FUDCon Managua 2014 Numbers and Lessons

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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. Monchito.net gave $300 and Sen Comunicaciones helped with other $300. Computer.net 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.

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FUDCon Managua 2014 Clousure

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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.

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FUDCon Managua 2014 The Facts

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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

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FUDCon Managua 2014 The rough edges

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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 .

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FUDCon Managua 2014 The Regrets

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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.

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FUDCon Managua 2014 Web Site

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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

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FUDCon Managua 2014: The Heroes

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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.

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FUDCon Managua 2014: The aperture

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This is a two part act. First we have the welcome speech to later came with the sate of Fedora. So let us see what the welcome message was.

I am here exited to be in front of you sharing the experience of Fedora Community. Better said, sharing among Fedora friends. Over the time that I have been collaborating with Fedora Project, I have found the brightest people that I have ever met. Not only by their technical skills, but by their world view and how they value others peoples opinion. Nevertheless you have bad luck, instead of one of those great people, you got me giving you the welcome to this convention.

The road to FUDCon Managua has been long starting at small steps about a year ago. At the time that we were selected as host, budget approved and speakers were invited, the work keep becoming more intense. We hope that you can feel the intensity of all that effort in a blast of energy. An experience of learning and teaching at the same time. Jerome, one of those bright people in the community, told me once that free software is a way of making the world a bit of a better place. That is part of what we do and what we like to invite you all to be part of. Not only of free software, but free content and free knowledge.

Freedom is a flag for Fedora in every single level, from software to documentation and above all knowledge. Fedora is based on friendship, we are a diverse community and we appreciate the most of the differences. Fedora is features, we build Fedora, advertise Fedora, share Fedora using tools from Fedora. Last,we are first. You can find now in Fedora how Linux would be in six month.

We have found an ally in Universidad de Ciencias Comerciales. to organize together this event. This event has been an important change, where more that sponsor free software events, it has involve in the event. The event is part of the commitment with the technical formation of new generation of professionals. Not longer a passive subject offering spaces, but taking an active role to integrate knowledge.

This event would not be possible without the sponsorship of Güegüe Comunicaciones, Blue Host, Computer Net, Monchito, Clinica de Especialidades Dentales de la Doctora Barreto, SenCom, Movistar and Hotel Mansión Teodolinda. Thanks to all of them.

The second part is the State of Fedora. This is a real challenge, did my best.

In the last 12 to 18 months, Fedora Project has many things to talk about. Fedora y Red Hat sustain a interdependent relationship, a symbiosis. This alliance has been fortified in terms of more autonomy in budget, more transparency and better communication.
Red Hat made an alliance with Cent-OS which may imply a vertical integration in internal packaging tasks. Slowly this collaboration will signify more similar ways of working making more collaboration over the downstream chain toward Linux distros that depend on Fedora innovation. This will benefit many sysadmins. The triad of Fedora offering the newest in free software, Red Hat with great enterprise support and Cent-OS with community support will have a smooth transition from one to another at any time for sysadmins.

Yet, Fedora has proposed a change over three solutions to keep pace with time. Work Station, Server and Cloud. Focused in office user and developers; infrastructure from small to big business servers; and virtualization on the cloud creating virtual machines on demand on in house infrastructure or third party providers. Everything with the end to ease the integration with other upstream projects and make more easy to provide tools to the users. Of course that this does not mean that we lost the ability of a custom install. Neither is the end of the spins that have a life focused in specific user groups

Another event was the change of the Fedora project Leader, we welcome Matthew Miller. Matthew has started with a clear goal. How do we ensure that we are progressing? The simple metric of having two releases per year is very clear.. The number of downloads of ISO images. The number of updates. Collaborator number. All have been classical terms of the size of the project. But the question remains, how do we measure success? To evaluate ourselves, but most important to improve ourselves.

But the most important and most recent is the change from Fedora Board to Fedora Council. The board was a referent for important decisions brought up to them. The Council will be a dynamic group represented by key parts of the project, seats elected among the collaborators and dynamic seats call to solve concrete task with more specific roles. The idea is to move from a body of top authority toward more active roles focused in gear better the different project teams. Fortunately the Project has grow and organizational changes are need to keep up.
I honestly do not know what to said about the future with so many things going on at the moment. This is a very exiting time, full of challenges. We expect that this conference encourage people to join the Fedora family and participate with so many opportunities to make a difference.



