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Flock 2017 – My experience

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This year I had the pleasure of attending Flock in Hyannis, MA. I taught, I learned, I saw old friends and made new ones. It was another wonderful experience with the Fedora community. This year, there were quite a few design sessions, which was very cool. I attended them all and learned some pretty neat stuff. I also made my way to as many other sessions as possible and had some great conversations about Badges.

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Day 1

The first day I found myself at the opening session, Matt Miller’s Welcome/Intro + Fedora State of the Union. Matt showed us some of the usual stats, and advised that we are aiming to be in the sweet spot that covers both innovators and early adopters. Matt touched on his proposal to guide our Ambassadors. Matt also stressed that to keep evolving, we need to be bold with our work, or in other words… to start fires and break things. As a designer, I am not quite as in touch with Fedora’s cutting edge technology than the average developer.

I use Fedora, for my personal computer, and to make design things. I contribute to Fedora with my work on Fedora Badges and the Fedora Design Team. How do I start fires or break things? Matt’s talk had my brain churning. I want to make my contributions to Fedora the most impactful and meaningful as they can be. My mind went to Fedora Badges. I came to some conclusions about Fedora Badges, and I had the opportunity to tell Flock attendees some of them on the last day at the Demo Session. More about that later.

I popped up on the microphone for the Advertise Your Session hour with Masha Leonova to tell everyone to come to our workshop and then grabbed lunch in Bass River. I chatted with the guys at the Red Hat Booth and posed for a caricature as well as answered a few questions about my involvement with Fedora. Looking forward to seeing the video they make!

Next Masha and myself ran the Designing Fedora Badges workshop. We had about 15-16 attendees, who came in an out during the three hour session. In attendance were some experience badge designers, some complete newbies and some developers. We ran through an intro, the tutorial, and we had also had Kanika (a2batic) talk about the work she has been doing for Badges. Kanika has been working on a symbol library resource for creating Fedora Badges designs. It is still in the testing phase right now, but as soon as it is ready we will add it to our resources page with instructions. The session was very productive, with no major bumps getting everyone set up, and artwork for multiple badges being approved!

I chatted about Badges with a few people and then stopped by the Fedora Magazine Workshop. Next was dinner and Game Night in Bass River. This event was a fun social time for everyone, with a lot of hub and bub around the candy swap. Jenn made some sweet portraits and I jumped in for a little sketching near the end. Myself and a few others then decided to wander Main Street to see what we could find, which included some delicious tapas and music.

Day 2

On day 2, the first session I went to was Create, Develop and Build our Fedora Websites. This session was run by Andrea Masala and Robert Mayr, both who had attended my workshop the day before, soĀ  I thought I would return the favor. I learned about how they keep our Fedora websites up and running, and which ones that includes, as well as more info on how they communicate/ their workflow/etc.

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I then went on to attend Simple User Testing – Early and Often by Jenn Kotler (in the same room conveniently). This session was really interesting to me. Jenn taught us the entire breakdown for a micro test, a user test which is usually done early in the process, with a small amount of participants. She explained the workflow for such a test starting with the question “Who are the users?” Jenn explained how to design the test by creating a goal and creating your test around that goal, and any other smaller goals you may need to gauge.

Next to find testers- Jenn says techies make bad testers! Unless they will be the primary users :). She also explained that your interaction with the testers make a huge impact on how the test will go. Stay reserved, neutral in your tone/body language about all things, and don’t let the testers know that you have created the app. Doing these things will help maintain the quality of the test results. When running the test, have a written script ready to go, that way each tester is getting the same experience. You can and probably will need to give your testers assists, but note each assist. This means you have a place which needs serious revamping in your project.

Lastly, Jenn spoke about what to do with your test data. This includes making a spreadsheet with all the information you have gathered during your testing. You would then use that spreadsheet to look for trends, such as which tasks do you the users pass or fail consistently? Then Jenn ran a Q&A portion of the session, where some good questions were asked. For example, how is a micro test different from a regular test? The difference is the scope, a micro test is useful for testing a smaller sub set of features wheres a regular test you may be testing an entire application.

