[COMMUNITY] Developing developers: From end user to developer

We’ve seen how to gather some people and create a community (at least that’s the quick tutorial how it worked for us in Greece).

The product is cool (any product) but here we have people. They should know WHY they join a community as volunteers. Is it because they want to help FLOSS to make the world a better place? Is it because it is Fun? Is it because they like the pros that open source provides? Is it because they like to help other people? Find out WHY people want to join-form a community.

The key to increase the number of the members is to attend to events. Here a quick tutorial how to do that. The best possible scenario is a developer to come to your booth and join the team. But this is 1% possible to happen (maybe less). Usually developers we’re searching, they have their favorite distro/project and they don’t change so easy.

The best thing is to join events where you can find end users (end users = users they’re computer science students where they focus on windows, users that their computer being used for facebook/twitter/office suite). Why? Because those users can do some work that the developers hate. What’s that?

0. Junior Jobs. Write a junior jobs list where someone can find exactly what to do and how to do it. The list could have the following.
1. Report bugs to bugzilla. So developers can fix it (of course developers have to be polite and help end users to provide possible broken data etc).
2. Documentation. Developers just hate to write documentation.
3. Translation. Usually developers use some “strange” language. So if someone asks you, please be polite and reply.
4. Promotion. Everyone call it marketing. The term marketing seems that the distro/project earns money out of promotion. Maybe the best term is engagement. This is needed because if it’s the best distro/project among others, how more potential users will learn about it? And if it’s the best, if no one uses it, then it’s useless.
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[COMMUNITY] How to promote your conference

Local open source community is bigger now and next step for you is to organize (or join) global conferences. One part of the organization is the promotion of the conference. You want to have as many visitors as you can.

I will try to write down what I did during openSUSE global conferences and some local events.

BEFORE THE EVENT

0. Web page

There MUST be a web page and a system that accepts registration, paper submission, information etc. Write everything that visitor should know about the conference.
We use OSEM in openSUSE. Check out https://events.opensuse.org

1. Blog blog blog.

You’ll have some announcements for the conference. Dates, the place, new website, call for papers announcement, hotels that visitors can stay, schedule, keynote speakers etc. Usually, every open source project has a central blog or news site. You can write the articles there. Try to make fuzz by publishing your articles often.
Global communities can translate the announcements to their language and promote the conference locally.

Local communities are formed by members with blogs who publish on different planet sites. You can make a schedule so everyone can publish the announcement every other day. More eyes will see the announcement and will apply either as speaker or visitor.

Two things you want to have is contributors+visitors and sponsors. If your project is famous, then it’s easy. If not, then you better publish the initial announcement to magazines, newspapers, technical blogs-sites. If you don’t have access, then you better send it by e-mail or fax and then call them and ask them if they got the text. If they publish it, you’re lucky.

Translate those announcements and publish them, so local population will see that there’s a conference coming.

2. Promote to other FOSS conferences

There are plenty of FOSS conferences around the world.
* Community (local or global) has to apply for a booth and/or, if it’s possible, present why someone should attend.
* At the booth, you should have promo materials of your conference and give away to local LUGs or hackerspaces to hang posters at their places.
* Another cool thing is to have free coupons for beer at the conference. If beer isn’t the solution, then find another thing that can be found only at your conference and give free coupons.
* Wear special T-Shirts with the logo or #oSC or “Ask me for the conference”. You show people that you’re organizing something and can ask you questions.
* Finally, go to other project’s booth and invite them. You can ask them if they want to have a booth at your conference or apply for a presentation.

3. Messages to post

Create a list of messages you’ll post to social media.
First of all, you should post the announcements.
Then create a list of general messages that you should post before the conference. Content will be related to the subject of the conference or the country etc.
When you have the schedule ready, create a post with the name of the person (mention him/her on the social media), the title of the presentation (mention if it’s a famous project).
The messages can be 2-3 per day but not the same time. Try to have 4-5 hours time delay between tweets.
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SSD configuration for openSUSE

As you already know, there are mechanic disks and also SSD. There is the rumor that SSDs last for 5 years or up to 5 years. Read the openSUSE wiki page for more information about openSUSE and SSD.

Here I’ll describe what I did to my SSD.

RULE 1: Partitioning

The first step is creating the right partitions. First of all, create the root partition (about 15-20GB is enough). Then create the home partition (/home). Finally leave about 7% of the disk unallocated. This will help your disk during write process. The right filesystem is ext4.

If you have new computer, then you should have a partition /boot/efi. You don’t have to do any of the following configuration for that partition.

