FUDCon APAC 2015 – a Memoir

Hi,

This post has been long overdue. In fact a post here has been long overdue. Much has happened since the last time I wrote here. There are new DNS patches to be merged, the Docker & DNSSEC resolver interconnect, kernel & Qemu issues I’ve been analysing, Fedora Security Team(FST), huh..each would need a separate post. Anyway, it’s good to be back here.

It was this time last year that we began to have lunch table discussions about hosting FUDCon in India. The last time we did was in 2011. A lot had changed since 2011; Old-timers had moved on, new ones had joined hands, many of them with a distant view of the open source, Fedora and FUDCon. But what was still same was the excitement to participate and to host FUDCon. What started as a fond activity for me, had quite a thrilling climax wherein I ended up calling the India’s Ambassador to China in Beijing. 🙂

We began with scouting for a venue, as the bidding process required us to have confirmed venue & budget arrangements in place. Though FUDCon is a get-together for Fedora contributors, we wanted local community to benefit from this gathering. So a college or university campus was our preferred choice for the venue. All of the campuses we visited were more than welcoming; In fact they wanted us to setup ongoing programs for their students and teachers alike. My observation is, people are convinced of the power of Open Source principles and methodology, but they have no idea about how to participate and take advantage of it. After much deliberations we settled on the MIT College of Engineering for our venue and the bid was proposed.

Shortly after the bid was accepted, I left the city of Pune – the ground zero of FUDCon APAC 2015. And thus began the spell of weekly calls, meetings and updates. As soon as the bid was accepted, we sent out a call for volunteers. We broadly defined the tasks(travel, talks selection & scheduling, marketing, video recording, catering, FUDPub et. al.) and volunteers assumed their responsibilities. I picked to help the delegates with their travel requirements, amongst various other things. When I moved out, I half expected to have diminishing responsibilities towards FUDCon. But in retrospect, it’s intriguing how actively I was involved. I think the first step towards active participation in open source communities is to connect, to join the call, say hello and listen. In my case it was conference calls, but one could just as easily connect over email/IRC/twitter/hangout, either means of communication.

Through these weekly calls and meetings we assessed overall progress on each task, discussed and devised alternative solutions for issues, listened to individual inputs, argued and fought over it, pulled each-other’s legs and had fun all the way. Of course a huge team of volunteers were working relentlessly on ground zero to ensure that all the needed pieces(banners, recording gear, transport, accommodation, vendor billing,…) are put together at the right time. Before I knew, five months had passed and I was on my way to attend ‘FUDCon APAC 2015’. 🙂 Excited to meet old friends, colleagues, and everybody that I’d been communicating with for the past few months. Meanwhile it had almost slipped my mind that I was to present a talk about – Local DNSSEC resolver: F23 Feature.

At FUDCon surroundings were brimming with a familiar energy. It started right at the hotel as delegates arrived from around the world. The peculiar excitement in the hotel lobby when delegates bump into each other is uniquely rewarding. On day one, I was to attend the registration desk and distribute swags. After the first half of doing that, I moved about different sessions catching glimpses at each. Day two was little easier, there was no mad rush of day one. I hitched a ride with a friend to the venue, found a corner in the speaker’s lounge and resorted to prepare for my talk. As the day concluded, it was time for the super electric FUDPub. 🙂 Day three was of workshops, I jumped through couple of sessions and talks and was back again at the front desk to work with the volunteers as they were preparing to wrap-up. Three days went by so fast, before I knew, it was time for the concluding keynote and the vote of thanks. As the delegates bid their good byes, they made plans to catch-up again at the next conference. 🙂

FUDCon APAC 2015 album:
  -> https://www.flickr.com/photos/pjps/albums/72157659591987932

Going to FUDCon APAC 2015

It’s less than 72 hours to go for the much awaited FUDCon APAC 2015 kick off. International delegates are boarding flights as we speak, while others are packing bags and preparing for the take off. The organising team on ground zero is running full throttle and leaving no stones unturned to ensure smooth sailing. 🙂

I’m packing my bags and gearing up for my talk “Introduction to DNSSEC – F22 feature“. Do drop in and join the conversation.

See you there…!!! 🙂

FUDCon Pune 2011

Last weekend was the FUDCon Pune 2011. Boy…what an experience! The best technology event I’ve attended so far. Today, after one week, it feels nice to sip hot tea, look back and remember all the things that we did before last weekend.

It started about five months back. Rahul mentioned that he is participating in the bidding for the FUDCon: Fedora Users and Developers Conference, to host in India.
Me: Wow…that’s cool!
Rahul: the venue is going to be the College of Engineering Pune(CoEP); There are lots of things to be done and I’m looking for volunteers to help me out.

Before long I was attending the weekly FUDCon planning meetings with other volunteers. I was to look after the food for the attendees. There were others,
   Amit Shah was to handle the budget for the event.
   Satya took up hospitality, registration, and volunteer coordination.
   Saleem decided to create the event website: fudcon.in for talk submissions.
   Rahul & Kashyap said they could take care of the T-shirts and goodies.
   Suchakra was to design the banners, posters, booklets and T-shirts.
   Shakthi & Shreyank were to arrange Fedora Activity Days and WI-FI.

[!] So the team was in place and things were going ok, little slow initially, but ok. None of us had any experience of organising an event like FUDCon. By the end of July, I started calling vendors to ask for quotations to serve food at the event. I would ask them to send quotation by e-mail and they would ask me to come and meet them in person. Sending quotations by email did not fall in their work flow. Some were too expensive, some only served the vegetarian menu, some said they can not provide the box-packed lunch and would want to set up a buffet. One of them says
Vendor: Sir, would you have any share in the bill? Should I make quotation accordingly??
I was like: Dude, NO!
It was amusing at times. Every Friday we had an IRC meeting with the Fedora Project Leader: Jared Smith, who was overseeing our activities.

As the time progressed, Satya made sure that the international delegates had booked their tickets and had applied for the appropriate visa. Bookings were made at Hotel Cocoon for the delegates’ stay. T-shirt design was selected after a heated debate in one of the weekly meeting. Shakthi organised two Fedora Activity Days as heads-up for the FUDCon. Both of them very were well received. We settled for the Cocoon Catering Services to provide food at the event.

…to be continued.
___
! There were more than 50 other volunteers and one man: Mr Narayan Murty G without whom it would have been impossible to organise FUDCon.