Archivos de la categoría FUDCon Mangua 2014

FUDCon Managua 2014 Numbers and Lessons

I would like to ponder some questions. To do so, there are some background to cover. You can spare with me in all the details or you can go straight to the bottom.

We spent $8,373.38 in air fares for 9 collaborators. Air travel is expensive, and it is more expensive in Latin America. There was the agreement to pay for the visa for the only persona that needed it, it was $50.  We are glad that we have 4 people traveling on their own budget. We end up we a team of 14 including the holder of the fedora scholarship. The expenses of the fedora scholarship are not taken into account, as that comes from another budget.

We spent $912 in food during the event and $ 772 in FUDPub. There was $77 in water and sodas for the team. The FUDPub was over the initial budget because there were more people that were supposed to attend than we estimated for this closure night of FUDCon.

We paid to the university $549.95 that consisted mostly in posters and booklets. The remainder were some minor charges for audio and projectors.

There were some expenses in promotion, like roller up banners and horizontal banners. This added up to $ 342. Part of this was to reciprocate our sponsors.

Lodging was $1895.40 not including those that were paid by the collaborators and also not including the room share of the fedora scholarship holder. This sum was at the discounted price offered for the convention. There was also the use of the meeting room for hacking during the nights that was $130. Transportation was $255 that were accounted for moving people to the university and back to the hotel. There were also some trips to the airport in this sum. Mostly all airport pick up was done personally, so it is not included. Driving people in my car from the hotel to the university was not included. This amount related to transportation does not include two tour trips organized before the event and after the event.

T-shirts cost $ 750. There were some minor cost for a web cam, security cords for laptops, toner for printing schedules that add up to $ 209.45

If you add up all this, you will get the amount of $14,266.18 That’s is what FUDCon Managua 2014 actually cost, at least to what is accountable.

The other part is were the money come from. For start we had the Fedora Premier event budget of $10,000. Then we had Bluehost collaboration of $1,000. Güegüe Comunicaciones paid all t-shirts, $750. Dotora Barreto’s dental clinic, paid part of the FUDPub $315. gave $300 and Sen Comunicaciones helped with other $300. gave $160.

We have other sponsorship like Movistar that provided internet bandwidth at the university and Comtech that supplied one web cam and color ink printers used for badgeds, food tickets and other minors colorful printing needs. Those are non quantificable.

In the end we raised the amount of $12,825.00. So, there is a difference of $1,441.18

Mansión Teodolinda gave an extra discount of $229.73 over the lodging invoice, which already had a discount. There was also items that were not charged, like transport for $255 and meeting room use for $130. $77 related to water and sodas that were available at the university was also not charged. There were items that were paid for like banners $342. This makes a contribution of $1033.73. Again, this was an extra help, as the lodging already has a discount price.

We end short by $407.45 that I paid from my pocket. This is quantifiable, but there are non quantifiable expenses about doing errands, calling people, meeting people, and so on. This non quantifiable cost also is shared with the rest of the local team. Lot of time invested. I will not call on the fuel I expend going to the airport, as that was a personal choice as a host. I don’t think the local team will charge for transport fares going and coming for all the errands needed to organize the event.

Having the numbers in black and white, if not meant to show how much I invest in the project. It is not to claim for reimburse. I was absolutely clear during the planning and the execution of the event that my business and I will cover the difference.

My point is to raise the awareness of what doing FUDCon really means. There has been a lot of talks about this, but throw some fact and figures makes clear.

The  budget of $10K is short. We have been talking long about this issue. The reply is that extra money will be given if it is justify. There is no clear definition of how to justify extra budget. Historically, FUDCon LATAM has cost about $15K.

We expect from the local team organize an event and at the same time raise  about $5K in sponsorship? Raise sponsorship is not something expected as expertise of the local team. This is a learning experience that is not transferable as it depends on the local context. Most likely all this work will not generate further benefits for the Project.

After doing all, the local team end being so busy hosting the event that they can not attend the talks and hacks. I am so glad that we agreed to have some of the key people organizing the event lodged in the hotel. At least they get some hacking time at night. Not much, as there was things to get ready for the next day. But it was some time for learning and sharing with the LATAM collaborators.