I grabbed some lunch in Bass River and then headed over to the Fedora Hubs Hackfest. During Flock, I was also in the process of updating my laptop to the most current version of Fedora Workstation. This session ended up being a good chance for me to finish updating with the help of some of the attendees. All set with Fedora 26 Workstation now :).

Wednesday evening was the night of our event at Wackenhammer’s, which was a lot of fun. I tried out many of the games, and spent time catching up with old friends and spending time with new ones. I played the Plush Palace claw game until I got my new Pusheen friend pictured below(adding to my already existing collection of pusheenabilia). After the event, myself and a couple people wandered Main Street again until we found a nice tavern to have a couple of drinks.

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Day 3

Day 3, I started my day with a breakfast sandwich from DD(which was conveniently close to the hotel and conference center) and then straight to the Diversity Team Hackfest. The conversation seemed very productive in my opinion, with helpful and genuine feedback from different Fedorans who attended. The discussion about events allowed for people to talk about the importance of wording, and who and how we target a diverse audience. The importance of inclusion without singling groups of people out.

After that, myself and a couple people decided to go out to lunch- and we chose Spanky’s. It was a cute seafood place by the water. We sat outside, enjoyed our meals, and then took a quick walk up and down the pier to see what we could see. I found a couple of artist “shacks” where the city provides grants for artists to make and sell artwork out of these little buildings during the summer months. Apparently this is a popular program in Cape Cod which I would found to be super cool. I like to see communities that value artwork.

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The rest of Day 3 was a design session afternoon :). Starting with Get Together with Local Fedorans: A UX Design Case by Suzanne Hillman. Suzanne spoke about User Design via her work on creating a localized version of Hubs. The session focused on the process of User Design more than the actual project. To break it down as simply as Suzanne did, the process overview is a trifecta of Research <-> Design <-> Analysis. Moving back and forth between those three activities until you have a finished project.

Next was a quick session by Mairin Duffy, Fedora Design Pattern Library. In this session, Mairin gave an overview of her work to help Fedora website and apps to be contiguous in their design. A tool to make the everything we create feel “Fedora,” using atomic design principles and patternlab. I asked her, is this a style guide? Her reply was yes, and no. It is more than a style guide, it is a tool that can actively be applied to websites to change their design on the code side. Cool!

Last for the day was the Design Team Hackfest. This session I spent working on replying to the latest issues for Fedora Badges on Pagure, generally triaging and helping people out. I created a badge design for the Fedora Council – which has been pushed out already! Overall the afternoon was informative and productive. I also did an extracurricular activity, that I have little use for generally. I braided a new friends hair :D.

After dinner, a group of us decided to hit the town and find some dancing. Which we did at a fun place called Embargo. Decent food and drinks with dancing, it was a great night! They closed at 1AM(so early!?!?), so we brought the gathering back to the hotel and enjoyed each others company until the wee hours!

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Day 4

I managed to get out of bed in time to make it to the What did we do?/Demo Day session on Friday morning. This session was a good summation of what we accomplished during Flock this year. As some of the other design team members were missing from this session, I was *selected* by popular demand to speak about what design things had happened during the conference. I gave a brief overview of the different design sessions I had attended and then I gave a breakdown on the current state of Fedora Badges and spoke about some of the conclusions I mentioned earlier in this post, which I would like to share with you now.

Fedora Badges is awesome. It is a fun and exciting way to get recognition for the hard work we put into Fedora. This project is also 5 years old now? I am not sure of the exact date of conception, but suffice to say, it is not the new hotness anymore. Which is totally OK. I have been around working on this project since 2013, and since my start, have taken more of a leadership role. Mentoring, triaging and helping to run things as smoothly as I can with the time I am able to give. Since I so closely monitor it, I have noticed a few things:

  • We have old tickets. I mean, in terms of the project, stone age old.
  • We have less ideas being submitted generally. Most new issues are filed for events.
  • We have less developers able/willing to put time into the project.
  • We have a lot of the same designers designing badges, not many newbies.

