Just as we started the conference with great energy and enthusiasm there is always a time to part ways until the next reunion. Some tears drop and hugs are given as we separate physically until next year. The openSUSE Conference’s final day and reporting is now detailed below. Please read on and maybe you will find some great news for next year. In the mean time, we encourage you to participate of our team. We welcome everyone interested in contributing to an awesome project. Perhaps the best work can be done through your help in between conferences and once the meeting is on again, you can share all the progress you will have made in our community.
As usual with every openSUSE party, the candles are blown really late and the result was the everyone was late for sessions on sunday. More than one member suggested having the sessions start an hour later for next conference.
The day was opened by Jos Poortvliet talking about how an open community works. He shared the changes that we have to do as a community to adapt to the changes in the world and influences that come from people who desire to contribute. For example, he shared the new thinking of big companies about open communities where the work is done in a “horizontal” manner. Meaning that all members of this community advance and work together without leaders or a boss to tell them what to do or where to steer. Instead, the challenge of new companies is to make all their employees contribute at the same level of their boss. This principle is learned from open communities.
Visible and invisible rules
The way communities work is by visible and invisible rules. The visible rules are our documented processes and guidelines like the code of conduct used in conferences, community interactions and our strategy. Our culture is our way of thinking and acting in the community and as new members watch others and see how things are done they repeat the behavior forming a culture within the group.
When you write these invisible rules down, 5 things happen: they become hard to change and mandatory-to-follow, but you do create clarity for newcomers and people can trust that their work will have certain results. Unfortunately, bureaucracy has a tendency to keep growing – probably one of the biggest downsides of rules. Therefore, the community needs to find a balance between the challenge of setting regulations for the community yet not becoming a bureaucracy hard enough that innovation and participation stagnate.
Changing invisible rules is extremely hard in a community with such diversity like the openSUSE community. Therefore, to change rules you need to make the imperceptible come out. Jos Poortvliet suggested setting rules that are written down or , in other words, to be made known publicly to the rest of the community. Meaning that all members of the community are to understand general procedure for submitting work and participating in the community’s governance. Now, following the ‘monkey see, monkey do’ principle, you need to find out what people are strong community members and convince them that change is needed. They have to be agents of change, once they are, make this visible and slowly but surely, things will move.
Izabel Valverde on the Travel Support Program
Izabel, our current Travel Team Coordinator took the stage to share her views on the new application of the Travel Support Program. The program helps our openSUSE members to attend conferences and events around the world. The program is currently sponsored by SUSE.
The program works through a reimbursement method after submitting a general funds request form crafted by the Travel Team. The changes made this year include a new form and a new control system for taking in requests from community members. The Travel Team keeps a list of events that our members attend. 11 requests were approved so far this year.
For oSC 2013 26 people were approved for travel support. A big increase since last year when the program started. However, the team will require people to follow the new rules to make sure that all requests are taken care of properly.
openSUSE Connect will feature a form for those interested in travel support. Meaning that you will have to create a profile at openSUSE Connect and then request for travel support.
Kostas and Stella on Conference Community Organization
Kostas and Stella shared the many things they had to do in order to launch the first community-organized conference. There was a lot of help needed and eventually the conference team, although initially the conference team received a lot of help this help decayed over time.
There were a lot of lessons learned and the Kostas and Stella are sure happy to share their experience with the conference in Croatia next year. They made a request to include the board to help organize the conference and also members of the team at the locations where the conference would be held.
openSUSE Conference 2014
As announced during this years’ conference, a new openSUSE Conference will be held in Dubrovnik, Croatia next April. There are currently 6 volunteers looking to boost the organization of the conference next year. This team’s experience is vast in organizing events for Open Source communities. A strong support for next year’s conference, the very government of Croatia has created a group to focus on Open Source technologies and their spread in the country.
The venue will be the University of Dubrovnik. Established in 2003 and having ties to the 17th century, the venue is expected to also help and support the organization of the conference. Although the university buildings are located in various areas of Dubrovnik they are relatively close to each other.
The city features museums, city walls to explore, and forts to see. Something that our Geekos will enjoy knowing is that the hit series Game of Thrones is currently being filmed in various areas of this city. Food, hikes and other activities will amuse those in attendance. This conference sure promises to entertain everyone!
Other subjects included during the conference include freelancing, coding for openSUSE, managing press releases for a project, even Legos made it to our conference. LPI Certification, Open Source hardware, Firefox OS, and openQA.
While the conference for this year has come to an end, we take to ourselves all the good that came from it. Now it is probably the new norm that our community will be in charge of organizing these conferences.
Last but not least, this conference has its moment! After the group photo there was a special moment for Carlos Ribeiro. We signed for him a large geeko money in order to thank him for his incredible job with the Artwork.
Last Party of the conference!
Last party of the conference was perfect. After a hardsday work everyone waited for a party to relax and have fun. We all gathered at a Cocktail Bar with loud lounge music. Cocktails were served and everyone was laughing and having fun till late at night.
If you missed the chance to be here with us and have fun you can attend the conference and all the fun online from the live streaming that is set up in the venue. Also if you have any questions for the presentation you attend online there is an IRC Channel set up in order to make your questions.
Last but not least we have our local newspaper!
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