Flock 2014 - Event Report

During 04-11/Aug/2014 I had the chance to be in Prague, Czech Republic to participate in Flock 2014, the Fedora Conference. This was my first Flock since I missed the previous one held last year in Charleston, USA.

Along with Zacharias (though in different flights) we arrived on Monday. Unfortunately, as I had to choose cheaper, indirect flights I had a pretty tough trip; I started from my hometown Thessaloniki, then made a stop at Athens Airport, then at Munich Airport and finally I was at Prague. The following day we were joined by Nikos and on the 1st day of the conference by Achilleas as well. So we were 4 Greeks at the conference. We chose to stay at the nearby student dormitories as they were within a walking distance (less than 5') from the venue and were a cheap option just to get a few hours sleep each day.

The conference kicked off on Wednesday morning with a short opening note from Matthew Miller, our current Fedora Project Leader. Immediately after, Gijs Hillenius delivered a keynote regarding the progress and the implementations of Free & Open Source Software in the European Union. I'm very happy that he mentioned Epoptes, an open source computer lab management and monitoring tool developed by Greek IT teachers and deployed in many Greek schools. That day I heard more about the Fedora Magazine by Chris Roberts and was also present in the Fedora Ambassadors: State of the Union session by Jiří Eischmann. Later that day, Christoph Wickert held a session about Advocating Fedora.next giving us talking points and neccessary information on how to advocate the planning for the next decade of the Fedora Project.

On Thurday, I was present on the Improving Ambassadors Mentor Program session by Tuan Anh Truong, where important concerns were raised regarding the consistency of the mentoring process between different mentors; I hope we should soon start discussions and reach consensus to finalize a standard mentoring process for all potential future ambassadors. Later on it was time for the Meet your FESCo session, an open discussion with the Fedora Engineering Steering Committee. And right after, there was the Introduction to Docker talk/workshop held by Aditya Patawari on the large amphitheater where a lot of people attended.

Friday was the first day of the conference with less talks and more hands-on workshops/hackfests. Apart from attending the Fedora.next Joint Session, I was glad to participate in the 3D printing is easy workshop by Miro Hrončok where we went through the proceedure to print our very own Fedora badges on the RepRaps.

Finally on Saturday, the final day of the conference, we held an ambassadors meeting where I proposed to implement an events management system for ambassadors' events in order to keep track of our progress and make things easier, as our current Events wiki page is pretty much outdated and we're not getting new events displayed on the tables there. Whether we implement such a system or stick with the good-old wiki page is totally fine to me, at least we should be having all our new events displayed somewhere.

All in all, I was very happy to be part of this conference. I met old and new contributors and exchanged ideas about the project. I also volunteered to moderate a few sessions and had some time to translate a few strings for fedora-el. I'm now back from Flock highly motivated and energized to keep my work as a fedora contributor ongoing. Along with the rest of the Greek community, we're into organising a two-day FAD (that we'll be calling Fedora Weekend) very soon! You should hear from us :)

Thanks a lot to the Fedora Project for receiving a partial sponsorship to attend #flocktofedora, I wouldn't be able to make it otherwise!

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