[Ambassadors] FUDCon APAC bids

Rahul Sundaram metherid at gmail.com
Sat Jul 2 00:51:46 UTC 2011

On 07/01/2011 01:21 PM, Gerard Braad wrote:
> Joerg, I do believe FUDCon is also to foster the community by
> attracting new contributors. A approach of this viewpoint; 'Any user
> can be a potential contributor' and users is why we have a 'U' in the
> name of FUDCon, else it would have just been 'FeDCon' and aimed at
> Developers of Fedora.

I don't think anyone would disagree that part of FUDCon is to gather
interest from users and new contributors.  FUDCon even has carved out a
user track, apart from the Barcamp style of talks and hackfests
precisely for this purpose


However,  I would argue that this isn't the *primary goal* of FUDCon but
instead provide a forum for existing contributors to meet face to face,
interact in a more social fashion (as opposed to the mailing lists and
IRC which tend to give not much idea or often misleading impressions
about the personality of people which often is important) and get things
done. I think the agenda of previous FUDCon's provide ample evidence for
this.   Building a community from scratch in a new place is incredibly
hard.  Having worked on this for years and years in India, I have only
this year felt we have a active community of participants enough to put
up the proposal this year.  Last year,  we have began discussions after
the FAD we ran ( http://fedoraproject.org/wiki/FAD_Pune_2010) but we had
nowhere near the level of interest and had to drop the idea

Now,  COEP which is the venue we are proposing for FUDCon in India has
hosted a mini Debconf before
(http://wiki.debian.org/DebianIndia/MiniDebConf2010) and they felt that
it was a developers for developers type of conference and that a similar
type of conference wouldn't be of much benefit for their students
because they are not veterans in the open source community.  To address
their concerns (assuming India is picked),  we are planning on doing a
few things:

*  Expand the user track and schedule some beginner level tracks so that
their students would benefit.   Since the FUDCon date begins on Friday, 
some of the classes will have to be cancelled and the administration
(the professors we talked to), felt that they would prefer this. 

* As a alternative or in addition to that,   do a FAD or two ahead of
FUDCon to prep the interested students on basics,  both in terms of
community process (to give them a broad idea) and specific technology
pieces (git, bugzilla, mailing lists,  basic packaging etc) so that they
have less chances of feeling lost and can be more productive

To expand on the point I was making in the last APAC meeting and has
been highlighted here (
if say, Malaysia or Philippines want to propose a FUDCon next year, 
they have to start establishing their community ( regional mailing
lists, forums, website,   irc channels, methodologically mentoring
people) and doing release events or FAD's now.  Initially, it can be, 
"what is new in Fedora 15" type talk to capture the attention of more
users and anything else that would build more enthusiasm from *users*.  
Once they have a stronger interest,  they can push more of those users
into participating and become contributors.  Picking up a location or
putting up a agenda for FUDCon should be next step after this and not
the first one.  Srilanka seems to be off to a decent start here with
their plans and people.

>From the bit of outsider perspective,  I think China has a lot of
potential and we have a few active contributors who could build a local
community incrementally by being mentors and offsetting the problems
like language barriers and a different type of culture.  I can see the
appeal of bringing in a international level of participation and jump
starting this process but in my experience,  organic growth is tedious
and relatively more slow but also more sustainable.  My impression is
that China could use a few more FAD's and build a bigger local community
first by leveraging the existing contributors and leaning more heavily
on Red Hat China and Community Architecture team to support such
activities   The barcamp style of FUDCon's are not that suitable for new
contributors in my understanding (read the FUDCon Toronto survey from
2009 for some evidence of this)  and also perhaps more importantly,
15000 dollars isn't going to be enough to bring more than a very limited
number of international participants (flight cost is a real killer) and
you have to factor in the cost of the rest of the conference (food for
participants,  goodies,  local travel,  fudpub etc).  Therefore unless
the local community is able to do a FUDCon without any dependence on
international participation,  one has to assume that the region needs
more growth before we can do one.  Of course,  this is all just my
opinion and people who decide the location or influence that decision
can also see what weight to attach to them.  


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