Thursday, August 15, 2013

Flock the First in Charleston, SC

I last posted here in December.  I said at some point I would stop posting here, which seems to be the case, but I guess every now and then I have something I want to talk about.

Flock!

After eight years of the Fedora User and Developer Conference, or FUDCon, the Fedora Project decided it was time for a change.  The conference was not working very well any more.  The project has replaced it with Flock.  I think the first Flock went very well.

Pros:
  • Schedule determined before Flock.  We submitted talk proposals and voted on them and a schedule was determined before the conference.  This worked much better than the old barcamp format.
  • Presenters came prepared.  With barcamp, there is no incentive to prepare any material for a talk because you might not be chosen to present.
  • Reasonable rooms, wireless networking, and power availability.
  • Projectors available in all rooms.
  • The off-campus prepaid dining card for lunch.  No more box lunches from dining services!  This was brilliant and it allowed everyone to handle their own special dietary needs.
  • Entirely walkable for the event, hotel, and after hours socializing.  Similar to Tempe, AZ, but better.  Way way better than Lawrence, KS.
  • New shirt design!
  • More conferencey looking badges.
  • Overall the content focused on new ideas rather than defense of what we did in a previous release.  I noticed this had a positive effect on the hackfest day at the end.
  • Plenty of restaurants and bars to allow people to socialize after hours and choose a place away from other people if need be.  It is nice to have a selection of places to spread out rather than the entire group going from the conference to the bar.
  • Good social events, though I only went to the one at Mynt.
Cons:
  • Charleston, SC in August is not a place with ideal weather.  Charleston in the fall or winter would be better.
  • The Francis Marion hotel was a bit run down.  I never had hot water in my shower (the hotel knew about the problem and just said, "sorry").  The elevators were in the process of being upgraded and were really slow.
  • The venue is still a university.  I think it's time for our conference to move in to a conference facility at a large hotel or something similar.  University classrooms do not really help set the tone.
  • All rooms used for the conference should be in the same building.
  • Hackfest rooms should be ready to go from day 1.  There are people that want to start hacking immediately and we should have that set up and ready to go.
  • Two half hour breaks each day would be nice, that are outside lunch.
  • Professional video recording of every talk would be great.
  • Volunteers to coordinate the in and out of each room, starting and stopping sessions, introducing the speaker, and other such stuff would be good.
I liked Flock and am interested in going to the next one.  It has been a long time since a Fedora conference has left me excited about things going on in Fedora.  I think Flock accomplished that.

1 comment:

James Reynolds said...

I'm actually relocating to Charleston from NJ for business, so I've been researching the location and things to do online, as well as browsing charleston sc homes for sale. What would you say your favorite thing about the area is? Also, are there any areas you would recommend looking for homes in, or avoiding?