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.
When people first think of “open source”, their mind probably first goes to code. Something technical that requires an intermediate understanding of computers or programming languages. But open source is a broad concept that goes beyond only binary bits and bytes. Open source projects hold great regard for community participation. The community is a fundamental piece of a successful open source project. For my experience getting involved with open source, I began in the community and worked my way around from there. At the age of fifteen, I was beginning my open source journey and I didn’t even know it.
This post was originally published on the Fedora Community Blog.
HackMIT is the annual hackathon event organized by students at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge, Massachusetts. HackMIT 2016 took place on September 17th and 18th, 2016. This year, the Fedora Project partnered with Red Hat as sponsors for the hackathon. Fedora Ambassadors Charles Profitt and Justin W. Flory attended to represent the project and help mentor top students from around the country in a weekend of learning and competitive hacking. Fedora engaged with a new audience of students from various universities across America and even the globe.
From August 2 – 5, the annual Fedora contributor conference, Flock, was held in the beautiful city of Kraków, Poland. Fedora contributors from all over the world attend for a week of talks, workshops, collaboration, fun, and community building (if you’re tuning in and not sure what Fedora is exactly, you can read more here). Talks range from technical topics dealing with upcoming changes to the distribution, talks focusing on the community and things working well and how to improve, and many more. The workshops are a chance for people normally separated by thousands of miles to work and collaborate on real issues, problems, and tasks in the same room. As a Fedora contributor, this is the “premier” event to attend as a community member.
Although my report comes a little late, it comes with a lot of thought and reflection over the week at Flock. I participated as a speaker for my talk with Jona Azizaj titled, “University Outreach: New task or new mindset?” I also worked with Bee Padalkar on running the Community Operations (CommOps) team workshop for planning our own future tasks in coming months and knowing what issues or topics the community had in mind. And lastly, due to last-minute scheduling issues, I helped plan and organize the Diversity Panel with Amita Sharma and many other incredible contributors.
Without further ado, this is my analysis and report on the events at Flock 2016. And for anyone wondering what “żegnajcie” in the title means, Google Translate tells me that means “farewell!” in Polish.
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!
This week is busy and continues to keep the pace of previous weeks. A lot has happened this week in the Fedora Project and I’ve taken on a few new tasks too. In addition to existing work on Google Summer of Code, Community Operations, Marketing, and more, I wanted to take some time this week to focus on CommOps Ticket #71. This ticket originally focused on improving accessibility of design resources for Fedora Ambassadors. However, after an interesting conversation with Máirín Duffy on the Design Team workflow, I discovered the availability was not the main issue. Instead, it seemed like communicating was an area needing focus.
Over the weekend of April 9th – 10th, the Fedora Project Ambassadors of North America attended the Bitcamp 2016 hackathon at the University of Maryland. But what is Bitcamp? The organizers describe it as the following.
Bitcamp is a place for exploration. You will have 36 hours to delve into your curiosities, learn something new, and make something awesome. With world-class mentors and hundreds of fellow campers, you’re in for an amazing time. If you’re ready for an adventure, see you by the fire!
The Fedora Project attended as an event sponsor this year. At the event, we held a table in the hacker arena. The Ambassadors offered mentorship and help to Bitcamp 2016 programmers, gave away some free Fedora swag, and offered an introduction to Linux, open source, and our community. This report recollects some highlights from the event.
Last month at the Rochester Institute of Technology, BrickHack 2016 came to a close. BrickHack is an annual hackathon organized by students at RIT. Close to 300 people attend every year. This year was BrickHack’s second event.
BrickHack 2016 and Fedora
This year, I attended with the Fedora Project team, which included people like Remy DeCausemaker, Mike DePaulo, Charles Profitt, Ralph Bean, and Ryan Scott Brown. In addition to the Fedora crew, many of my friends and fellow students were there, like Mike Nolan and Brendan Whitfield. There were countless others that made the weekend awesome and incredible.
For pictures and more details, read my full report on the Fedora Community Blog.
Today, I received the Pizzelle badge in Fedora Badges. I was awarded with Pizzelle after a short “karma storm” in the EMEA Ambassadors meeting. After finding out I was awarded the badge, I had a light bulb sort of moment. As of this month, it has been a year since I first found myself wanting to get involved with the Fedora Project. I remember seeing the announcement for Flock 2015 and how that was right next to my soon-to-be university, the Rochester Institute of Technology. I remember lazily dismissing the idea of taking any further steps into Fedora until after Flock 2015. And now, a year later, I’m reflecting back on crazy of a past few months it has been.
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.