GNOME Developer Training in danger

6:01 pm gnome, guadec, work

The take-up on the GNOME Developer Training sessions at GUADEC (pdf brochure) has been below expectations. Without going into the details, we’re in a situation where running the training would cost the foundation and the organisers more money than canceling.

If we have not had a number of people sign up for the training by Wednesday evening, we will unfortunately be in the situation where we will have to cancel the session. The GUADEC organisers sign the final contracts with the university for room reservations on July 1st, and that will increase our costs substantially, so that is our deadline for viability.

I hesitated for a long time before writing this blog. It’s never nice to have to admit that something you thought was a good idea, that you put together and made a reality, might not work out.

Many people have, over the years, said that the lack of training options was a major flaw with GNOME. With this training offering, we gave people what they were asking for, with a two day training course plus the flagship GNOME conference for less than you would pay to attend another technical conference. If we cancel this training session, there will likely not be another. The credibility of the foundation (and, I suppose, my credibility) will take a hit.

I decided to let people know in advance that the session is likely to be canceled, to have a chance to stop that from happening. I have confidence that the GNOME community can come to the rescue here, in some sense.

I am sure that there is interest out there. Perhaps people have not yet gotten budget commitments to send developers along, but that they’re still working on it. Perhaps there are people who really should know about the training who don’t yet, because I haven’t managed to get in touch with them. Perhaps a couple of people were planning on signing up, but haven’t gotten around to it yet.

If you are in one of these categories, please get in contact with me soon. If you know someone who would benefit from the training, please let them know, and point them to the brochure and web page. If I have a relatively small number of commitments to attend by Thursday, the training will go ahead.

Thanks everyone for your help and support – I will keep you posted to any new developments.

14 Responses

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  2. WeeMe Says:

    I really hope it works out, but I did wonder who would be likely to go. Companies aren’t likely to send anyone (if they’re anything like mine) because they’re reluctant to spend money on training when people can just learn GNOME programming the way programmers have always learned stuff- from colleagues and documentation. And students can’t afford to go unless somebody else is paying.

  3. Richard Says:

    Yah, as a student I have the interest but can’t justify the cost.

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  5. Andre Says:

    I feel like 250 euros and a trip to the conference a is a bit steep for a course in which an “experienced programmer” would be familiar with a lot of material. What gnome really needs is a great documentation hub. Something like
    did for html5, etc.

  6. foobar Says:

    The first time that i heard about training is when there is a blog post about cancelling the training.

    This sort of information should have been publicized a lot earlier. How come this has not been a major advertised feature of Guadec?

    This makes /no sense/

  7. Sankar Says:

    May be it is just me. With 1500 EUR, I really doubt if anyone will ever apply for it. If I can spend so much money, I will be attending GUADEC

  8. Nikanth Says:

    Many people have, over the years, said that the lack of training options was a major flaw with GNOME.
    Hereafter we will carefully say that
    the lack of free/cheap training options is a major flaw with GNOME.

  9. Andres G. Aragoneses Says:

    I concur with Sankar. I think the idea is great, but the cost is overwhelming. And with how the economy is currently, it’s very difficult to convince employers (in case you’re working) or yourself (in case you’re studying) to pay that amount.

  10. Juanjo Marin Says:

    This kind of courses are usually paid by companies and the typical companies which attend GUADEC are companies that are GNOME savvy. In order to get some prospect of success we need to attract companies which have some need for GNOME training.

    There a lot of individuals, especially new people in GNOME, who’d like to attend, but it is simply too much for their pocket. This is my case for example. I could afford about 300€ for this without totally breaking my economical weak situation with red numbers. I understand that teaching is expensive.

    Maybe is sensible to find other ways of financiation like sponsoring or public funds in order to lesser the fee.

  11. liberforce Says:

    I totally agree with Juanjo here… These are courses that concern much more people outside the community…

    Most people that know what GUADEC is and are going there don’t need this kind of courses (professionnals) or can’t afford them (students).

    I agree with you that there’s a need for courses, but I’m not sure GUADEC (which is a developper and user conference) is the best place for that. Maybe FOSDEM, which is more developer-oriented, or totally different events (Solutions Linux ?) where people are unfamiliar with the technologies that are presented would be a better place to start with.

  12. DrBolle Says:

    Even though I still hope that the trainings is not going to be cancelled it seems that I belong to a rare species of hobbyist that have registered ;-).
    I did some private projects so far which used GLib/GObject/PyGTK but have never seen the light of the public. So I decided it might be more helpful to contribute to GNOME instead of developing the next database application to manage some personal stuff.
    Personally I see this course therefore as an opportunity to get a more systematic introduction into development for the GNOME platform and to get in personal contact with some developers. However I would agree that the costs are at the upper limit of what I am willing to pay as a hobbyist. As a student I would certainly not have registered.

  13. RWdzieczny Says:

    I hope the training will go forward although im currently actively involved with KDE I’d love to attend to expand my knowledge of Gnome.

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