I have a income from a job, a car and contacts, and I struggled leading the organization of the event. So why doing it? Why a collaborator should want to organize FUDCon? You may get the sense of accomplishment, but where is the fun in it? I will not recommend to any friend to engage in organizing FUDCon in the current terms. There are some concern about loosing collaborators that undergo this challenge.

People worked hard to host the events. For most of them was their first Fedora Premier Event. Yet, they didn’t fully participate of it. They were hosting. They were taking care that things were running smoothly.

What do I think we should do? I do think that we need to clear what the Fedora Project expect as outcome and to provide budget according to objectives. It also means that can be evaluated if it was a success or not. It is need to clarify which may be justified for extra funds. Both side are busy, so a clear guide will help. I do think that people that gave so much time and effort organizing one Fedora Premier Event should be rewarded. Those that had not the opportunity to attend a Fedora Premier Event should be considered to be sponsored for the next event.

FUDCon Managua 2014 Clousure

Last day of FUDCon I tries to approach as many contributors to ask: What do you think was accomplished in this FUDCon? I used their input as part of the closure speech at the end of the convention. I improvised with a hand write notes. Here you have a more digested summary.

The most important thing was first hand experience, that was mention also as learning with practical examples.

The second most relevant issue was Networking. Not in the wires and OSI layers. Get in touch with people, to get acquaintance, to know what they do. That king of bonding tie together the community. It was also view as scouting. People see who is doing what and how they may engage in a team in the short future.

The view was that there was low attendance, but people there were really engaged. There were package reviewed. This is the first FUDCon that we have computer labs for practical sessions. There were restrictions, but we have it. All this activity lead to people sponsored in packaging and ambassadors. It also lead to candidates for packaging, web sites, ambassadors and documentation teams.

Electronics got a fair share of fans. People looking at Icaro Project become aware that it is possible to make from scratch robotics. People looking at Arduino view that Fedora (or Linux) is the way to get real into the edge of programming and electronics. By the way, Icaro package was migrated from Gtk2 to Gtk3 during this event.

Some people were more into the opportunity of give back part of all that we have gotten from Fedora and show the open source way. More concrete though were on looking as an opportunity to focus on what it is important.

From here the speech went to thanks the University and its staff, sponsors that contribute to the event, and specially the local team that made possible organize the event.

I save for last a brief comment with Robert Mayr about the potential that is hold back by the language barrier. This talk become a exchange of email. I often took for granted that if you are technology you better get into English. I have solve problems beyond my skills by just been able to read what the screen said. But Robert validate those people that claim to have technical skills and that have problems to engage with Fedora Project because of a language barrier. I felt dumb. I myself were talking a few months back in FLOCK about helping girls to apply to Woman Outreach Program, as a proof reader and translator if were needed. So, that is a real problem. We need to start looking to ways to mitigate this barrier.

FUDCon Managua 2014 The Facts

This is a quantitative summary of the things that happened on FUDCon Managua 2014. So cold data, not so much into feelings and ideas.

Four universities other than the venue were visited to promote the event, and also Fedora (UPOLI, RUPAP, UAM and UCA). There was presence in three TV interview at different channels to promote the event.

Our online registration at the website had 175 persons, our estimated peak attendance was 150. This was really under the shadow of last year 800 people audience in Cusco. The badge for FUDCon Managua 2014 was awarded 46 times, which give us an idea of how many FAS accounts were active. Last year were only 25. This shows that our low attendance was highly engaged.

Ambassadors team got new 4 members (lilixx, searchsam, srkraken and creaturahpc) and one new candidate (menina).

Web sites team got one new team member (Echevemaster) that got involved during the preparations for FUDCon and two new candidates (lilixx and sophiekovalesky). By the time both candidates have alredy submited patches.

Packager is a bit mor difficult to describe. There is one approved memeber (williamjmorenor) and there are four people that submited packages (yaderv, franko92 magjogui and pynash). franko92 has 2 packages in review and yaderv did also the migration of icaro package from GTk2 to Gtk3.

Documentation got one candidates (searchsam) that by now is already approved.

This sum 12 people that moved from a non defined relationship with fedora to actual contributors. Many of them were in the borderline, but FUDCon did the last push to cross the line to engage wit actual teams.

