I’m not really much of a traveler or outgoing in any way. So when I was invited to GUADEC, I wasn’t very sure about it. It took some encouragement from my mentor and a fellow GSoC mate to convince me. And… I’m glad I went!
It was one of those things that I could not have experienced from my comfy chair to which I reserve myself for the greater part of my day. In fact this trip makes me feel I might be wrong about social interactions not being time well spent for me (but then again I don’t exactly buckle down into ambitious projects, so you’re free to call me ignorant).
This wasn’t a conference of geeky people talking geeky stuff (was it?) but a reflection of the GNOME community as a whole. Discussions involved both experienced as well as young members or interns like myself; and the place was full of developers, designers, translators and not to mention the organizers/volunteers who made sure throughout the conference that we didn’t have to worry about logistics and stuff. Oh and big thanks to you guys for the food and the vouchers. I made sure they were put to use. 😀
So in short this is how I’d summarize my experience:
- Going to new places and meeting people was fun.
- Some of the conference talks were really got me thinking.
- Open source is more than just making your code being open for others to see.
- Productivity and interest in a BoF session is directly proportional to your contribution and how much you learn.
- Travelling together or sharing a dinner table can spark interesting conversations.
- I had a peek into the vision that the members have for GNOME.
- I had some great time with my mentor.
- I don’t actually suck on the stage (I gave a lightning talk!).
I’m sorry if using a list is a crappy way of documenting one’s travels. But overall I’d say this visit has given me a different outlook and confidence towards being a contributor to GNOME and the open source community in general. Thank you GNOME for sponsoring me.
And another big thanks to the organizers for arranging the picnic and other lovely excursions! I’ll make sure to provide a helping hand next time.
By the way… I used to think the ‘G’ was silent. 😛