The past few months have brought many changes for me. I traveled throughout Europe to experience some of the open source conferences and communities across the continent. Along the way, I met incredible people with powerful stories about their own communities. However, there is one community that I knew about before I came to Europe. The Open Labs Hackerspace in Tirana, Albania is a special community that I was fortunate enough to discover and meet. Together, they have helped set in motion the open source way in their own city.
These articles include my own personal views or perspectives. These pieces might have a more intimate or personal tone. Sometimes, it might cross over with other categories. If you want to know more about the way I think, this is the best place to get an insight.
Before looking too far ahead to the future, it’s important to spend time to reflect over the past year’s events, identify successes and failures, and devise ways to improve. Describing my 2016 is a challenge for me to find the right words for. This post continues a habit I started last year with my 2015 Year in Review. One thing I discover nearly every day is that I’m always learning new things from various people and circumstances. Even though 2017 is already getting started, I want to reflect back on some of these experiences and opportunities of the past year.
I originally began drafting this post 900 miles away from my current location. It was an hour until the New Year and I was trying to put together a rough outline of the things that made 2015 such an incredible year for me. However, for reasons I don’t really know, I never followed up on finishing this draft. So now, I’d like to present my Year in Review post looking at my 2015.
My Year in Review
With an hour left until the New Year, there never seemed a better time to begin writing my Year in Review article. While it is a stereotypical kind of thing to do, I also think it’s a great opportunity to reflect on the gifts, changes, and special occasions that this past year has presented to me. 2015 is special to me in many ways because it marks a significant milestone in my life of moving away from home and beginning my journey into full adulthood.
There are many important and special people in my life that have made this year incredible, and I want to reflect and make note of this.
Last.fm is a web service for users to track and share their music tastes with friends in an easy, simple way. A single play of a song is known as a “Scrobble”. Listening to music and recording the listen with Last.fm is known as “Scrobbling”. This is a service that has existed since 2002, originally under the name of Audioscrobbler. In 2015, Last.fm rolled out their new website beta, originally optional, but later forced upon all users.
Last.fm’s site redesign is criticized widely by users, but nobody seems to be listening on the other side in CBS Interactive London offices. What went wrong with the redesign and what can be learned going forward?
Open Source User
I am a user of open source software. My earliest experiences with open source software was with the Minecraft server software Bukkit as a kid, when I was attempting to make a cool game server for friends. I started using Fedora in December 2013 with my first laptop, ending a lifetime of using Apple devices. I like to believe that I am familiar and experienced with open source software as an everyday user.
Open Source Contributor
I am a contributor of open source software. Despite using it so often, I am still new to contributing and I am learning new things every day about free and open-source software communities. These past three months have passed by seemingly faster than light. And yet, despite being new as a contributor, I am passionate about what I am doing and what others around me are doing. I believe that open source goes beyond just software – it is a culture, a way of thinking, maybe even a way of life. There are reasons why I love open source as much as I do, and while it was challenging, I narrowed it down to three of my favorite things.
These past few weeks have been particularly exciting for me as I become more involved in the world of free and open-source software. For a long time, I’ve sat and idled in the various realms of the Fedora community, and I’ve sat on the sidelines thinking that I would be unable to contribute anything significant because of my inability to write fancy code or design super slick images or write documentation for the fancy code. However, I have gladly been proven wrong.