Earlier this month, I received some of the most exciting news I have had all year. After much finger-crossing and (hopefully) hard work, I am traveling to Kraków, Poland, for the Fedora Project‘s annual Flock conference. Flock is described by the organizers as the following.

Flock, now in its fourth year, is a conference for Fedora contributors to come together, discuss new ideas, work to make those ideas a reality, and continue to promote the core values of the Fedora community: Freedom, Friends, Features, and First.

This year, I am attending as a contributor to the project, giving a talk, and leading a workshop!

Poland: New experience

Last year, I attended Flock 2015 without having much of an idea of what to expect. Flock 2015 was less than ten minutes away from my then future university, the Rochester Institute of Technology. I was a user of Fedora since 2013, but I had never figured out how to start contributing to the project. To take advantage of this experience, I made plans to move into school early so I could see what Flock was all about.

Fast forward a full year, and a lot has changed. Now, I spend many hours a week working on the Fedora Project in many places. I help lead the CommOps and Marketing teams. I organize and attend events on the US East Coast as an Ambassador. I’m a Google Summer of Code 2016 student for Fedora. When I walked into the conference center last year as a shy student, I never imagined that many of the people I met would become familiar faces in short time.

This year, Flock 2016 in Poland will be a different experience, and I am looking forward to seeing what it will bring. Do you have plans to attend? If so, allow me to share some details for sessions you will want to add to your schedule!

Evaluating our impact in education

At 17:30 UTC+2 on August 2nd, 2016, I will be leading a talk titled, “University Outreach – New task or new mindset?

In early 2015, the Fedora Council proposed a new objective: the University Involvement Initiative. The purpose? Try to increase exposure of Fedora in university settings to gain new users, but also to hopefully gain new contributors. In order to carry this out, is it a new task, or does it need a new mindset? In this talk, we begin looking at the current mindset and marketing thoughts around attracting university students to Fedora. What is working? What isn’t?

We will look at personal experiences among the presenters with getting involved with Fedora as a student for an example. We will focus on how changing the ways we approach reaching out to students might be the best way to begin making an impact on students with Fedora.

If you are someone interested in reaching new audiences of students with Fedora, make sure you work this talk into your agenda.

CommOps Workshop

As of recently, I will also be leading the CommOps workshop on August 4th, 2016 at 13:30 UTC+2.

This year, for the first time, CommOps will be hosting its own workshop to tackle existing tasks and project items, offer a place for the community to add their own ideas and wishes for what they would like to see, and planning for the future growth of our sub-project. Flock offers a unique venue to do this as it brings together multiple people from different areas of Fedora in the same rooms. This is a great place for us to take advantage of the combined people power to accomplish tasks that would be hard otherwise.

The workshop will be designed to also try to keep remote contributors in mind, where possible, over IRC and possibly other means.

To help organize thoughts and ideas on the workshop in a public and open way, the workshop planned in the open on the wiki. We’re working with other CommOps contributors on shaping how the workshop will run. We hope to have you join us and see what we’re up to in CommOps land!

Thank you Red Hat

Finally, I want to offer my sincere gratitude and appreciation to Red Hat and the Flock sponsors for sponsoring my travel costs to Flock 2016. As a student, there would not be a way for me to afford making this trip on my own expenses. Thanks to the great folks behind Flock, I will be attending and hope to contribute my worth with the above talk and workshop, as well as throughout the entire conference.

Thank you for granting me this opportunity, and I look forward to seeing many other Fedora contributors next month in Poland!


Image courtesy Alexey Topolyanskiy – originally posted to Unsplash as Untitled.