DevConf.cz 2014

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Developer Conference 2014 is finally over. The last two weeks were damn busy for me. Just a week before the conference I went to FOSDEM and it wasn’t just attending. I organized a bus with 40 hackers between Brno and Brussels, accommodation for 6 Fedora people, and pretty much the whole Fedora booth at FOSDEM + producing 400 t-shirts for CentOS guys and bringing a lot of other stuff from Brno for various parties. When I returned I didn’t have time to rest because DevConf.cz was just a few days away. This in a combination with very little sleep meant that I had a complete physical meltdown on Wednesday. Not only was I dead tired, but I also got some flu/cold. Then I just focused on surviving till DevConf.cz because as the main organizer I just couldn’t simply back off. So I just worked and slept and removed all stuffing between it and it worked :)

We put DevConf.cz just one week after FOSDEM which as I described above almost killed me. But it also had a lot of benefits. Most importantly, people from overseas could come for both events and spend the week between on internal Red Hat meetings in Brno. And a lot of people did. I wondered how many attendees would come this year. Last year, it was around 700, but quite a lot of publicity on the Internet and people mentioning the conference indicated it could be much more this year which could be a problem because the venue is not very large and half of the campus is under reconstruction.

And we did have a lot of attendees. The number from DevConf.cz 2013 was exceeded within two hours and the total number of attendees for the first day was nearly 900. The total number of unique attendees for all three days was around 1000 which was a significant increase from the last year. Especially on Friday, we were hitting the capacity of the venue. Several talks were completely packed. For example the ones about Docker and OSTree where you couldn’t even get into the room if you came too late. I didn’t attend many talks and when I found time to attend one I was usually called back by an urgent problem. Nevertheless, the general feedback I heard from other people was that the talks had even better quality than last year. I really liked the Fedora Day which was the third day of the conference. This attracted a lot of people from the Fedora community and I could actually meet maybe more Fedora contributors at DevConf.cz than at Flock.

I can’t rate DevConf.cz because as the main organizer I’m biased, but from the organizer’s perspective the event went quite smoothly which was mainly due to tireless help of dozens of volunteers without whom the event wouldn’t be possible and I thank them for that.

And DevConf.cz 2015? I’m already thinking about that. We improve the event incrementally based on feedback from attendees to make the event better every year. Some of the proposed changes such as making the talk slots shorter to have longer breaks worked very well and we’ve already gathered new ideas for the next year. We also will have to assess the venue. The cooperation with the university is almost ideal, the location is also very good, but if we want to accommodate even more attendees next year we’ll have to have more space. The reconstruction will be finished in summer and then there should be mid-sized rooms for smaller talk or workshop tracks available. We will see. The only significantly larger venue in Brno is The Brno Exhibition Area which would be a huge cost jump up and I still find university campuses more appropriate for developer’s events.

P.S. Videos of talks from the three main tracks will be online within a few weeks. We’re working on it.

Talk on Docker (© Sirko Kemter)

DevConf.cz 2014 schedule is out!

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Last week, we published a schedule of Developer Conference 2014 that is going to take place in Brno on Feb 7-9th and I finally found time to write about it. The schedule looks IMHO very promising. There are around 100 speakers of 18 nationalities that will deliver 68 talks and 30 workshops and labs from 14 topics: cloud, databases, desktop, developer, Fedora, kernel, networking, security, server, software quality, storage, userspace, virtualization. The conference has been expanded into three days. The first two will be standard conference days packed with talks and workshops. The third day is devoted to Fedora. There will be Fedora-related talks in the morning and planning sessions and hackfests in the afternoon. BTW we still have available slots in the afternoon, so if you’d like to organize a session or hackfest, let us know.

But DevConf.cz won’t only be about talks and workshops. We’re also preparing a DevConf.cz party that will again be in the Fléda club. And there will also be a city tour with a great Canadian guide on Friday. And there are still more things in the works.

We have a special rate for conference participants in Avanti Hotel (and this time also in A Sport Hotel), but there are just a few left, so if you still don’t have accommodation, don’t hesitate.

devconf-logo

Fedora Project at LinuxCon Europe 2013

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I just returned from Edinburgh where we represented Fedora at LinuxCon Europe 2013. It was great three days. I arrived to Edinburgh Sunday evening and was welcomed by a typical Scottish weather – rain. Our local contact and host was Keiran Smith, a longtime Fedora ambassador and packager. Another ambassador representing Fedora at LinuxCon was Jon Archer who arrived in the middle of the first day, and Tony, a longtime local Fedora user who helped us fill the last position after one of ambassadors cancelled their trip to LinuxCon. There were much more Fedora contributors at LinuxCon: Tom Callaway, Ruth Suehle, Matthew Garrett, Thorsten Leemhuis, Daniel Veillard and others.

