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FUDCon APAC Phnom Penh 2016

Dezember 9th, 2016 von buergermeister

FUDCon 2016, that was for me first of all a lot of work especially after the change of the venue in nearly last minute. Instead of ITC BarCamp happened this year at Norton University, what turned out not to be a good choice. A new hotel had to be found, not an easy task as on this side of the river are not many yet.

What I learned during my stay in South East Asia is, things need time here. So last minute changes bring you a lot of more work, what costs you time that you could spend in other tasks. So you need a lot of flexibility to handle that, a thing that drives a german sometimes mad. A special thanks goes here to Yekleang Dy, who helped me organizing all this small but important things like getting the people from the airport, the breakfast and lunch. I hope she helps me also for future events we planning in Cambodia.

Even the rooms of Norton University are better the exhibition area is it compared to ITC not, so there was much lesser exhibitors. Even the talks play a more vital role at the BarCamp, the exhibition seems to be from interest to. I remember last year the exhibition was not just bigger they had a stage with talks to. This and the the venue itself, which is located on the peninsula between Tonle Sap and Mekong. To get there you have to cross the Tonle bridge, what is especially in times of the rush hours horror. So that and the rain which was on sunday might kept a lot visitors away. But still the auditorium at the opening ceremony was filled (not comparable with the 3.500 seats at ITC but still 1.000 people). Next to Alex Davis Environment, Science and Technology Officer of the US Embassy in Cambodia, Dr. Seng Sopheap President of the National Institute of Post, Telecommuncation and ICT, Chan Sokheang Rector of Norton University, H.E. Chun Vat Director General of the Ministry of Posts and Telecommunication and our own Fedora Community Action and Impact Coordinator Brian Exelbierd gave a keynote.

Brians keynote nailed it down, there is no better way for an IT student as contributing to an Open Source project like Fedora to improve his CV, everybody can see what he has done because it is visible for all, his contributions are very visible for possible employer. Sadly we could not fill this large room again for the following talks, other events had that problem to, I had during FOSSASIA in that room a talk, which was also then just 10 people in that large room. But the rooms we had on the other floors was at least on Saturday good filled.

 

Especially Mohan Prakaschs workshop about Android Development with Fedora and also Jens Petersens talk about Functional Programming was good filled. In Jens talk was alone more then 25 students of PNC (Passerelles numériques Cambodge). A school who gives the young from underprivileged families a chance to become an IT professional.

Besides that there was time to speak about the situation in APAC and develop ideas how to improve Fedoras presence in the region. I had good conversations with Gerard Braad and Tommy about, what could help in China and with Jens about Japan. We also had the chance to deepen the contacts with the organizers of other Barcamp in the region, so was organizers from Thailand, Indonesia, the Philippines and Hong Kong around. Finding contributors in Cambodia is still very hard, the awareness for Open Source is low but presenting Fedora to an bigger audience in cooperation with an well know and good visited event, gave us the chance to make Fedora more known in Cambodia. Objective was to make Fedora more known in Cambodia and show that Fedora is leading the development in the FOSS world and that Fedoras contributors are experts in their area. To be sponsor of the BarCamp ASEAN, made Fedora very visible and also the big banners in the main hall did a good job. And it is still working, as the pictures go viral now.

Also giving the Barcamp volunteers FUDCon T-Shirts made us a lot of new friends. So there will be a brighter future for Fedora in Cambodia.

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FAD Kuala Lumpur

Juli 14th, 2016 von buergermeister

Every year again, could be said if the budget.next not would enforce the Ambasadors to meet in summer instead of the end of the calendar year to come together and working on the budget plan for the next year. So after Singapore in December the APAC ambassadors came in Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia again together. For me is the way to KL just one hour longer as to Singapore, but there is one hour time difference, so I arrived again very late.

The first day was mostly for discussions how to cut the budget of this year so that it fits to the huge budget cut. Having 11.5k US$ budget for the whole year and paying the regional FAD out of it, means for the APAC region after the FAD and paying the media the budget is gone. The next bigger agreement was how to continue with FUDCon in APAC, if it is a good idea to switch to FUDCon APAC with an bi-annually cycle.

It looks we will switch to such one, as we have to to save some money as still a lot of Asians want to travel to Flock. But the FUDCon is still needed in the region for grow our amount of contributors there and connect the region better together. For 2017 are no bids so far, maybe there coming some up. But starting with 2018 we might have FUDCon only each second year.

After reviewing the current budget and some discussions about the problems of the region, day 1 of the FAD ended and it followed a journey with trains to Izhars house where his mother had prepared a dinner for us, because there was Hari Raya Aidilfitri, so we could enjoy some local specialities. Was good for me, I love beef redang anyway and the malaysian version is also good.

The second day was filled with discussions for the budget for next year. There is not much room after the cut, so most of the events dont get budget anymore, just two main events get a larger part, the rest floats into release parties, a few smaller events and the swag production.

