Thoughts on Progress
I tend to measure the success of an tech event (such as FUDCon) not by how many people show up or what talks were given, but by the work that happens in the days and weeks after the event. By that measure (along with the traditional measurements), our recent FUDCon event was a huge success. I have also been inspired by the friends in our community who have publicly posted their post-FUDCon to-do lists, so that we can all have insight into the work that FUDCon helped bring to light.
Rather that give a day-by-day account of my own FUDCon activities, I want to just highlight some of the the things that resonated with me at FUDCon.
First, I was impressed with the Virginia Tech campus. It was a beautiful location for the event, and the amount of space we had was absolutely fantastic. Thanks again to Ben Williams and the Math Department at VT for their awesome support.
Second, I was impressed with the number of people who had planned ahead for the conference, and came prepared to both learn and share. I didn’t see too many people this year just hanging out in the hallway checking email, so that’s probably a very good sign.
I was happy to see how many of the various Fedora groups really had their act together for FUDCon. Just to highlight a few that caught my eye: The Docs team had several introductory sessions and a hackfest, which helped get some new people up to speed in the docs tooling. The Cloud SIG had a wide variety of talks on different aspects of cloud computing. I didn’t get to participate with much of the Infrastructure team’s sessions, but they all seemed interesting and were usually completely full. The ARM SIG also had a huge presence at the conference — with a marathon run of non-stop ARM work happening throughout the conference, and some nice give-aways to help entice more people to join the SIG and contribute.
As a Fedora Board, we met a couple of different times (once on Friday and once on Sunday) to discuss Board goals and work on other Board business. The board decided that in order to lead by example we would each choose a project to champion over the next year, and that we would make regular reports on how those projects are going. I’ve asked each of the Board members to pick their project over the next week or two, and be prepared to present it at our Board meeting on February 1st. If you have ideas or causes that you would like the Board to take up, please don’t hesitate to let the Board know, either personally or via the advisory-board list. I know a couple of the Board members already have their projects picked out, but I’m sure other members would love feedback and ideas. I really enjoyed the opportunity of meeting with the Board in a more personal setting, and having the chance for higher-bandwidth communications, and I hope that we can make that happen more often in the future.
Besides all of the technical discussion that happened at FUDCon, I was happy to participate in a number of different talks aimed at making the human side of Fedora more enjoyable. Whether it was talk about how to better attract new participants or improving exiting processes for Ambassadors, really enjoyed the ideas and brainstorming that came out of those discussions. I’m looking forward to seeing how we can improve things in this regard over the coming year. I also enjoyed the chance to interact with many of the community members in some light-hearted activities as well, including getting bowling tips from Russell Harrison, getting lots of photography tips (and good stories) from Eric Christensen, having a good snowball fight with Jeroen van Meeuwen, and having a good impromptu swordfight with Mark Terranova. All of these things helped keep me from going too crazy with all the logistics around FUDCon.
So to everyone who participated or supported those who did, let me say thank you. Now let’s get back to work and finish up all those things we talked about doing, and keep making forward progress…