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Six years as Fedora Ambassador

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Six years ago, on August 20th, 2008, I was approved as Fedora Ambassador. There is not six year badge, but here is one close enough.
A lot of things have changed from those days. Getting media, swag and get sponsored to attend events to perform the role of ambassador improved. I have a imaginary dialog that sums up some email exchange six years ago about this issue:

Me: Can I have some media?
X: I can’t send you media
Me: Can I get reimbursed?
X: No, you can’t
Me: If I open a bank account in the US, that will help?
X: No
Me: How can I help change this situation?
X: Stop asking questions!

This was at the time that Latin American Budget for events and promotion where handled by Red Hat office at Brazil. After some time, Fedora took control of this and changes starting to happen.

In any case I started to keep track of things that I spent. That add up to almost a thousand Dollars and I got reibursed in FUDCon Tempe 2011. About one year latter since I start paying stuff. Things started to change at Tempe. Max Spevack came with the idea of getting fedora community credit card. FUDCon Panama 2011 I have some few houndred dollars to be reimbursed again. Finnaly the credit card was issued and things got a lot better. I can’t claim that it is perfect, but it is a huge improvement. Besides the desicion making process to assing funds has been revised and it is a lot more regional driven. There are some quirks about countries and people that can’t be reimbursed by Paypal. Best way is to pay directly with the community credit card, but some stuff can not be purshased directly and have to be reimbursed.
Along those year I have been working on different parts of Fedora Project. I am Mentor for Ambassadors. I have been on FAmSCo twice in the past and I am currently back in the Committee. I worked some time in the Marketing Team. I wrote for some time Ambassadors beats for the FWN (Fedora Weekly News). I have been involved in Freemedia for almost six years. Now I am a Fedora Project Board Member.
I have run one Release Party every release since Fedora 11. For Fedora 13 I travelled to El Salvador and Guatemala (on my own pocket), to make three release parties with the Managua event in one week. For Fedora 16, I went to Costa Rica (sponsored) to help with a release party.
At Flock Prague 2014, I stated that I am a pretender. Along those six years a I haven’t become a programer and I haven’t become a system administrator. Some people said that I am pretending to be dumb. Maybe both statements are a little bit true. I have learn a lot of technical stuff along these years, but I haven’t been focussed on one thing.

Most of the time I have been dealing with things that are needed for events. Once I setup a machine with a local repo and also a gateway for internet. This was the ideal setting for running upgrades with poor internet conectivity or even without internet. I also explored how to build local repos for updates from DVD and USB for offline upgrade and installation of key packages not included in Live Media. But I always have had a great internet connection at office and a decent connection at home. So I was able to dowload all this without really needing it for my use. Some how this experiment fell short on my expectations. I never were able to set up a PXE boot server. That was because I did not get to understand how, and then I was busy doing other stuff. When I asked for help for the PXE server, people were busy doing other stuff. In the end, it never come to happen.

Flock Prague 2014 was again an example of this kind of things. I went to governance meetings and Fedora.Next talks, but I wasn’t able to attend a UEFI boot talk or one of the various talks about Docker because I was somewhere else in the previous stated activities.
There has been fun stuff like building a multy DVD tray computer for burning media, that went down with Fedora 16 inability to reliable handle multiple trays (or it was Fedora 15?). After a while, I just bought a media duplicator because I needed to burn media. This is next to a printer with a media tray, so I can made nice media. This has been a personal spent. Beyond Fedora media, I have been only use the duplicator for burning some Debian and Korora media. It hasen’t been a good return over investment. I haven’t look for any business for this setup. Althoug it has been fun when a group get together to make a burning meeting.

Burning meeting

Probably this looks like rambling over old memories. I should move into future stuff. At the local community, we have been organizing FUDCon Managua 2014. As a local community we have been talking on how to grow up in knowledge and fun, most likely we will start a Hacker Space after FUDCon. I think that the current Ambassador role and the current proccess to alocate funds has become outdated and as part of FAmSCo I want to set things in motion to change that. But most important of all, after FUDCon I want to start learning things that I like or that I need. Probably I will need to find my replacement on the local community and other activities on the Fedora Project.

Sometimes I think if I have been proactive and making the most as a Fedora collaborator for the Project or not. In the other hand my day job has nothing to do with any kind of software or system administration. Every time that somebody comes with the proposal that every candidate to Fedora Ambassador should be a collaborator to other team in the Project before been aproved on the Ambassador’s team, I can said that I would not be on the Project if that were enforced. Then, I think that I have done something on these past years.

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Thinking out loud of my Flock experience

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Fedora premium events are a life experience. I drank more beer in Flock than I have drank in the whole year. What probably is not much as I only drank four pints. Going into the FudPub and meeting old friends and attaching faces to IRC nicks is also part of the event. I would like to go deeper that wrote a tale of what I did and what I saw at Flock.