Unfortunately we had for the second day only until the late afternoon as some was already flying home then. I did fly back next morning to arrive right in time in the office, just that the flight was delayed and I came a little bit later as planned.

As a conclusion, we still have extreme problems in this region. The Ambassadors think not as Fedorians of the region as just on their own needs first. There is still a huge gap between, what is done and what is reported. Not to speak about missing invoices and carelessness with the reimbursements.

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Successful FAD in Singapore

Dezember 8th, 2015 von buergermeister

During the last weekend the FAD APAC in Singapore did happen and I have to say it was very successful. We completed the budget plan for next year in just one day. We also had some time to figure out why APAC did this year spent the budget not as planned and what we do with the left money. We want to spent some money for the upcoming BarCamp Yangon, which is the biggest tech-related event in Asia and some money we want to bring the indonesian Ambassadors together to give this community new life.

We also had enough time to speak about how we can improve the way we work together to move the Fedora community in APAC forward. The main problem for APAC is that asians are more pro-active and they need a leader and guidance, and this lacks in APAC currently. It is very clear when it comes to the meetings, very often tickets are left out and a lot of time is wasted with discussions but the work is later on not done.

As there is a thing called budget.next coming, we found also the time to speak about this and look, how we can adopt it to the asian needs. In APAC it makes definitely no sense to store rollups and other booth material in a centralized place and a person “stuffs” the booth at events with it. The main purpose for this, we think is have a general overview where our material is and how the condition for it is. So we agreed, that it is for us better to make an overview and making it part of the FAD which should be hold anually to update it. That at least should give an good overview what we have and how it is used. I had already last year the feeling that must be done for APAC and we started at the FAD a table in the wiki (but only the chinese and cambodian made entries so far and now the malaysians) , just to find out what material we have. We also looked forward who can be the person, who becomes the “storyteller” for APAC region.

A clear statement came from all the participants to keeping FUDCon as event for getting the APAC people together and grow in the region, we all agreed that this and also other things has to better communicated from the people of the APAC region, they are to much pro-active in such kind of things, the same is for event reports. There happen a lot of good things in the region but nobody knows about as it is not published.

When it comes to events there it lacks not just on reports later on as also on timing, a lot of events are planned last minutes, which create more problems which would be not there if the Ambassadors would work more planned. If you take a look to the budget plan for the next year, you will see that this time there is a clear event owner, this person becomes more freedom in acting in the budgeted frame but he also get more responsebility in communicating before the event what is going on and it will be part of the regularly meeting to report this.

When it comes to events, there was also agreed that we need more events and activities to activate contributors not just to win new users. So the Ambassadors shall show more activities around the Testing Days or organize BugSquashing Parties. Other possibilities to bring people to do something for Fedora and not just consume it can be Translation Sprints, Wallpaper Hunts or the Hour of Code. That all will lead to more activities as an fact is, if the Ambassadors in the region staying pro-active, new Ambassadors will be the same way, if they are more active the new ones will be also more active.

There was a lot of more things discussed and moved with the right ideas, its hard to get them out of the brain during the writing of this post, but everything was pushed to #fedora-fad and the meetbot was running, so there is a complete logfile (day 1 and day 2) and an etherpad to, which is more a summary.

All in all it was an very successful event and I looking forward to the next one, which will be during the adoption to budget.next in 7 months and the place might be Jakarta.

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BarCamp Phnom Penh 2015

Oktober 26th, 2015 von buergermeister

Last weekend on 24th and 25th October as it again, the Barcamp in Phnom Penh and I participated this year. The barcamp was as all the years before hosted at the Institute for Technology Cambodia (ITC) and there as a big crowd as I arrived waiting for registration. I found our booth really fast and Leap Sok had already prepared the rollup banner and he also brought the swag which he stored after the Software Freedom Day. I thought we will have enough swag as I brought something from Europe and Harish send also what he had left to Cambodia. But all the swag was gone after 3 hours, it as really hard work handing DVD out and answer all the questions. What is it?, is it really for free?, can I take one? And opposite to Europe and North America, I had a lot of requests for a 32bit version. Besides all the questions I had to answer I gave interviews and met new and old friends. On Sunday I gave the opening talk in the FOSS panel, which was the first time that Barcamp had it. So all in all an sucessul event which ended with a very nice party.

Next year, there should be FUDCon at this event, so some more people from Fedora will be there, helping Fedoras community in Cambodia growing. But its still a year time for that and a lot of other activities will be before it. Next one next weekend, Translation Sprint.