Infraestructure got two person interested (mayorga and creaturehpc) but both need follow up to see if that interest become more than that.

First time that FUDCon LATAM had computer labs. There were two, we had limitations on the use of them, but we had them. We have a hacking at night, a meeting room at the hotel was available from Tuesday 21st to Friday 24th which was convenient.

We got some news hits as follow:
El Nuevo Diario Róbotica Educativa
El Nuevo Diario FUDCon

La prensa TV FUDCon
Revista Help Desk TIC FUDCon

FUDCon Managua 2014 The rough edges

We have a paradox. We are equally fedora contributors and members of the fedora project but we are not equal. There are two variables that I will like to point, income and confidence. We have successful people very confident and with relative good income on one side and students with no job building their character. Some of the students depend on scholarship to keep them in college.

So, one extreme may get pushy to say we are equal, we have to chip in the same for food and drinks. That is unfair. We all not have the same resources and we all not drink alcohol. This is a rough edge that we should avoid. This kind of pressure is not trivial for some people.

In the other extreme, you get questions like: there will be something to pay for gas to help the ride? You may think that is because they don’t want to get ask for money that they don’t have. But I like to believe it is because they know the value of things and want to help is they can.

You find very nice contributors that take care of the whole bill, and most people think they do that because they can. But I firmly believe they do because they know that there are someones that can’t afford their share in that bill.

But sometimes somebody said that will take care of the bill and then collect later. Which is a way to spare those who can afford their share. Some times people that can cover their share don’t repay and is odd to be reminding people about that.

For me the worts of all is the sum . Those that overdue they excitement and end up short on money. They are usually the same who don’t repay, those who do not ask if a share is needed, those who do not thanks if the bill has been covered for them and also those who force others to chip equally.

But if we are not aware that we have diversity in income and in character, we will be hurting people when we get all together. Please pause and think. We should not hurt our friend just because our equality as contributors is overestimate .

FUDCon Managua 2014 The Regrets

I want to apologize to people that I hurt. I was on the edge having to deal with too many things, apparently it was a cutting edge and not in the good sense.

First, I want to apologize to a friend who usually bring the fun to the meetings. I was so desperate to get things done for the event that forgot that we needed fun. Even that I always said that fun is important. I miss him as part of our team, as a friend.

Second, I want to apologize to Eduardo Echeverria. We had a block in communication and I lost it. Before doing or saying anything regrettable, I left. This was not well understood. People do not believe that as amicable as I usually am, I can lost it. Usually it is not a good idea to put a finger into a spinning fan. I try to avoid people from the hazard of my spinning. Nothing said, nobody hurt, but it was an awkward moment at an inconvenient time an took me a while a regain my self control. This also should include apologies to Lila and Samuel who took my load during this time.

Third, I want to apologize to Fernando. He is a kind person and sometimes I feel that he look up to me. A trivial issue for me, that was important for him. I dismissed him harshly and rushy twice. Worst of all, second time in front of other people.

I think that most likely there are people that I am missing on this list, I am most sorry to have been hurting some one and not even noticing. I apologize to all.

FUDCon Managua 2014 Web Site

I am not sure why am writing this. For once I know that true man do not ask directions. In the other hand against all philosophy of sharing and reusing the best code, true is that FUDCon LATAM sites never reuse what was done before.

The most important thing is that the results of the web site are not under only one person alone. Depend in the input from others, the request from event organizers, the time to spare, the help received, among other factors.

We had a beautiful site for FUDCon Managua 2014. We needed to show off who will come, what they will talk about, where this will happening and promote our sponsors. All this was accomplished. Plus we have registration and vote cast on talks to help us put together the schedule. All in all was a good site. I can go on talking the beauties of the site and why the new organizing team should use it. But, I think there are some issues that need to be considered for the next team.

Most of web sites do not have hard dead line. Event web sites are a special category, they do have hard dead line. You need to show people that you are serious and I don’t know why, having a website is a proof. Probably is following the saying: “If it is on internet, it should be true”.

The web site is how do you get sponsorship, how do you get other experts to join your speaker list, how do you get doors opened in universities to talk to students and how do you get attention from media. You need to list your sponsors, your topics and your speakers. Sadly, if you have foreign speakers you will get more attention. The sooner you got this in place, the sooner you can start getting things flowing. We had troubles with time. It is not one person fault, it was everybody fault.

