Months of waiting came to an end and finally, it was time to meet people with whom I have been working for the last four months, being on the other side of the screen. Things seemed different when our last Wednesday conference call ended with “Meet you soon” instead of a “Good Day”. The excitement of attending Flock to Fedora was not only because the virtual interaction is turning to the real meeting but also, it was my first ever International trip. With approaching the 6th of August, the fear of travelling solo was getting on the peak, and at one moment I started questioning if all the trouble I underwent during last month was even worth it. But the time I met Shraddha (another intern working on the same project) at Bangalore airport, we happened to click so much at our first conversation that it was certain that at least my journey will not be me and my headphones all the time. 

Since I reached Budapest a day before when everyone arrived, I got a handful of time discovering places, getting to know their culture and try on things we never tried before. The excitement of being at such a beautiful place did not make me realise that I was sleep-deprived, I had a jet lag of four hours and I was hungry. I spent the entire day roaming the streets, enjoying a breath of fresh air and exploring the city and ways of commute as well. 

Next day we shifted to the hotel that was booked for us and where the conference will be held. The ambience of the whole place was really nice and we met other fellow attendees at the conference.

Day 1

The first day of the conference kicked off with an introduction by the Fedora Project Leader Matthew Miller about “The state of Fedora”. He talked about the current position and things happening at Fedora. Then we had a coffee session where I met my mentor Justin W Flory, Jona Azizaj, and Alberto Rodriguez Sanchez. I was overwhelmed to finally meet them in person and having one to one conversation. After greeting each other I attended Valentin Rothberg’s session on “All the things containers: a deep dive into untold features of Podman, Buildah and Skopeo”. The session was beginner-friendly and since I have been working with containers during my internship period, I found the overall experience quite informative. Since Dan Walsh was unable to make up for the conference, Valentin presented “Replacing Docker with Podman”, gave me some overall insights of Podman.

Candy Swap

Then we had Candy Swap, where people bought popular candies of their country to share with other people. I was so excited about it that I had already ended up packing half of my luggage with sweets, laddoos and chocolates. I got to taste candies that were literally horrific, with horrific I meant fireballs. Some people happened to enjoy but for anyone trying it, it was impossible to complete the entire candy. Thank god we had other sweet candies, thus saving a couple of people who tried it. I took some pulse candies, and it was really fun watching other people making weird, funny and questionable faces while tasting it. 

The day ended with a long walk at the Danube riverside with all the interns hanging out, interacting and getting to know each other.

Day 2

The second day started with a talk on “Fedora, Red Hat and IBM” by Denise Dumas (Vice President, Operating System Platform, Red Hat). She talked about deeper insights of IBM and Red Hat and clarified doubts of many people regarding the same. Here is a small quote she told in her session 

“ If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.”

After this, I attended David Cantrell and Tim Flink’s session on “The Future of automated build checks in Fedora CI” where he talked about some of their agendas for this year. He also discussed Jenkins pipelines and OpenShift, though not my field of expertise but got to know a lot. I also attended Miro Hroncok’s talk on “What’s Happening to Python 2?” Which I really found helpful. His insights about the need to retire packages and some scenarios where it can be handled using Exceptions. I spoke to Miro, about the steps one should follow while migrating a project from Python 2 to Python 3, to which he gave me a very reasonable solution. I was very nervous to ask him, but when I mug up some confidence to ask him, the shot was worth it. Then after that, I attended Renata Gegaj’s session on “Improve Fedora’s User Experience – A Simplified Approach to User Testing”. This was a lot of learning about User Research and Usability Testing and methods to do it. 

River Cruise

Later that day we went for a Danube river cruise. The experience was wonderful and beyond any words. We had an awesome dinner and I connected with other people as well. I wish the absence of scorching sunlight at 7pm would have made the evening more charming.

Day 3

This was the most important day since it’s the day for “Fedora Summer Coding 2019 Project Showcase and Meetup”. I was so nervous about the presentation the other day, had little sleep too. But the confidence my mentors had in me, made me overcome all the negative vibes and I presented my work with more optimism and confidence. It went really well and even other interns did a great job sharing their work and experience. Then we had the Mentor’s panel where our mentors shared answered our queries, shared best practices on mentoring, giving advice to future mentors. Then we had a free discussion, Q&A  and off-stage conversations regarding the same.

Day 4

The last day of the conference was about the Community Platform Engineering Hackfest followed by end keynote by Mathew Miller on Flock Wrap-Up. 

The one with my mentors

This was the last day of Flock and I can’t express how badly I miss the people and the whole atmosphere. Every day for me is like “take me back to those days”. I lived my best four days with a bunch of awesome people and not for a moment I felt I was away from home. Taking back an entire bag of experience positiveness and confidence with me. A big thank you to Fedora for giving me this opportunity to experience. Until next Flock, I miss you all :/ 

Hope to see you soon 🙂

Flock to Fedora 2019 Group Pic

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