Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Flock 2013 Charleston (SC) Report (Robert Mayr)

Flock was hold from august 9th to 12th and was the first Conference in a new format, replacing the FUDCons we all appreciated over the last years. It was attended by nearly two hundred Fedora Contributors and although it was the first very big event it was a great success. But let's start from the beginning.
The journey to Charleston was as expected, very long but without problems, with Gianluca I got there through Frankfurt and Atlanta, where we met also Jiri, Sirko, Patrick and Gergely. Once arrived Josh offered us a ride to our hotel (thank you again)
The first day, after registration, we followed Robyn's keynotes and took the group foto.

Then the sessions started; we mainly had a lot of talks in the morning and longer sessions or hackfests in the afternoon. Perhaps we had too many talks (up to seven or eight) at the same time, and often it was really difficult to choose one, because they were all interesting. I decided to attend most of the talks about Cloud computing, Openshift and ARM.
Matthew introduced all the attendees to the Cloud and it was really interesting for me; I didn't know so much about it and therefore appreciated his simple explanation. We have to focus much more on Cloud in the future, and the talks I saw at Flock about Cloud confirmed it giving me also concrete numbers.
Another interesting talk held by Steven was about Openshift (once in your life you have to attend a talk of Steven, awesome), and as a web developer I really liked his presentation. I never used it before, but in the meanwhile I got an account and will run my first application soon :)

In the evening we had cool parties, a lot of discussions with other contributors about Fedora while drinking beer or eating hummus.
The second day I attended Christoph's talk about alternative Desktops, it was very well done although unfortunately Dan or other guys were not there to discuss more about Mate or other Desktops. Actually we have a lot of DE, and some of them perhaps don't have a really future, but on the other hand there are a lot of people using a specific DE in certain parts of the world, so let's see what happens in the next two years.

The third day was dedicated to the ambassadors, Jiri talked about the actual state and the FAmSCo activity, Tuan about the budget and Christoph about some old stats, comparing them with actual numbers.
From all these talks started a discussion about what to do with inactive ambassadors, a horse we have beaten to death in the last years. We decided to not remove them but to mark them as inactive, as the activity of an ambassador can't be measured easily. Ambassadors also should be part of other Groups and contribute, which should increase the probability they will remain active. We also agreed on the ambassador census, to be done with a small form we already created at the EMEA FAD last year, and which now will be extended to the other Regions.
We also talked about a new application, where we'd like to locate all ambassadors on a map, same for the events and parties we have around the world. In a second step this app should also take over the content of, giving the local communities more visibility. Fedocal could be included easily and for sure will help us to manage the events better. Stay tuned, I hope we can have soon an instance running on Openshift (yes, my new account..).

The third evening was at the Aquarium, a great place where we could finally see the Atlantic Ocean and the long caracteristic bridge of Charleston.

The last day was dedicated to hackfests, I signed my GPG key and attended the Infra hackfest. At the end we had time to get an awesome sandwich and before returning back to Italy we also did some shopping for our family at home.
Many thanks to all the organization team, Flock was a very nice event and I'm looking forward to Flock 2 in Europe next year. Perhaps it would be a good idea to limit the talks to max 4 or 5 at the same time and to organize more practical sessions and hackfests.

And yes, I got my badge too, cool :)

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