Flock 2019

After Devconf.cz and FOSDEM I was expecting another conference of similar kind. But Flock 2019 was completely different. Held in Budapest spa hotel it was pretty pleasurable and much less crowded experience.

I will not bore the readers writing about every talk I attended (and being at risk of interpreting the thoughts in a wrong way), for there are a lot of other reports, where the topics are commented by real professionals. I will rather describe Flock as seen by a first-timer, Outreacher and junior.

If I undestood well, one of the topics which were discussed a lot - at least in my particular Fedora bubble - was the change in the packaging experience. Neal Gompa’s and Igor Gnatenko’s talk about Improving packaging experience with Automation started a large discussion, which then continued aftewards and also out of the room. This was one of the talks which interested me the most, since I still had more less fresh my little experience with Fedora packaging and wanted to know what should I prepare myself for in the future.

I heard a lot of terms and names I did not know and my list of things to study was getting longer and longer (like EPEL, Taiga, Releng and much more)

And of course I would not miss the talks from people who were mentoring me: Pingou’s Gating rawhide packages and Fedora CI objective: present and future from Dominik Perpeet and Aleksandra Fedorova.

When the videos will be released I think I will want to see again Dominik Mierzejewski’s Tales from the crypt: Packaging horrors, the good and the bad practices.

I’m really glad I could become part of the Fedora community and attend Flock. I finally saw some of the people I knew from #pagure and #fedora-devel irc channels and could attend their talks, hear the discussions about the future of Fedora and with a few of them I was even able to talk.

Flock was much more relaxed than the other conferences I attended, much smaller and longer. These both things made it much more likely for me to start recognizing the people and socialize. There was very strong community feeling, support from Fedora Gods to newbies, flat hierachy and even certain atmosphere of friendship. I enjoyed especially the lunch small talks (and I think I might want to apologize to everyone who had suffered one from me).

After these four days I can relate some of the nicknames to the real faces with voice and understand much better the kind of communication style within the Fedora community. And I think it might make me comfortable enough to ask dumb questions on public irc forums.

There were only two major dissapointments. I could not find the board game session which was supposed to happen on Thursday evening and I missed the candy swap. And what I loved the most was the comfort of being accomodated in the same place as was the venue. And the lunches too. Oh, and the dinners. And the whole Budapest.

Written on August 11, 2019