FLOCK 2016: Thoughts & Results

FLOCK this year rocked! It was my third time attending, and I had an amazing time learning, teaching and talking about different parts of Fedora. I want to thank the organizers, who did an great job making everything run smoothly. The scheduling of the talks seemed very well planned and the evening events were a lot of fun. I especially enjoyed the walking tour, as our tour guide, Chris, was very engaging and taught us many interesting facts about Kraków.

The Fedora Badges Workshop that I ran with mleonova went off pretty much perfectly! We had about 8-10 attendees which is a fair number as we were competing with some other interesting workshops. Most people were complete newbies to Inkscape and none had created a Fedora Badge design before. We set everyone up with Inkscape and the Fedora Badges Design Resources and then ran through our tutorial of the Badge design process. After that we helped attendees find tickets they liked and everyone jumped into Inkscape to create!

This workshop has been run at least 5 times I believe, and this event was the most successful, imo. We had three designs get to the approved stage, although some will require more work because they will become a series. For those the bulk of the work has been done, and numbers or letting will need to be added. Michalrud designed the Bit from the Core badge which you can earn by helping to reduce the size of the Fedora Cloud image. This voting badge artwork was created by msuchy. And this badge for proposing changes to package guidelines was created by bascht, a completely new contributor to Fedora! Other attendees began the design process, and are still in the revision phase. For example this badge for the Security Team has been started by piratecat.

During the last week, we have had a lot of activity from our more experienced badge contributors, including myself. I have submitted artwork for two badges; the second badge in the Anitya series and this badge for contributing to a Fedora Infrastructure App. Churchyard stopped by the workshop to get some help finishing up the 3D Printing SIG badge he has been working on, which is now approved. This badge for being a moderator in IRC was created by tatica and is now approved. I have also been helping maryshak1996 with several different badge designs that should be approved shortly.

I spent some time going through the ticket queue, updating concepts, reviewing badge artwork and mentoring badge designers. I sent out an email to the Fedora Badges mailing list looking for input on a monthly meeting. Our queue is *still* quite large(and as usual I heard plenty of ideas for new badges at Flock), our resources need updating, and some badges that have been pushed need to be resized or tweaked. I would also like to establish a way for other teams in Fedora to communicate with the Badges team so that we can help to enable other initiatives and push work in certain areas. Fedora Badges have been proven to increase productivity in the areas they reward and with more communication I believe we can make a solid and direct impact.

Between all of this work on Badges I attended different talks and workshops. On the first day I found Matthew Millers State of Fedora presentation to be very interesting, as well as Paul Frields talk on Fedora Magazine. The second day I really enjoyed the keynote presentation on Akademia Programowania given by Radoslaw Krowiak. I found his practice of letting his students approach their challenges from different and individualistic ways inspiring. I also attended Amita Sharma‘s talk on Women in Open Source.

Amita Sharma asked me to join the Diversity Panel on Building an Inclusive Community. I found this panel to be good, but not as productive as we had planned. The hope was to come up with solid methods to bring more diversity into Fedora. To be completely honest, it was hard to speak up because many people had pressing opinions to bring to the table. I am glad this topic is getting exposure, because before change can occur, people need to become aware. After the talk I spent the next hour talking to different people about diversity. What they thought would help, how they thought we might approach solving it and why we may deal with diversity issues to begin with.

The Design Clinic this year had low attendance, as compared to last year where we had plenty of drop ins. I wonder if this is because the Fedora Design Team has been keeping up on our ticket queue very effectively over the last year. I also sat in on Sirko Kemter‘s 101 – Poster and Infographic Design which was a fun and informative session for those unfamiliar with design. They created their own posters for a fake FLOCK dance event.

Overall, I had an amazing time at FLOCK this year and I am extremely pleased with the work put into Fedora Badges. I hope that the new badge contributors will be inspired to continue working on designs! Here’s to a year filled with hard work on Fedora and I hope to see you all at FLOCK 2017.

 

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