I can’t remember how writing an annual reflection became a tradition, but after writing them for the last two years, it is now a habit. Every time I look back on all that the last year brought into my life, it is surreal. Many things that happened, I could never have expected one or two years ago. And perhaps now, I see that life is defined by the unexpected moments: the things that surprise us, warm our hearts, sadden us, and remind us of our humanity. Thus, I present my year in review of 2017.
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.
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.
This week wraps up for July and the last period of Google Summer of Code (GSoC 2016) is almost here. As the summer comes to a close, I’m working on the last steps for preparing my project for deployment into Fedora’s Ansible infrastructure. Once it checks out in a staging instance, it can make the move to production.
This week and the last were busy, but I’ve made some more progress towards creating the last, idempotent product for managing WordPress installations in Fedora’s Infrastructure for GSoC 2016. The past two weeks had me mostly working on writing the standard operating procedure / documentation for my final product as well as diving more into handling upgrades with WordPress. My primary playbook for installing WordPress is mostly complete, pending one last annoyance.
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!
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.
Flock to Fedora 2015 was a conference full of incredible people with incredible ideas, and it was a tough decision to decide which sessions to attend of all the good options. One that caught my eye was the “When is the year of the Linux desktop?” talk by Red Hat software engineering intern Levente Kurusa. Some of the key talking points of his session were evaluating why this statement always seems to be “next year” and why this awesome idea never seems to gain much ground. Are we doing something wrong? Can we improve somewhere? All of this, and more, Levente aimed to cover in his talk. I was fortunate enough to be in attendance of this talk!