To me, all of these things seem like kind of eventuality with an old project, but it also says to me, this project is becoming less relevant, and helpful to our community. Which I indicated during my mini talk during the What did we do? session. I had *multiple* people come up to me after saying “I love badges! This project is awesome!” and that is great! But how do we keep this awesome? To get back to Matt Millers talk, how can we use Fedora Badges to help make fires and break things?

This is my call back to the community for Fedora Badges… How can we use Fedora Badges to continue to achieve our goals? For each project maintainer, developer, ambassador, QA person, etc, etc, etc, I challenge you to come up with an idea for a Badge based on where you need work to be done on your project. For the people who know what the new hotness is, can Badges help it become an even greater success? To the Fedora leadership, I ask how can we use Fedora Badges to further the efforts of the entire community? We know this system can and has created significant work and movement within Fedora. To design people reading this who haven’t worked on Badges before, this is a great, fun, collaborative, project and we would love for you to join in. To developers who have some time, please take a look at some of these old badges and define if they are possible. I am also open and interested to hear ideas on how to improve Badges as a whole.

Fedora Badges is a project in which we need all different peoples ideas, efforts and contributions. Not just once, or twice, but continually, as Fedora continues to evolve and grow in different ways. How can we better use Badges as a tool to excite, empower and help drive contributions to Fedora as a whole?

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Conclusions

Flock 2017 was awesome! I had a wonderful time learning, teaching, and doing. The scenery was very quaint and I did manage to get to the beach a couple times, although the weather was barely cooperative. I really enjoyed seeing all my friends, acquaintances, and making a whole bunch of new ones. The social aspect of Flock is a great motivator and reward of being involved with Fedora. My friendships with Fedorans continue to build and that is the best šŸ™‚

 

 

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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 KrakĆ³w.

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.

 

FLOCK 2016! Learn How to Get Involved in Creating Fedora Badge Designs

Another year, another wonderful FLOCK! Thanks to everyone who put in the hard work to make this event a success. The first day and a half have been informative and fun, learning about what everyone in Fedora is up to, catching up with new and old friends and seeing some of beautiful KrakĆ³w. Just before I made my way here to Poland, I met up with the Fedora Design Team in Boston, MA, for a FAD. We tried out a new event for our team that was free to the public, an Inkscape and Fedora Badges Bootcamp, with success! So riding on the tail end of that I am excited to be here with the rest of the Fedora family and to continue working on Fedora Badges and getting people involved.

I will be holding a Fedora Badges Workshop this year at FLOCK with Mariia Leonova on Thursday at 1:30PM in the OpenQA room. I encourage everyone who is interested in the designs of Fedora Badges to attend. This is a chance for you to learn the process of designing a badge, from setting up the tools you will need(typeface & palettes) to the final step of getting approval on your design. You can choose one of our preselected “newbie” tickets, and with the help of a few seasoned Fedora Badge designers begin to design a badge. This is a great chance to jump into Inkscape, as we will help you navigate the program and learn by doing. No need to have super artistic skills, as a lot of badges can be created by mashing up previous designs and artwork.

I look forward to seeing any and all of you at the workshop, and I hope you all enjoy the rest of FLOCK this year.

 

Posted below are relevant links for the Fedora Badges Workshop, please feel free to download Inkscape, Fedora Badges Resources and make yourself acquainted with these tickets in our queue.