 

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BarCamp Meeting

September 30th, 2015 von buergermeister

This morning started for me a little bit different, as I went to an meeting for the organizers of the BarCamp edition 2015. Fedora will next to an both have an panel about Free Software and Open Source. But it was also interesting what else is going on on this years event, zones like Robotics & Electronics, a StartUp zone and a Career zone waiting for participants. But there will be also panels for programmers, game developers and creative people. eCommerce and Mobile Commerce will be also topic on a panel and also Cyber Security and how you can stay safe in the internet will be an issue. After an interesting meeting where the concept was introduced and where the responsible persons for the panels and zones gave an overview about their planing, we went together for lunch. Time for me to speak with Piseth Kheng, Program Manager of Open Institute and Samboeun Hean from Institute of Technology of Cambodia (ITC) as they help Fedora with some events. Piseth is so far a great help as his institute translates already GNOME, Firefox and Open/Libre Office to khmer and he supports the translation sprint which we want to do here end of next month. Samboeun Hean was exited to hear that ITC might host next years FUDCon APAC and will fully support it. So it was really a sucessful meeting at least for me and it looks Fedora will have a bright future in Cambodia.

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FUDCon APAC 2015 – Summary

Juli 1st, 2015 von buergermeister

I was last week in Pune for FUDCon, so its time to write about the experiences.

Day -2

I had to start my travel 2 days before the event from airport Leipzig flying to Munich, well the travel to Leipzig and also the checkin and flight was without something to mention. Just one hour ride to Leipzig and 40 minutes flight to Munich. I had a long layover in Munich so I checked before the situation with WIFI and electricity, well Munich has free wifi and they even proudly anounced that the equipped the gate areas with power supply, well they was there but simple not working. With a little searching I found one which was working but there was nothing to sit there so I spent the time in EMEA Ambassadors meeting standing :D

Day -1

Also for that day there was no action, boarding the plane in the morning and leaving it in Mumbai in the night. The immigration process with the TVOA visa worked well, except to find the counter for them was difficult. So if you travel to India and eligible to get it, thats the easiest way.
Outside the airport Prima Yogi Loviniltra and a volunteer did already wait for me, just Ryan Lerch was missing but he joined as a few minutes later. So the fetch on the airport was well organized. The cab ride took some time but interesting conversations made that not feelable. So we arrived in the morning in Pune just enough for 3 hours sleep.

Day 0

I had not really time for a good breakfast but I needed one as I had not a dinner either, but Kushal was already standing there telling me I was to late. But I managed to grab something to eat even the waiter always removed my tools when I grabbed something. Also here the transport was well organized and the bus for bringing us to MIT was already waiting.
On the first day I joined a few sessions but I will write only something about the most important for me. We had a BoF session for the next APAC FUDCon. What I am worried about is the style which is coming up there, just finding some point why a thing not might be good instead of trying to find out how problems can be solved!

Day 1

I started the day with Jiri Eischmanns presentation about the Fedora workstation and his presence and future. I joined several other talks to, where I just want to mention the Achieving Community Goals With Fedora one from Tenzin Chokden, awesome job of Joerg Simon and Fabian Affolter and their l10n hackfest for the tibetian language, good work. Besides that I had many organizational conversations for organzing stuff in the APAC region.

Day 2

This was actually the most busy day for me as I had in the morning my own workshop about using Inkscape. Well there are some negative things, the room was not the best choice, its hard to work on a small table attached to the chair. But more worst was that the picture from projector was looped to an camera, but the camera was missing so we had to find that out first, so I lost some time for the workshop. But we still managed to draw with the participants what I wanted to achieve and they have a good foundation to use Inkscape in their work and learn it more. I already prepared a screencast, which you can find here.

Ryan switched more to a presentation style, which I only do on events to impress people what with our free software tools can be done and how easy it can be. But as I expect people on a FOSS event like FUDCon are already open to using our tools and just need some help starting to work with them and the best way to learn it is by doing.

After the lunch we had another Ambassadors BoF for APAC, time to speak more Ambassador stuff. We made during this year some progress in APAC and on FUDCon it was visible a lot of asians in a Fedora Ambassador shirts, but we still have not all equipped with them.

We also made progress in producing F21 media centralized but still there are some problems to solve as the process didnt work well, we had no central production in APAC for F22 but we talked how we shall do it in the future and think found the best solution for it. We also had time to discuss if it would possible to replace the DVD media at least partly with USB sticks. We agreed on doing a research on prices until next FAD APAC end of the year and look there if we do it or not. And yes we found an place where we want to do the next FAD – Singapore so we will work on it during the next months to organize it. So we moved again forward.

Day 3

Some went out really in the morning to spent some time in Mumbai, but I am to old for touristic pressure even I would like to have seen more from that city, I was in India for FUDCon and not for an touristic tour. So I went out of the hotel at noon and the cab brought me to the airport, where I enjoyed the sun outside and later I spent some time with Danishka Naven and Izhar Firdaus in the airport.

Day 4

This day I entered a plane in Mumbai short after the day had begun and woke up landing in Zurich. Well I found easily an AC port in this airport and free wifi was also available so I could do some work during the time I had to wait for the next flight, wich was this time just 5 hours later. After this flight I just had a short trip with the train and I arrived right in time for the Design Team meeting.

Summary

It was an interesting trip to India seeing how people live there and make new friends, meeting people I worked already with and meeting old friends. I think we moved for the Ambassadors in the APAC region and that means Fedora makes progress in the future in Asia.

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