FUDCon Milan

I’m a little late in writing up my thoughts on FUDCon Milan, but I’ve been fighting a combination of jet lag and sinus infection since I got home late Tuesday night.

FUDCon Milan was a successful event.  We started things out with a social event on Friday night at the Yguana Cafe.  Unfortunately, I couldn’t stick around for long as I had to make a run to the airport and help people find their way to the hotel.  On Saturday morning, we all met at venue and kicked off the barcamp session of the conference.  I was pleased to see many people stand up and pitch ideas for presentations — I think we ended up with around 30 different presentations on Saturday.  I took an informal poll during the introductions, and roughly half of the people there had never been to a FUDCon event before.

I gave an informal presentation called “You Could Be The Next Fedora Project Leader”, where I talked about the importance of mentoring new community members and how changes in Fedora leadership are a healthy and vital thing.  I also talked about what I do as the Fedora Project Leader to encourage community building.  I thought my presentation was well received, despite the fact that I somehow tripped the electrical breaker for the projectors as I was starting my talk, and ended up giving most of the presentation without any slides.  (Thank goodness I was prepared!)  Before and after my presentation, I tried to bounce between the other presentations, and actively participated in the “hallway track” of discussions with new friends and old friends alike.  The provided lunch was fantastic, and we even got in a few group photos.

On Saturday evening, we had the traditional FUDPub dinner, which was all-you-can-eat pizza.  I think everyone had a great time at FUDPub, even if some of the pizza was a bit strange.  I wasn’t going to say anything, but the Italian Ambassadors kept joking that the chefs were in the kitchen yelling “We’re running out of food — what can we feed the foreigners?”.  I have to admit — I kind of enjoyed the french fry pizza, even if it wasn’t very traditional.  During the FUDPub dinner, Christoph Wickert slipped away for a few minutes and came back wearing a Beefy Miracle costume — who knew you could find such a thing on eBay.  We all got a kick out of the costume, and had fun taking pictures.  (Francesco Crippa let me borrow his fancy Nikon DSLR, and I went crazy with it — I think I ended up taking a couple of gigabytes worth of pictures. Hopefully he’ll share some of the pictures with us, if he dares wade through all the awful pictures to find a few gems.)  After FUDPub, people went in different directions — some to drink, some to sleep, and some to eat gelato.

Sunday was the hackfest portion of the conference, and again the community came through with a great set of hackfest suggestions.  I think we ended up with twelve or thirteen different hackfest sessions, and everyone I talked to was pleased with the results.

I had a wonderful time interacting with members of our Fedora community, including a lot of people who I got to meet for the first time.  My heartfelt thanks go out to Francesco Crippa and the rest of the FUDCon Milan organizing team — your hard work made for a truly spectacular event.