Inkscape Download: https://inkscape.org/en/download/

Fedora Badges: https://badges.fedoraproject.org/

Fedora Badges Trac: https://fedorahosted.org/fedora-badges/

Fedora Badges Design Resources Zip: https://fedorahosted.org/fedora-badges/attachment/wiki/DesignResources/FedoraBadgesResources.zip

Fedora Badges Workshop Slides: https://drive.google.com/folderview?id=0ByBG24rp7qbUeHVHUHZWcW5HSkk&usp=sharing

Fedora Badges Newbie Tickets:

https://fedorahosted.org/fedora-badges/ticket/473

https://fedorahosted.org/fedora-badges/ticket/470

https://fedorahosted.org/fedora-badges/ticket/468

https://fedorahosted.org/fedora-badges/ticket/462

https://fedorahosted.org/fedora-badges/ticket/433

https://fedorahosted.org/fedora-badges/ticket/432

https://fedorahosted.org/fedora-badges/ticket/424

https://fedorahosted.org/fedora-badges/ticket/393

https://fedorahosted.org/fedora-badges/ticket/378

https://fedorahosted.org/fedora-badges/ticket/373

https://fedorahosted.org/fedora-badges/ticket/361

https://fedorahosted.org/fedora-badges/ticket/348

https://fedorahosted.org/fedora-badges/ticket/333

https://fedorahosted.org/fedora-badges/ticket/288

https://fedorahosted.org/fedora-badges/ticket/283

https://fedorahosted.org/fedora-badges/ticket/279

https://fedorahosted.org/fedora-badges/ticket/274

https://fedorahosted.org/fedora-badges/ticket/264

https://fedorahosted.org/fedora-badges/ticket/204

https://fedorahosted.org/fedora-badges/ticket/201

https://fedorahosted.org/fedora-badges/ticket/191

https://fedorahosted.org/fedora-badges/ticket/150

https://fedorahosted.org/fedora-badges/ticket/78

https://fedorahosted.org/fedora-badges/ticket/45

 

Flock Report 2014: Through the Eyes of a Female Fedora Designer

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I had an amazing time at Flock 2014! This was my first international conference, my first week long conference and my very first Flock. Prague is a beautiful city, and I enjoyed every moment of art and history that I could. I am so grateful to the people who voted to see me talk at Flock and for all those who made it possible for me to be there, I know you put in many hours of hard work so thank you again!

I attended many talks during Flock- though as a designer I have to admit I was just barely keeping up in most of them. I also missed a few I wanted to see due to scheduling conflicts but luckily I can watch them online on the Flock Conference 2014 YouTube channel. For most of the presentations I attended I drew a quick portrait(I have uploadedĀ two already) and tried to learn everything I could.

 

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After a quick intro from Matt Miller, I attended the keynote presentation by Gijs Hillenius. It was interesting to hear about the different practices of European governments related to open source. I was happy to find out that in some European countries they are using open source tools and are beginning to implement some policies to keep that trend rising.

 

I attendedĀ a talk given byĀ Amita Sharma on Fedora Quality Assurance- something I knew nothing about. Amita did a great job explaining the process of how a bug ticket is addressed and gave instructions on how to get involved.

 

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Next I attendedĀ a talk given by Chris Roberts about the Fedora Magazine. I think theĀ Fedora Magazine is awesome, and it has been cool to seeĀ my badge designs featured on the site by Chris. After an overview on how the site works, the talk became an open discussion on questions and thoughts people had about what kind of content should go into the magazine.

 

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The next two presentations I attended were my favorites. First I saw Marina speak about the Gnome Outreach Program for Women, in which I was a participant in their seventh session. It was very inspiring to hear her educating people about how and why theĀ Outreach Program for Women works and what makes it so important. I am hopeful that the people who attended this talk will encourage the women in their lives to become involved in Fedora and tech in general. For those who did not have the chance to attend please watch and share Marina’s talk. As one of the few women who attended Flock I would like to eventually see a more balanced ratio of women to men… I know the right ladies are out there! We just need to find them.

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Karen TangsĀ presentation on UX 101 was very informative. The room was packed tight with people standing just to listen. I was very impressed with her work onĀ HyperKitty and I thoroughly enjoyed her explanation of user experience design, something that I am eager to learn more about. Even if it had not been as relevant, I would have still attended because Karen is also a fellow Outreach Program for Women Participant! Later on that evening I had the chance to sit down and talk with Karen about the steps I should take to get experience and confidence designing for UX.

