On November 7, 2017, members of the RIT community came together for the annual Election Night Hackathon held in the Simone Center for Student Innovation. This year marked the seventh anniversary of a civic tradition with the [email protected] community. As local and state election results come in across nine projectors, students and professors work together on civic-focused projects during the night. Dan Schneiderman, the [email protected] Community Liaison, compiled lists of open APIs that let participants use public sets of data made available by governments at the federal, state, and local level.
Since I became a Fedora contributor in August 2015, I’ve spent a lot of time in the community. One of the great things about a big community like Fedora is that there are several different things to try out. I’ve always tried to do the most help in Fedora with my contributions. I prefer to make long-term, in-depth contributions than short-term, “quick fix”-style work. However, like many others, Fedora is a project I contribute to in my free time. Over the last month, I’ve come to a difficult realization.
After deep consideration, I am resigning from the Fedora Council effective at the end of the Fedora 26 release cycle.
Internet Relay Chat, or IRC, is one of the oldest chat protocols around and still popular in many open source communities. IRC’s best strengths are as a decentralized and open communication method, making it easy for anyone to participate by running a network of their own. There’s also a variety of clients and bots available for IRC. But on the reverse side, usability is a concern. Most common user interfaces for IRC clients or platforms aren’t always intuitive. People from parts of the world with unstable Internet connections are challenged with remaining connected to participate in conversation. Many people have tried addressing this problem before, but none have come as far as Riot.
A new release of Fedora makes headlines this month. With every release, it also means a new round of the Fedora community leadership elections. On 24 July 2017, the call for nominations went out for candidates. The Fedora Engineering Steering Committee (FESCo), Fedora Ambassador Steering Committee (FAmSCo), and the Fedora Council all have seats open. Already, discussions on nominations are happening. The candidate interview templates are being prepared. Even now, the nomination lists are filling up. However, I want to share an opinion on the upcoming FAmSCo election specifically.
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.
The Fedora Diversity FAD (a.k.a. Fedora Activity Day, or a sprint) took place during the weekend of DevConf, 27-29 January. The original planning for this FAD started in August 2016, after the Flock 2016 conference. At Flock, the Diversity Team held a panel with open discussion about diversity and inclusion efforts in Fedora. Based on the feedback received during and after the panel, it was a priority for us to continue working on the objectives we had established before Flock. For the FAD, a majority of the Fedora Diversity Team was present along with a few others.
- Amita Sharma (amsharma)
- Bhagyashree “Bee” Padalkar (bee2502)
- Brian Exelbierd (bex)
- Jona Azizaj (jonatoni)
- Justin W. Flory (jflory7)
- Maria “tatica” Leandro (tatica)
- Marina Zhurakhinskaya (marinaz)
- Radka Janek (rhea)
We made significant progress in accomplishing our larger objectives and to contribute to the Fedora Project mission and goals. The primary objectives we established for our FAD were completing plans for the demographic survey, building a campaign based on those results, and analyzing our Code of Conduct to find ways to better impact the community. This report covers each of these objectives, what we accomplished, and what we plan to do next.
One of the most important lessons I was taught growing up is to say “thank you” when someone does something nice for you. Many months ago, someone first introduced me to something called Happiness Packets. The idea is simple but powerfully effective. Happiness Packets are like thank-you cards for open source users or contributors. You can send a packet to anyone for anything. Your message can be as short or as long as you like. You can put your name on your message or you can keep it totally anonymous. The choice is yours. And now, I want to challenge you to the #HappinessPacketChallenge!
Transparency is the best policy and communication is key. This is why I felt it was important to make this announcement ahead of time to make clear expectations for the coming months. This past December, I was happy to accept a Production Engineer Intern position at Jump Trading, LLC. From June to August, I will be working at their office in Chicago, IL. I’m excited for this opportunity to learn from some of the sharpest people in the industry and to leave my own mark as an intern during the summer.
During the hiring process, I was happy to ensure that contributing to open source software would still be possible during my time of employment. I saw during my on-site interview that Jump Trading employs open source software throughout the company but also contributes back to open source, either with hours or donations. However, while I am still able to contribute to Fedora, I do not anticipate being able to maintain the level of activity that I contribute at now during my internship.
This article was originally published on the Fedora Magazine.
Open source projects are built online and a lot of their community members are placed all over the world. Even though projects have people from around the world, this doesn’t stop ambitious community members to organize open source conferences or events in their own cities. Whether they’re focused generally to open source or for a specific project, you can find a variety of conferences, hackathons, workshops, or meet-ups all over the world. Fedora benefits from having Ambassadors to attend these events to introduce Fedora and spread the word about the community. It’s not uncommon to see Fedora participating in these events, and Linux Weekend 2017 in Tirana, Albania was not an exception.
From March 25-26, 2017 in Tirana, Albania, nearly 130 people attended the first-ever Linux Weekend 2017. Linux Weekend was organized by Open Labs Hackerspace at the Universiteti Politeknik i Tiranës as an introduction to Linux for beginners. Throughout Tirana, universities have a strong focus on Windows or macOS operating systems and little focus is given to Linux. Open Labs community members wanted to organize an event that would promote Linux as an open source alternative and demonstrate some of its benefits over proprietary environments. The event collected representatives from various communities, including Fedora, Ubuntu, OpenSUSE, NextCloud, MusicBrainz, and more.
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.