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Flock 2014: Report

15 Aug 2014

Flock 2014 took place in Prague this year. Here’s a photo to start with:

Tshirt ;)

Although Flock wasn’t the first FOSS/Dev/Tech conference I have been to, it was my first Fedora-specific event. Definitely special in it’s own way - most of the speakers and attendees are from within the Fedora community, so basically every third person is someone you have chatted with over irc, seen on planet, or is someone whose wikipage you have stumbled upon at some point. Which means, you walk to the end of the corridor, look at a person’s badge and say “Oh, so YOU are that guy!”

I wouldn’t say I attended a lot of the talks, since many of them would go over my head; but I did spend a good time interacting with the people present & offered to help with their projects & found potential contributors for mine. After all, the Flock organizers were awesome enough to live stream and upload all the sessions on YouTube (I’m still watching some): Flock channel on YouTube.

First day started with the opening by Matt, followed by a keynote on how FOSS was accepted in the EU by Gijs Hillenius. It was inspiring; I was left wondering how I can make an impact at least at the University level for a start. The next one I attended (online though) was on the State of Fedora Fonts, by Pravin Satpute.

I spent most of the remainder of the first day in the hackroom, reviewing slides for my talk, scheduled for later during the day. Mine followed Marina’s session on Gnome OPW which I attended in part - she did a great job of outlining how the community had succeeded in increasing participation of women within FOSS communities, events and projects. Her talk also reminded me that Marie (riecatnor) was here at Flock! I’ve known Marie for a while through the Fedora design IRC, but we hadn’t met in person.

Soon after, I did a talk called the Curious Case of Fedora Freshmen. It covered how Freshmen found it difficult to cope up with more experienced folk speaking complex things to them or simply not paying enough attention. I brought up various programs that would help Freshmen, should they be worked on. The talk was followed by a pretty extensive discussion. I’ll start Wiki pages working on some of the stuff I brought up during the session within a couple of week’s time. Slides for my talk are here and the video is here.

One interesting session I attended was by Chris Roberts and Marie Catherine Nordin - on Fedora badges. Chris did a quick run through about how fedmsg awards badges, and Marie followed up with her Fedora badges internship (which I have been impressed with like forever). Post-session, I introduced myself to Marie and we’ve been super friends since! :D

In fact, at this point, you should read Marie’s blog post about Flock. It covers a bit of what we did over our own impromptu hackfest - as she calls it ;) Marie spent a great deal of time explaining me how to play with nodes and we worked a bit on Waartaa’s logo. She also did a Glyph from scratch, it was quite amazing!

Snake man!

Among other sessions I attended were one on state of the Ambassador’s Union by Jiri, Advocating Fedora.next by Christoph, Improving Ambassadors Mentor program by Tuan (online) and Meet your FesCo (filled with Josh Boyer’s humor).

Fun stuff: On the first evening was FudPub, where we competed over who can take in more beer ;) Thanks to the organizers, we were on a boat another evening. We did a tour of Prague during the night - pretty mesmerizing! On other days, Gnokii took us to Budvarka, where some of us had lots of local food and beer ;)

Budvarka

On final day, Marie, Ralph, Toshio, Pingou, Arun and I, among others went on a quick city trip before we were headed home :) I’ll have to say, I’m now richer in terms of memories and a few badges ;)

Me in Prague

I’d really like to thank the Fedora community for having supported me on this trip! You guys deserve a badge ;)