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I spent the next hour preparing for my talk and then at 6PM Prague time I presented on Fedora Badges with Chris Roberts. Chris spoke about howĀ Fedora Badges worked- giving a quick explanation and real time demo of how Fedora uses fedmsg to award badges. Next I spoke about my internship through theĀ OPW program and what I accomplished during that time. The main goals of my internship were to create as many badges as possible, to create an official style guide and to provide content and tools for the community to make their own badges. I then went through theĀ Fedora Badges Official Style Guide explaining step by step how to design your own badge. You can watch my talk on the Flock 2014 YouTube channel. If you would like a copy of my slides you can find them here.
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The next day I spent a little time recovering from jet lag and the festivities of the evening before- and then headed in to the conference to work onĀ Fedora Badges with Ralph Bean. During our badge mini hackfest we pushed four new badges to the Fedora Badges site. I also uploaded artwork and worked on another badge series that is in progress for the Fedora Cookbook. The first badge we made live is the Science Badge– earned for completing a run of the kernel regression test suite. The other three badges are part of a series and they are called Corporate Drone,Ā Corporate Shill andĀ Corporate Overlord and are awarded for submitting certain numbers of Bodhi updates for an EPEL branch.

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During my entire trip I was proposed many ideas for new badges- and I gave everyone the same advice: file a ticket! If you are feeling more confident try to design the badge yourself too šŸ™‚

 

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On August 8th I once again spent the day designing badges, working on a logo design for Waartaa(a new IRC client) and learning and teaching with a new friend. A couple of months ago I had the pleasure of beginning correspondence with Sarup Banskota– a fellow designer and inkscape enthusiast- when we both found out we were attending Flock 2014. It was great to meet him in person! We had our own impromptu hackfest in which he shared many resources on designing UX and I gave him a demonstration of how to use nodes to achieve the shapes you want. Together we designed a glyph from scratch and tested out different iterations. Sarup had created a few possible logos for Waartaa so we tried out a few variations- and we were happy with the direction they were going in.

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In between all the designing I attended the Fedora.Next joint session. This panel was slightly over my head- but I learned that their are many people working very hard on future distributions of Fedora and that they have new ideas they hope to employ. I also attended the talkĀ Fast Deployment of OS images on bare metal with Anaconda given by Arun S A G. The impressive part of this talk was that it took only about two minutes to install an entire OS which Arun demonstrated- and the crowd timed! Although I probably will not have reason to use this tool, I can recognize its usefulness.

The last day I spent getting to know some of the design team members in person, including gnokii and banas, which was very nice after spending so long speaking to them online. I have to say that I missed meeting my mentorsĀ Mairin Duffy and Ryan Lerch. It would have been very cool to meet them in person.

 

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Overall the part that I enjoyed the most was making new friends and many new acquaintances. After working on Fedora Badges in some what of a bubble- it was really good to hear people I had just met tell me how much they enjoy my designs. Even while just walking around I would overhear people speaking about an idea for a badge, or a badge they had just earned. I am happy to be a part of something so fun and exciting for the Fedora community.

 

I was fortunate enough to have some time before my flight home to Rochester, so I went to do a little sight seeing around the city of Prague! Enjoy a few of my shots below, but if you’d like to see more you can view an album here šŸ™‚

 

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Portraits at Flock 2014

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I made it to Flock 2014 in Prague! I will be giving a talk later today about Fedora Badge Design. If you keep up with my blog you know that I am a graphic designer, but I am also a fine artist and I enjoy drawing from live subjects. Here is a portrait first of the keynote speaker Gijs Hillenius who presented on software policies and implementations in Europe. The second portrait is of Amita Sharma, who spoke about Fedora QA.

Enjoy my portraits and if you are attending Flock, please come to my talk! šŸ™‚