Our team provided help, outreach, and swag items during the SCaLE 20x 2023 Linux community event.

At a Glance

  • What: An open source software conference in Pasadena, California
  • Where: Pasadena Convention Center
  • When: 9 – 12 March 2023

Our Team in the Field

This report entails the activities of the following Ambassadors / Red Hat Associates at the Fedora Linux SCaLE community event:

A picture of Fedora Ambassador Scott Williams speaking with Andrew Ajemian

Fedora Ambassador Scott Williams checks in with Andrew Ajemian

What is SCaLE?

The SCaLE (The Southern California Linux Expo) community Linux event delivered a grand four day tech experience with open source training, exhibits, and general presentations. This year also marked the 20th conference anniversary and also return to the Pasadena (Los Angeles) area.

This expo drew in a global audience to discuss Linux, security, embedded, IoT, and more. The Conference Chair, Mr. Ilan Rabinovitch, and Technical Committee Chair, Owen Delong facilitated exhibitors and guests team through efficiently organized check-in. Consequently, all of the SCaLE team arranged quite a feature-filled show.

Conference Highlights

Day 1: Thursday 9 March

The ambassadors packed up supplies in preparation for the conference. Meanwhile, Justin Flory arranged and carefully curated swag and marketing items and shipped them to Brian.

Specifically, Perry organized the following items for expo success:

  • Dry-board flipchart easel
  • Dry-board markers
  • Leftover ribbons, mini-swag from 19x event
  • Safety scissors
  • Gaffers tape
  • Matte, sticky (invisible) tape

Some of our ambassadors travelled in the morning hours, as the exhibit hall did not open till much later and to also handle hotel check-ins. On the other hand, certain ambassadors attended early conference talks, such as the embedded class.

The King family led attendees through interactive embedded examples.

We convened in the exhibit hall later that afternoon to assess the booth space and to discuss logistics.

We encountered an apparently fresh palette to work with…

All things considered, our ambassadors noticed that the expo supplied us a booth conveniently next to Red Hat’s. Later, our team helped them stand up their “Our code is open” background and aided in monitor relocation to maximize space usage.

We helped our friendly neighbor set up for the show…

Day 2: Friday 10 March

On this day, our entire Fedora crew had set up our Exhibit Hall booth. We finished things well before the Exhibit Hall grand opening time of 2 P.M.

The Fedora booth after further setup

Because of our ample ambassador turnout, we took shifts to get lunch, have a break to explore the expo hall, or learn new things.

Once the expo opened, our team helped connect community guests with solutions, further explorations, and occasionally referred to others in the tech community.

Also, some general questions we asked guests tended towards open-ended (not direct “yes” or “no” answers) to enhance discussion, such as:

  • So tell me what brings you here today?
  • How do you use Fedora?
  • If you’re not using Fedora, what do you use and why?
  • Do you have any suggestions or comments for us to pass upstream to Fedora?

Our first exhibit day drew in approximately 500 guests.

The day rounded out with speedy lightning UpSCaLE talks.

Two community guests dropped by to continue Fedora discussions with Brian Monroe

Brian Proffitt, Natalie Pazmiño, Perry, and Cara Kim, after a swag re-stock…

Day 3: Saturday 11 March

Similarly, we returned the next morning to resume meeting with guests.

Our second exhibit day drew in an estimated peak of 700 guests.

In the afternoon, Brian presented the topic ProAudio Keyboards from Scratch. Particularly, this live demo covered various topics, including how to get started, significant performance differences, Jack and ALSA interaction. About 100 guests attended this in-person all levels talk.

Brian kicks off the talk by providing equipment tips

Brian fielded insightful questions throughout the session

During the day, Brian also set up his keyboard and notebook rig within the booth to encourage guests to give Fedora Jam a spin. This drew about 40 extra guests excited to check things out.

Brian showcased his Fedora Jam rig

We also occasionally checked in at the Red Hat table to see how things were going and to render occasional assistance.

Later that evening, our crew met with more of the community at SCaLE’s Game Night event.

Alejandro and herlo battle out ping pong sets at Game Night

There’s always neat vintage tech at the pop-up SCaLE Museum

Resourceful kids created this hideaway in the hopes to stay past closing.

Day 4: Sunday 12 March

As we opened the conference booth for the last day, SCaLE staff dropped by to congratulate our entire crew for achieving the Most Memorable Booth award.

The community recognized Fedora with the SCaLE 2023 (20x) Most Memorable Booth honor

The final exhibit day brought in about 200 guests to our booth. Afterward, our crew packed up the booth for transport.