Our booth was between BlackDuck and oVirt&Gluster booths and was well attended. We prepared stickers, case badges, upstream community sticker sheets, badges, and Fedora Cloud flyers for LinuxCon attendees. They could also check out Fedora 19 and 20 on two laptops we had at the booth. We also wanted to showcase a Wayland session of GNOME in Fedora 20, but had problems with input devices, so the showcase was over very quickly :-)

LinuxCon is not an event to present Fedora to new end users although we met a lot of people who said that would try Fedora after visiting our booth and DVD ran out very quickly. LinuxCon is mainly about presenting Fedora to other open source projects, people from all kind of companies that are interested in Linux, and also about networking. For example, a director from one of very well known IT company (I don’t want to name) came to our booth and asked how they can cooperate with Fedora because so far their development only targeted Ubuntu, but they don’t like the direction Ubuntu has recently taken and would like to stick with someone who stays in the Linux pack. We were also recruiting new contributors. Eilidh McAdam, a developer of Lanedo, showed her interest in contributing in Fedora and she is already in the process to become an ambassador. And hopefully, she’ll be a valuable packager or developer, too.

Apart from LinuxCon, I really enjoyed Edinburgh. Keiran took us to several nice places in evenings including a really good Indian restaurant. I was really surprised how cheap Scotland had become for us. When I was there 9 years ago, 1  GBP was 55 CZK, now it’s only 30 CZK, so everything is almost twice cheaper. And beer is still only around 2.5 GBP :) I was also surprised how many Czechs I met in Edinburgh. The receptionist in my hotel turned out to be Czech, so I checked in speaking Czech. The dealer at our roulette table at the LinuxCon party was also Czech. The weather was not that bad after all. The last day was even sunny.

I’d like to thank Fedora Project for sponsoring accommodation and dinner for booth staff and the Linux Foundation for providing us with a booth and tickets for booth staff which are otherwise very expensive.

CC BY-NC 2.0 – Linux Foundation

Announcing Fedora Day at DevConf.cz

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I’d like to publicly announce Fedora Day that will take place at Developer Conference 2014 in Brno, Czech Republic on February 9th 2014. DevConf.cz is the largest Red Hat developer event in the world. The 2013 edition was attended by 700 people, there were over 60 talks and 30 additional labs and workshops in two days. Because there has been high demand for a winter Fedora planning event, we decided to extend DevConf.cz into three days and make the third additional day a Fedora Day which should be devoted to Fedora hackfests and planning sessions. DevConf.cz is an ideal event for this because there have always been a lot over 100 Fedora contributors at DevConf.cz anyway.

There will be around 6 rooms (each for at least 20 ppl) available for us at the university on Sunday Feb 9th. I created a wiki page where you can add your session and hackfest. If you have an interesting topic for a talk, you may consider submitting it to DevConf.cz Call for Papers which is open until December 1st. Talks will be on the first two days.

A new website for the 2014 edition of DevConf.cz is yet to be finished. We’re working on that. When it’s done, you’ll find all necessary info about the conference there (transportation, accommodation, schedule,…).

DevConf.cz 2014 is held one week after the largest FLOSS event – FOSDEM. We picked this date on purpose, so that people from overseas can come for both events. Here is a planned schedule of events:

Feb 1-2: FOSDEM 2014 in Brussels
Feb 3-6: Internal Red Hat meetings in Brno office and hackfests co-hosted with DevConf.cz (e.g. systemd hackfest)
Feb 7-8: Conference days of DevConf.cz
Feb 9: Fedora Day

Looking forward to meeting you at DevConf.cz! ;-)

Red Hat and Fedora at InstallFest 2012

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I went to InstallFest 2012 in Prague last weekend and I must say it was a nice conference. It’s kinda small because it’s held in the training center on Czech Technical University’s campus where there is just one lecture room and two smaller labs for workshops, but it’s definitely an interesting event with student spirit. I wasn’t the only redhatter attending the event. Pavel Tišnovský (Java QE) had a talk on ARM processor and workshop on Vim. Both were crowded. I and Dan Horák had a joint talk. I spoke about what Red Hat Czech does for students and the community, how to get involved in Fedora (I emphasized Fedora Test Days which is a very up-to-date subject) etc. Dan continued with the topic “Fedora on ARM”. Our talk was quite well attended which was an improvement compared to InstallFest 2011 when only a few people showed up. Dan Horák continued with “Fedora on ARM” workshop where they discussed various topics about ARM. The workshop was full. It looks like ARM is getting more and more attention in the Linux community.

I also brought about 120 Fedora Multidesktop DVDs that (to my surprise) ran out very quickly. So did Fedora stickers.

I also talked with several people about venues for our Fedora 17 release party in Prague. Yeah, you heard that right, we’re going to have two release parties in the Czech Republic this time!

 

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