Flock, 2016

Reporting live from Mumbai airport. As, flight to Pune has some good waiting time and memories are kind of fresh in the mind, I have decided to write my flock, 2016 blog post. Journey is indeed long, 30 hours and still counting. But thanks to caffeine percentage running in my veins currently is more than blood and keeping me active.
It is not easy to believe that it was just a week before, I was at the same place (Mumabi airport) and things were so different. This year flock was indeed a great conference and very productive for me, lots of take away and learning. Revived old friendships and made new friends. Fedora Diversity efforts are getting into right direction and new plans are taking shape. Catch-up with different fedora team members. Time was really less to accomplish so many things in 4 days of conference, I don’t remember if I have slept more than 3 hours in a row during last week. It was crazy and it was fun.

Day 0 – After 18 hours of journey from Pune, India to Krakow, Poland, I met Rafal at the airport already waiting for me. We waited for another 1.5 hours to receive Bee and Justin from the airport. We chatted quite a lot on our way to hotel from airport. Comm-ops, diversity, fedora hub and much more. Rafal was pointing us to many different places in Krakow on our way. Bee was real fun to be with. We reached hotel and waited more to get room keys. Meanwhile, me and Justin have decided to sit together in the evening to plan around diversity panel. It was the first time we were going to do it in flock, so some good amount of planning was required. After getting room keys, we decided to split and come back to lobby after getting freshen up for food. We went to the mall nearby, Rafel took us to a perfect place where I liked the food totally. In mall, we looked for SIM card, currency exchange and some chocolates. Bee had some in her bag which she happily shared with everyone.

After coming back to hotel, I had a quick blue jeans session with my mentor back in Pune for my session feedback and some other stuff as I knew once the conference will begin, I won’t get time to catch-up.

In the evening, we three (Me, Bee and Justin), went with Rafal to city center to have our dinner. It was Polish restaurant and food was good.

Back to hotel, me and Justin sat together for diversity panel planning, we came up with the etherpad, put up the agenda. Tatica was with us all this time online to help out. We contacted people to join the panel, brainstormed on the issues which needs to be included and so on. In 2-3 hours, we were from 0 to at decent level of preparation for the panel. This is the difference between working online together and working seating next to each other. Outputs are real quick when people are together at the same place.

Day 1 – Great start of the day for me, I met my last to last year flock room mate Marie (Riecatnor). She is a great Fedora contributor and artist. Discussed about badges as she is the fedora badge queen. We went for breakfast together and then reached to Picaso for the FPL keynote – State of Fedora 2016. It was one of the awesome talk, where our fearless leader showed magical numbers around the project. Where we are as compared to different Linux distributions. What is the contribution statistics. This talk was presented in this year’s devconf too, but as I did not attend devconf this year, this was so interesting to know some facts. One of the interesting graph showed how contribution gets little low during Christmas time during the year. There were other fantastic figures and colorful graphs in the presentation.

After that I attended “ I contributed ! but, what now ?” by Bee Padalkar and this young lady was very confident through out the talk. She again showed magnificent numbers in Fedora project. She looked to me a survey queen. She talked about the statistics how many drop outs from the project and during what time. Also, she shared some numbers for the contributors in the project. I asked few queries in the talk.

Fedora Magazine and what it teaches us about users by Paul Frields And Thoughts on Fedora and Arts by Sylvia Sanchez are few other interesting talks happened on the same day.

In the evening we went for Tour of Krakow  , very well planned and executed tour where we happen to have a funny guide, showing us the streets, castles of Krakow and telling us the stories behind them. It was a fun filled day.

Day 2 – This is the most busy and little stressful day for me. I had two things to handle 1. Diversity Panel: Building an inclusive community  and 2. Diversity – women in open source .  Me and my team ( Justin, Bee, Marina and Tatica) has already put efforts in the panel preparation to get the right panelist on boar. We sat for a pre-discussion with some of the available panelists to brief about the agenda and the plan how it will go. We already had a pad created for the planning. I had Bee with me to create the questionnaire cards, it looks professional and just right for a panel to have cards 😉 . Thanks to all the panelists that it went smooth. We had tatica online with us. Matthew Miller , Marina, Marie, Bee, Sylvia and Justin, A perfect team to have as panelist. We had included the audience as well, and people had things to say.

After that, my talk on Women in open source, also went well. here are the observations and key facts to share about the two sessions ::
This should have come up early, but I was having a tough time dealing
with many things. So, better late than never

The diversity panel was indeed really successful, it initiated a lot of discussions and uncovered many issues people are facing. There were
at least 6-7 people , who came to me and discussed about the problems. People felt that the timing was so less for the panel, so same sub-set
of people came to attend my talk on women in open source and the discussion continued there.

Few points to be highlighted and to be worked upon for the next big thing ::
==============================================================
1. Panel timings were really less, people wanted to talk more and some
people took little longer time than required to speak.
Suggested Solutions – Moderator should pitch in and interrupt when required
People should be given 2 mins to talk at any given point of time.
Panel timings should be more than an hour.

2. There are other diverse areas to be focused on other than women-men,
which are unfortunately more deeply rooted in Fedora and causing pain
for many ::
Like Technical and non-technical, RedHatters and non-Redhatters, Old
Contributors – New Comers, Full time fedora contributors as their first
job And volunteers contributors etc etc

3. We need to have a drop box for the anonymous complains and keep them
classified rather making them public.

4. We need to work on the defined process how we are going to address
the issues, I came across an issue of demotivating the new comer and I
could not suggest any solution. Even if I do, that should be defined
somewhere like the guidelines etc.
I strongly believe that the diversity adviser and some of the team
members should have exceptional rights to pitch in and take actions on
the tickets in such cases.

5. Survey is something should be on priority to showcase the magic
numbers, We can take help of Bee here.

6. Last but not the least, a diversity FAD needs to be planned ahead to
align it with devconf or any other suitable timings/place. Being a very
new team, we really need to sit together and pen down the issues which
will fall within our radar, resolutions to them as guidelines and
structure of the team with some specific rights and responsibilities to
deal with diverse issues. And everything needs to go into the wiki page.

After a long day, I went for Cruise Krakow with flock attendees and my diversity team (by now, who are friends to me). I really enjoyed the zephyr , river site, food and friends 🙂

Day 3 – On August 4, third day of the conference, I attended some  Lightning Talks  and took pictures and posted them on face book, tagging people who were speaking.
I listened to Justin, Pravin Satpute, Adam Millerflock,2016, Kushal and few more speaking in the lightening talks.

Meet your FAmSCo!  was another valuable session, which I have attended. Few issues were raised like whey so many tickets are pending since long and no actions taken. Why always a discussion about India processes to be different and highlighted in every session etc etc. It was really good to listen the counter parts arguments and also the thoughts of people present in the session.

CommOps Workshop  and Fedora Loves Python  was another highlights of the day.

We went to Brewery Lubicz  for the dinner and drinks. I got a chance to talk to different people here.

Day 4 – On August 5, last day of the conference, I went for Fedora Budget Workshop and managed to know about the next year budget planning. Concerns of people for not getting reimbursements on time and reasoning. And few more deep drill discussion about the budget distribution among different parts of the project. I also asked few questions about having budget for the diversity initiative and got fair answers.

Bodhi Hackfest is one I missed being executed in parallel of this session but was willing to attend.

In the evening, We went to city center for food and some fun.

That is all, I had about this year’s flock. It was really awesome and fantastically planned conference. I would like to thank all the organizers and speakers who made it successful. Hope to attend next year’s flock as well.

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