One of the key things that I immerse myself was Fedora.Next. I was more o less aware of what would be the products Workstation, Server and Cloud. But I did not know about the Base or Environment and Stacks. Base has been streamline a lot to make the minimal install really minimal. They have been a lot of progress, but there is a lot of dependencies to trim out. The more they trim out, the smaller the cloud image will be. One important thing from my standing point was to be sure that there is going to be a off-line installable media for workstation. This is a must for Latin America and several other places where internet is limited.

There is a term that I keep hearing event after event, burn out. As a primarily voluntary driven organization we should strive to keep a healthy rate of new collaborators to collaborators leaving the project to new challenges in their life. Should we, as a project, implement human resources actions. Think in recruitment, training and rewards. Not thinking in monetary rewards, but in a feed back that a collaborator is doing well, their work is relevant and so on. A tap in the shoulder. How we manage to keep someone interested when the prize for doing something great is get to do more of the same. Not a easy topic, but avoiding it will not make it go away. As I said, I keep hearing burn out event after event.

Another recurring topic is the “easy fix list”. Apparently it is an idea that everybody agrees that is needed, but is not really happening. There are some teams that have some success. Easy fix are a way to help people starting with the project some opportunities to do something while they learn how the work flow is in the project. Also is an opportunity for a newbie to see if they like that area of the project. We need a project wide easy fix list. But apparently creating a easy fix list is a challenge. Most collaborators tend to correct easy fix they find instead of making a list.

One thing that really surprised me is how worried people are about make sure that any action is perceived as community driven. Even further, not remotely related with Red Hat agenda. I don’t have any solid reference, but I feel that there is a small number of people that are paranoiac and vocal about this issue. Fedora Project Leader stated that the relationship between Red hat and Fedora is symbiotic. Fedora is not ready to live without Red Hat support. Red Hat need something like Fedora to drive innovation and they will struggle badly without Fedora. Since the package signature compromise occurred on Fedora 8 time frame, I haven’t see any clash between Fedora and Red hat that justify this over thinking. Probably is a historical mind frame that we have been unable of shake out.

This Fedora versus Red Hat, has a parallel. North versus South. To many Latin American collaborator, there is a preference toward North American and European collaborators. It is a rumor, people express that way. When it comes to point an example, no one has been able to point me to a clear one. Both issues are not to be dismiss, but I think they need to bring back into proportion.

I have no idea what docker really is. On one of the plenary session it was written on the board “docker, docker, docker”. Along my life I have been find that when something is all, then is nothing. Not because it does not exist, but because you can not differentiate. In any case, I was unable to learn what docker is about on Flock. There were several session that addressed that topic. My schedule selection was driven from what was expected from me and not driven from what I want. I feel myself conflicted because I am losing learning opportunities and away of facing new challenges. I feel my self stuck. Worst of all, I am not having fun. I believe that fun is what keep people from burning out. I sincerely think that fun should be our fifth foundation on the Project.

As an example of things that are not fun in the project, it is our current event announcement process. One person announcing an event needs to create a wiki page to describe the event, then has to edit the event wiki page to list his or her event and if it is a release event also has to edit the release event wiki page. That is only to announce one event without requesting any support. If support is requested, there is the need for opening a trac ticket and showing up at a IRC meeting. I going to be blunt and say it. I rather do an event without announcing it, it is to much work to do all that. The real problem with this is the public. All distributed information, primarily online information, point to the wiki event page. Which as you may expect is outdated and incomplete. There is need to keep track of logistic within the project, but we need to have a easy way to announce events to the public. I find really hopeful that this time we focus in having something working instead of having something perfect. I think that Ruth Suehle has some merit in this focus. In any case, Fedocal should soon start to list our events.

Finally, I am trill to be part of the change in the Fedora Governance model. We are moving from a public elected members that did not have a clear role as member to engage in meaningful leadership to a representative model. I really do not know how this is going to work and what shape will have. But this time that this change into uncharted organization structure will be good. It will set things in motion for going out of the comfort zone.

I have two regrets about the event. First is that the schedule has a democratic input that came from people that were not present at the conference. I have no idea how to improve it at the moment, but we need to rethink this. The second thing that I regret is not having a free day in Prague. This is a recurring happening. From six different Fedora premium events that I have been attending, only once I have been able to have some spare days to explore the place. I did try to get out on the first day. Every time that I tried to leave the hotel, new people were arriving and got into the welcoming crowd. This repeated until it was late for dinner and we group to look for food. I feel that this is great, it is part of the bonding experience of the event. But I can not stop thinking about being on the most beautiful city of Europe and I can not really confirm it or denied.

There is most that this event get me thinking, but I will save it for upcoming posts.

Here is my Flickr album of Flock 2014

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