As a treat, we enjoyed the smashing keynote provided by Ken Thompson.

Jon “maddog” Hall, Ken Thompson, and Perry

Suggestion / Feedback Box Items

Additionally, we had a booth sign-in sheet for visitors to provide feedback, suggestions, and comments about Fedora.

From the data collected, we pulled out some key highlights.

Altogether, there were 38 respondents on the sign-in sheet. Of those,

  1. Usage: 24 indicated they are using release 37 [as of this writing, current] or above.
  2. Down-rev Distro: 3 guests appeared to be using very dated versions of Fedora (less than or equal to Fedora 33). Two use 19 and one still uses 17.
  3. Marketing/Demographics: 1 says they will try it. 1 hopes a 32-bit spin might be offered for legacy hobbyist systems.
  4. Marketing/Design Team: 4 requests for shirts. 1 suggested possibly a way to purchase shirts/merch and have the funding from that go into Fedora development somehow, if possible.

    Fedora achieved Most Memorable Booth recognition for 2023. This info might be useful in for marketing/historical purposes.

Moreover, various had general positive feedback on the Fedora distribution, ranging from:

37Kinoite for the win!
37(from 2 users)
Allow Flatpak to use -user flag
Allow Firefox flatpak OOTB [out of the box?]
37Battery back! Thank you!
39 [dev?] userAwesome!
37Runs on my Surface Go
1-38Hardcore user since 11th grade
37Solid, reliable, easy to use […]
(Unspecified release)“SDR GNU Radio” (mention suggests they may use it for this application: https://fedoraproject.org/wiki/SDR)
“most recent”Like the graphic design spin
“most recent”Developer tools Python/Clang
37EXCELLENT DISTRO [all caps for emphasis]
(Unspecified release/distro)WILL TRY IT
(Unspecified release)Hi!
17 [?]Like you (sic) spins!
37*heart emoji* from Canonical!
37Fedora mobility!
37Friends, Fun, Fedora & Waffles
19 [?]Stickers are looking very nice!
?[Red Hat] Coloring book is cool

In contrast, guests provided suggestions range from:

VersionSuggestion Box Comment
37Wayland is not ready for Prime Time!

What Worked

  • The ribbons, lanyards, and bandanas definitely attracted guests to the booth.
  • The commuter mugs and power banks for highly-interested community really set the bar this year.
  • Having our booth right next to the ergonomic departure from the Red Hat booth helped tremendously.
  • The super-key keycap stickers, shiny chassis stickers, DEI stickers, and colorful youth-friendly stickers inspired guests.
  • Active involvement of the Fedora Linux community
  • Youth-friendly swag
    • The colorful stickers really inspired guests of all ages.

Areas for Improvement

  • Ambassadors to hold ~20 of the premium swag items with the last one given by 12:30P Pacific Sunday.
  • Swag
    • Clothing – Shirts, socks, etc.
    • More new logo material – The new logo items were requested frequently long after they disappeared
    • Ribbons with new word mark.
    • Hex stickers with new logo mark
    • Some guests enjoyed the coloring books, but those were imports from the Red Hat table as Fedora has no coloring books items as of this writing.

      It might be nice to have Fedora-theme coloring books / activity sheets, etc.
  • Have Fedora sponsor a Fedora Day at SCaLE
  • Game or UpScale Night sponsorship might prove advantageous.

Final Thoughts

In closing, our guests appeared to depart the expo with a renewed sense of using Fedora for their work or home projects. We also enjoyed visiting with other distro partners in the community in open dialogue.

We’d like to take a moment to thank Alex Acosta for this well-organized event. We are so grateful for you in our SCaLE community Linux event.

Accordingly, our booth’s ambassadors galvanized thought-provoking conversations among our community. Most notably, feedback from on Brian’s talk indicated that his tips proved quite helpful. Thank you all.

Comparatively, we’d also like to extend gratitude to Ilan Rabinovitch, the Audio/Visual Committee crew, and the rest of the SCaLE crew for bringing forth this exceptional conference.

That’s all the Fedora news from Southern California from SCaLE 20x. All in all, we look forward to seeing all of you again next year!

(L to R) Scott, Jeff Carlson (from SCaLE/San Fernando Valley Linux User’s Group),
Perry, Alex, and Iván

Photo source: @fedora@fosstodon.org / @vwbusguy

(Top row):
Joshua Loscar, Shaun McCance, Karsten Wade, Brian Proffitt,
AmyJune Hineline, Carl George, Natalie Pazmiño, Cara Kim

(Second row):
Perry Rivera, Alex Acosta

Photo by: Joshua Loscar

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