Monday, September 21, 2009

Atlanta Linux Fest and Mini Ubucon, \O/!!

The Atlanta Linux Fest and Atlanta (mini) UbuCon was held on Saturday, September 19th, 2009 in the IBM center in Atlanta and I had a blast!

I can't thank everyone who helped enough! Nick Ali (boredandblogging), Josh Chase (linuxcrypt),
David Tomaschik (Matir') , Jim Popovitch (jimpop) , The Canonical Kernel Team, The Florida LoCo team, The North Carolina Loco team (internalkernal) not to forgot the Georgia LoCo team (Nick, Josh, Jim and David all belong to the GA LoCo) who all jumped in and did more than anyone could have asked. The words thank you don't seem to be enough.

I meet Jim, Josh and Nick at SELF (Southeast Linux Fest), talked to them a little about their event in Atlanta and said, "Hey, I want to do something, how can I help." Friendships were built and an invite to join the team came a little later. I am so thrilled I had the opportunity to work with these guys and be part of the awesomeness of Atlanta Linux Fest/Atlanta UbuCon 2009. I can't wait to see what happens next year!

The highlight of the whole event for me was Mark Shuttleworth's announcement about Ubuntu 10.04 - Lucid Lynx as it will now be codenamed. I love the whole animal write up and the thought that goes into it. Yes I know everyone is talking about it being the next LTS and the technical merits of the release. I appreciate all that don't get me wrong,but the thing that made me think was "Clear minded... [yet] thoughtful predator" I like it! Sleek, efficient, powerful, and much more come to mind when I hear that. All very exciting terms. I can't wait use "Lucid" and see what new and exciting things it will bring to my desktop! (still waiting to see if there is a Koala on my desktop wallpaper come October 29th - shameless hint here. :-) )

People understood what the BoF (Birds of a Feather) sessions were, but UbuCon seemed liked a different animal. (haha pun intended). And I guess it was. So I am thinking we need more of these mini-UbuCon's at other events around the Globe. However, each of the sessions were well attended. We didn't schedule too many things to compete with the main sessions, but we wanted to offer some Ubuntu Community Tracks since so many of the LoCo teams were going to be represented. We offered "What is effective Leadership?", "Intro to Bug Triaging", and a modified version of Jono Bacon's talk on "Burnout", Not to mention we kicked off the Morning with the Video welcome and announcement from Mark Shuttleworth. I don't have slides for those session as we went Old School and used Flip Charts. Jono's Slides are available here and were used to prepare the Flip Chart Presentation on Burnout.

The thing that I appreciated about the announcement was that it was launched at a Community Event. Creating whispers,wonders, excitement, buzz, and the "Dang I should have gone there 1st". Since this was a 1st, we learned some lessons and what to do next time (if we get the opportunity). :-) I want people to hear the term UbuCon and know that an opportunity to participate and be part of something awesome is around the corner. Surprises and knowledge await. So next time you hear UbuCon, wonder what cool things are going to happen now. :-)

The line up of speakers was amazing. I have to thank Kirrily Roberts who not only gave a Keynote at OSCON this year but agreed to Keynote at Atlanta as well. I was kicking myself for not asking her while we were at Community Leadership Summit and OSCON (where I 1st got a chance to meet her). I assumed (there I go again) that she was already busy that day. (sigh). Glad I asked her anyway. :-) There was so much positive feedback from her talk on "Standing out in the Crowd" Thank you Kirrily! You Rock!

I would like to be able to list every speaker and send a personal message but my Blog would go on forever. :-) The list of speakers and their talks can be found here. I will do my best to get some personal notes out this week expressing my (as well as the other organizers) gratitude to the speakers, the sponsors, and the volunteers. However, without the 600+ Open Source Community members the event would not have been a success. Just another of the many reasons why the F/LOSS communities are so awesome.

The Canonical Kernel team, tested over 100 machines during the "Will Karmic Work on My Computer?" testing session that lasted during the whole event Thanks Manjo (
Manoj Iyer) you were rocking the Karmic testing all day with a smile on your face, once again showing me that testing can be a fun thing and that all you folks who work for Canonical are terrific and helpful! (that goes for Steve, John, and Pete as well) Thanks for all your hard work and help with this project. Speaking of Canonical, special thanks to John Pugh, for bringing the extra projector, adding to the giveaways, and just supporting the events of the day with both your talk and your participation in the UbuCon.

Also, to the SELF (Southeast Linux Fest) Board members. Thank you all for your encouragement, well wishes and participation in ALF. I was so thrilled you all were able to make it and I enjoyed talking to you all so much. Can't wait to see you all in Spartanburg in June!

It was great to see all the Fedora and openSUSE folks again. You all are great. Thanks to Tom Calloway for not only giving an awesome talk, Cultivating Contributions, but also bringing in the drinks to the vendor area for folks. Chuck Payne, thanks for your session, What Community has of offer, a Guide to the openSUSE Community, as well and for all the cool SWAG to giveway as well. Heard nothing but great stuff about you guys. Both talks were well attended and much positive feedback was heard. Hope to see you both next year. :-)

I also have to pause to say thanks to Rikki Kite and all the folks at Linux Pro Magazine. Without all her help and encouragement I might have pulled my hair out. :-) Not to mention all the great media sponsorship advertisement they did for us. If you haven't gotten a chance take a look at Rikki's Blog, and the Linux Pro Mag website. Also take a look at their newest Magazine, Ubuntu User, on stands now (I love it great reference material and there is something for every skill set In there). Rikki Kite also gave an incredible talk, "Her PR Problem/Tooting the Horns of Women in Open Source".

There were so many lessons learned but I will save that for another day.

I just wanted you to know what an awesome time I had at the event. What a wonderful opportunity I was given to be able to help plan the event (Josh, Jim, Nick, David thanks for the invite) - (Can't wait til we start on 2010), and most of all - how great it was to sit and talk and learn from each and every person I came in contact with this weekend. The comments and conversations in the leadership and burnout talks were wonderful. Thanks to all of you who shared your stories, solutions, asked questions, and listened and participated. I learned so much from all of you who shared your stories with me after the talks. Please give me some more feed back when you get your surveys, you can respond here, or drop me and email as well. Everything just amazing!!


If you weren't there we missed you! If you were we are so glad you came. Once we post the when and where for 2010 please make plans to join us.

THANKS EVERYONE!!! Community Rocks!!!

ps thank you so much to the person who taught my son to triple boot his computer. :-)