But you can’t lie, so you have to mark those that are invited and those that have already confirmed. At some point you have to hide (erase) those who are not coming and accordingly hide (erase) they talks. This was an issue that were not implemented at the beginning, and the implementation was not aesthetics as it should.

Let’s take a small side track. When I was in the first steps of the free software community, I was invited to an event and asked to create a Launch Pad Ubuntu account. At that moment I didn’t mind. Six years after, if I am invited to give a talk in a conference, and they ask me to fill an account with their membership … well you know … I will say yes to everything and do nothing.

So I can’t ask local experts and expect that they create a FAS account to be on the event site. You can not build a site based on FAS, of course you are doing a Fedora convention. But you are asking favors. If everything go smooth, they may like to join fedora community. If I start by forcing them to create a FAS, they won’t. If I made that mandatory, I will loose local experts talks. My favorite phrase is “How I can help you help me”.

One issue that was spotted at last time was, that there was no name on talks, only the image of people that was going to give the talk.

Having a short time, affected the vote cast option. We had what can be considered more like an random sample rather than a statistical significant amount of data to support our schedule desitions.

Another issue, was that people doing multiple talks did not provide sequence. Most times this did not matter. But some cases was important. As the schedule was made based on votes, and having at one side the special request, not having this information made lot of problem at the event. It will be desirable to have a more complete output for the vote, to help people make the schedule.

The vote and the schedule was a first experience on FUDCon LATAM. This is a cultural issue. People want to know what they will attend. There is no culture for des-conferences. You can not count on all people having devices to vote on site. Not to mention the schedule nightmare that we had with the votes. Thus, the event would crash. And if you have too much people, you can not have the marking sheets. I remember once that there were some dark marking sheets, where mark had low contrast. I still think that for LATAM, the vote cast was a good idea and we failed in implementation. Failed in time and communication. It is something that we can built on. Pass this experience.

A good idea that got pending was the link to upload the slides. It was even includen in the booklet. Slides were not possible to be upload by each person giving a talk. They have to be collected in order to be uploaded using ssh. In the end, the slides were not collected. So, there upload bottle neck was not an issue.

I have to thanks Echevemaster for a beautiful site, with so many features and so much time invested. It was an amazing result for the time given. Lilixx did a nice touch with the slides. Axioma provide help. But all in all was Echevemaster brainchild. Best way to recognize this work is to reuse and improve the inner work for next FUDCon LATAM

FUDCon Managua 2014: The Heroes

Those who did remarkable things for this FUDCon deserve some recognition.

The spawning heroes
Oscar and Efren that show up from thin air, unexpected, filled us with questions and were welcomed into Fedora family.

Travel Hero.
I know this is a hard competition and I am partial. Denis and Robert did know what they were facing. I am awarding this to Jared, who squeezed FUDCon between two convention, missed a flight connection and still came here for a day. At last moment he still was fighting to stay one extra day. That level of commitment is truly remarkable.

Web hero
Eduardo Echeverría did most of the work of the website. It ended up a beautiful site. He get some help along the way, had some bumps along the road, but was his masterpiece

The talking heroes.
Yes, there were people who never stop talking. This award is about those who did many talks and workshops. First of all Eduardo Echeverría, it was a nightmare to accommodate his talks without making him been talking two sessions together. Luis was another that did many talks. Valentin with one day long workshop after losing his voice the day before was incredible.

The sprint heroes
Those that showed up on the convention to take care of everything that was still pending. Leticia and Franco did most of the video recording. Franco travel from León city just to be here helping.

The marathon heroes.
Those that accompanied most of the planning, took some task, and helped shape the event. Eduardo Mayorga, William, Fernando and Cristhian. They help with ideas, put some time along the road and were in the event helping.

The Triathlon heroes.
The extreme athletes, usually know as iron man or woman. Samuel did the booklet one handed. Aura did the rest of the art for the FUDCon. The next phase was planning, they were there every single time that we went through the trac list offering take care of things. Final phase, put together the schedule when I surrender to this task and finally they sustained the convention. Both are truly the best collaborators on this event. There is no many time that I can say, this event were not possible without both of them.