This August, I attended my first ever Fedora’s Annual Developer Conference, Flock and boy! What an amazing experience it was. I got a chance to meet so many amazing people who I had known by their IRC nicks only. There was fun, food and of course lots of Fedora!
This year’s Flock was held in Dresden, a beautiful city in State of Saxony, Germany. I reached Dresden on 7th August, a day before the start of Conference.
The main event kicked off at 9AM, the following day with the opening keynote on the State of Fedora by Fedora Project Leader, Mathew Miller. After him, Dusty Mabe, Langdon White, Stephen Gallagher and a couple of other people continued to talk about Fedora Editions and new features. The ever funny, Brian Exelbierd was anchoring the keynote and the 3-hour long talk never felt long.
I am not a hardcore developer by nature, so I had handpicked the talks which could go inside my tiny little head. So, the next one on my plate was Technical Writing for Non-Writers by Christoph Wickert. He walked us through the golden rules of writing documentation and copy in general. Being an aspiring UX Designer, this talk was really helpful for me.
In the evening, we had a candy swap organized by Justin Flory. People from lots of countries brought local candies and delicacies to share with the Fedora Family. It was a memorable evening with fun and laughter all around.
The second day kicked off with a wonderful keynote by the Redhat Program Manager, Rebecca Fernandez. She walked us through the importance of the open source community as one and discussed various steps that influential people do well in a community to keep it thriving. She also talked about the dos and donts of welcoming beginners to a community.
Next in my list, on the day 2, was The Imposter Syndrome Workshop and Unconscious Bias Training. It was my favorite part of the conference and showed me a new dimension which I never thought about. Justin Flory hosted a small game that made us realize how privileged some of us were. Earlier during the workshop along with Justin, Bhagyashree, Jona Azizaj, and Amita Sharma talked about the Imposter Syndrome that many of us face while starting out something new and tips to overcome it.
Later in the evening, my talk on Design Systems was scheduled. I talked about how embracing design systems can help us to scale Fedora Design consistently and why do we need one. The slides for the talk are available at http://bit.ly/flockds. Thanks to everyone who attended!
The cherry on the top of an already amazing day was the Scavenger hunt organized in the city of Dresden. All the community members were divided into teams of 8 and were given 12 questions to solve within a 2-hour limit. Though we did not win the game, it did not really matter since having fun was our primary motto. Shoutout to Dominika Bula and the team for planning the evening 🙂
The marketing meeting spearheaded by Eduard Lucena was the first thing on my plate the next day. He talked about how far we have come and what are the plans for the next Quarter. It was a really engaging session with people coming up with lots of brilliant ideas.
There was the GSoC and Project Showcase later in the morning. It was fulfilling to meet all the GSoC 2018 students as well as the mentors. The students explained the projects, the challenges they faced and how they overcame them. Brian Exelbierd and Laura Abbott also talked about what it takes to be a good mentor and why should one be a mentor.
In the evening, we had the Fedora Party at the awe-inspiring Rollercoaster Restaurant. It was super-exciting to have your dinner delivered through the roller coasters!
I ended the last day with the best thing, Fedora Badges workshop by Marie Nordin. It was my first time designing fedora badges, but it was really enjoyable! I had some trouble with Inkscape on Mac but ultimately I managed to create a small draft.
The Flock wrapped in the noon with customary thank yous and closing sessions by Mathew Miller and Brian Excelbierd. Also, There was a short QA session with the council, in which the Fedora Community discussed various issues with the council members.
This was my first ever conference, and first things are always special. I got a chance to meet a lot of smart people, made quite a few friends from different countries and of course, learned and got more motivation to continue contributing to Fedora. Only one regret, I could not meet the other design team members, Máirín Duffy and Masha Leonova. But apart from that, it was a surreal experience and I will remember forever 😄
👋 Until next time!