David Nalley's Blog

FUDcon Blacksburg


FUDcon never ceases to amaze me. I am fortunate (or cursed, depending on your perspective I suppose) to be able to attend lots of free software and sysadmin conferences. However, FUDcon is always unique – the people who attend are focused on getting things done, and are generally interested in helping others to get things done as well.

I started a bit late in the morning for my arrival – the winds of Appalachia emphasizing the coolness. A number of folks camped out in an empty classroom (dubbed the Nothing Room) and started working on various things. I had a chance to meet Marek Goldmann (mgoldmann) of Boxgrinder fame, who I’ve conversed with a number of times, but never met in person. Marek, Andy Grimm (mull), Bob McWhirter, and I talked about some of the struggles and challenges with getting Java-based software into Fedora – and the differences between the Java development and distro-packaging worlds.

While I was there, I was working on getting a new version of ceph packaged – and Jon Stanley (jds2001) spent some time helping me get it to build.

Lunch time rolled around and then the spins process session from Cristoph Wickert (cwickert) started and we spent some time discussing process, dates, etc.

Following that I stopped in on Mo Morsi’s (mmorsi) Aeolus/Snap session before heading to the Board Meeting at FUDcon.

One of the things that was asked was how were the goals we had set earlier in 2011 – and did we accomplish anything, and how had the board performed. One of the things that came out of this (and for which I am one of the folks at fault) is that while we had identified good strategic goals – as a board overall we had failed to champion any of them, failed to work towards getting some of the tactical actions accomplished for those goals. We talked about how, in volunteer organizations, there’s no ability to ‘direct resources’ – but instead only the ability to inspire, and excite others, and that as a board we had done a poor job of that. Out of that we agreed that in Fedora, things happen by doing, specifically leading happens by getting things done, and hopefully getting others excited in the process. We, as a Board, agreed that we needed to individually adopt some of the tactical actions aimed at furthering the strategic goals, champion those tasks, and hopefully excite others in the process. We agreed to report our individual ‘tasks’ no later than Feb 1, and to provide regular timely updates.

I hope that the preceeding paragraph doesn’t strike folks as being doom and gloom – while I tend to think that as a board we could have executed better, I am also thrilled that we had the chance to sit down, converse, acknowledge, and hopefully begin addressing the problem.

Of course 5pm doesn’t mean FUDcon stops, lots of sessions kept making progress, lots of hallway track session in the hotel lobby, and groups going off for dinner, followed by more hacking in the lobby. An awesome day at FUDcon, nice seeing Fedora friends, and meeting those I’ve only conversed with on mailing lists and IRC. Can’t wait for tomorrow.