstrate some of its benefits over proprietary environments. The event collected representatives from various communities, including Fedora, Ubuntu, OpenSUSE, NextCloud, MusicBrainz, and more.
Before looking too far ahead to the future, it’s important to spend time to reflect over the past year’s events, identify successes and failures, and devise ways to improve. Describing my 2016 is a challenge for me to find the right words for. This post continues a habit I started last year with my 2015 Year in Review. One thing I discover nearly every day is that I’m always learning new things from various people and circumstances. Even though 2017 is already getting started, I want to reflect back on some of these experiences and opportunities of the past year.
When people first think of “open source”, their mind probably first goes to code. Something technical that requires an intermediate understanding of computers or programming languages. But open source is a broad concept that goes beyond only binary bits and bytes. Open source projects hold great regard for community participation. The community is a fundamental piece of a successful open source project. For my experience getting involved with open source, I began in the community and worked my way around from there. At the age of fifteen, I was beginning my open source journey and I didn’t even know it.
HackMIT is the annual hackathon event organized by students at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge, Massachusetts. HackMIT 2016 took place on September 17th and 18th, 2016. This year, the Fedora Project partnered with Red Hat as sponsors for the hackathon. Fedora Ambassadors Charles Profitt and Justin W. Flory attended to represent the project and help mentor top students from around the country in a weekend of learning and competitive hacking. Fedora engaged with a new audience of students from various universities across America and even the globe.
From August 2 – 5, the annual Fedora contributor conference, Flock, was held in the beautiful city of Kraków, Poland. Fedora contributors from all over the world attend for a week of talks, workshops, collaboration, fun, and community building (if you’re tuning in and not sure what Fedora is exactly, you can read more here). Talks range from technical topics dealing with upcoming changes to the distribution, talks focusing on the community and things working well and how to improve, and many more. The workshops are a chance for people normally separated by thousands of miles to work and collaborate on real issues, problems, and tasks in the same room. As a Fedora contributor, this is the “premier” event to attend as a community member.
Without further ado, this is my analysis and report on the events at Flock 2016. And for anyone wondering what “żegnajcie” in the title means, Google Translate tells me that means “farewell!” in Polish.
Earlier this month, I received some of the most exciting news I have had all year. After much finger-crossing and (hopefully) hard work, I am traveling to Kraków, Poland, for the Fedora Project‘s annual Flock conference. Flock is described by the organizers as the following.
Flock, now in its fourth year, is a conference for Fedora contributors to come together, discuss new ideas, work to make those ideas a reality, and continue to promote the core values of the Fedora community: Freedom, Friends, Features, and First.
This year, I am attending as a contributor to the project, giving a talk, and leading a workshop!
This week is busy and continues to keep the pace of previous weeks. A lot has happened this week in the Fedora Project and I’ve taken on a few new tasks too. In addition to existing work on Google Summer of Code, Community Operations, Marketing, and more, I wanted to take some time this week to focus on CommOps Ticket #71. This ticket originally focused on improving accessibility of design resources for Fedora Ambassadors. However, after an interesting conversation with Máirín Duffy on the Design Team workflow, I discovered the availability was not the main issue. Instead, it seemed like communicating was an area needing focus.
Bitcamp is a place for exploration. You will have 36 hours to delve into your curiosities, learn something new, and make something awesome. With world-class mentors and hundreds of fellow campers, you’re in for an amazing time. If you’re ready for an adventure, see you by the fire!
The Fedora Project attended as an event sponsor this year. At the event, we held a table in the hacker arena. The Ambassadors offered mentorship and help to Bitcamp 2016 programmers, gave away some free Fedora swag, and offered an introduction to Linux, open source, and our community. This report recollects some highlights from the event.
The Fedora Ambassadors at Bitcamp 2016. Left to right: Chaoyi Zha (cydrobolt), Justin W. Flory (jflory7), Mike DePaulo (mikedep333), Corey Sheldon (linuxmodder)