BE CAREFUL: Don’t create a swap partition. If you already have enough memory (4GB), you don’t need it. Swap memory is “destroying” your SSD. Finally, be careful of the file system, since openSUSE 13.2 uses BTRFS as default filesystem. Snapper will create snapshots, something that you don’t need.

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[COMMUNITY] How to organize your trip, your project’s presence to a conference

We saw some ideas about how to organize a release party for your project (we like to party!!!). Another part of marketing is to join conferences to promote your project. I write some thought from my experience. Please, if you have any idea you want to share, be my guest.

1. Read the tech news
Read the news (RSS, social networks, mailing lists). There are many conferences that you can join (some conferences are annual). Unfortunately, the organizers might skip to sent you invitation because you’re either too small project without any marketing section or they forgot you for their reasons. You should contact them and ask them to join as community-project. Most conferences have call for papers period, where you can apply for a presentation.

2. Community Meetings
Now that you made the first contact, you should sent an e-mail to your project mailing list, informing them about the conference and asking for an IRC meeting. At the kick off meeting, someone MUST be the coordinator of everything (the tasks are following). Another thing that should be clear is how many members of the community will join. You have to decide early because you can book your trip and accommodation (if the conference is quite big, there won’t be any rooms available for you). Travel as a team. If you decide early, you can ask for sponsorship, like openSUSE Travel_Support_Program or GNOME Travel sponsorship (GNOME for smaller events).

Continue reading [COMMUNITY] How to organize your trip, your project’s presence to a conference

[COMMUNITY] How to organize a release party for a project

Part of marketing and organizing a community is the party of the local community to celebrate the new release. From my experience so far, people who join a release party want to have fun. They don’t want to see a presentation of new features of the release etc. We will see the steps to organize a success release party. Please add your opinion, since there are ways to improve.

Procedure:

1. Find a date.
The date of your party should be during a weekend (because it’s easier for people to join, since most people work during the week). Prefer to have your party during the morning. People from outside your city want to join the party and they have to travel to your city and back home. If you discuss with the members of your community about the date, you have to find 2 alternative dates for the party since you have to find the place for the party (see below), so if the owners of the place do not allow you your first date, then use the alternative. A good tool to find common dates is http://www.doodle.com/.

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[COMMUNITY] How to organize-start an open source community

This is an attempt to make a list of things that someone-group of people can follow to develop a healthy community or team. This post is an overview of what I did with Kostas for the Greek openSUSE community.
A small detail is that we were only 2. So we took decisions fast. We didn’t have to vote or something.
We had an “advantage” because we have an awesome global community and we asked for something we weren’t sure how to proceed.

Let’s start:

0. Have a clear goal. What you want to do. Have a big goal that some parts aren’t “visible” when you start.
1. Web page: This is the web page-blog that will show information about community, the distro or the project. Make it visible on planets. BE CAREFUL. Don’t focus on how to make a great site-blog using personal wordpress, drupal etc. Set it up on blogger and start post articles. You want CONTENT (write an article every other day). Don’t spend time to maintain or secure your web page.
2. Mailing list: Ask the project if they can setup for you. If not, then try to find alternatives such as google groups.
3. IRC Channel
4. Forum: Prefer to ask from the project to setup a section for your language. If your project doesn’t have forum, then ask a LUG or tech forum to use their’s. Do not have your forum setup in your host for the same reasons as before. Don’t spend time to maintain or secure the forum.
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Report: openSUSE conference 2014, Dubrovnik.

One more fan-freakin-tastik openSUSE conference is over. Thank you Dubrovnik and local organizers for such fantabulous conference. Your city is beautiful. Too bad that the weather wasn’t sunny all the time (don’t forget that Dubrovnik is touristic city). The old city was dope. I mean it’s very cool to stay inside the walls, go to school there. Of course restaurants, bars etc are expensive there, but still it’s so cool!!!

Personally don’t understand why everyone in the community linked Dubrovnik with Game of thrones series. It’s a Hollywood product. Maybe I’m the only one that don’t watch it. On the other hand, I saw the cruelty of civil war during 91-94 and the siege of Dubrovnik that lasted for 7 months. Of course a theme couldn’t use that, since it’s politics (although Game of Thrones has copyrights and it’s better not to use it either).


Greeks, Brazilians, Germans and Czechs.
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Presentation at GreekLUG (Thessaloniki-Greece)

Poster
GreekLUG poster

On Sunday, November 10th, I had a presentation at Association of Greek Users and Friends of FS/OSS – GreekLUG. The subject was “Desktop Environment and GNOME community”.

I analyzed:
1. How to use GNOME-Shell and the difference between the versions
2. Customization of GNOME-Shell
3. GNOME community

There were questions about what new features come with GNOME 3.10.

Stathis presenting

For more pictures, you can visit facebook or Google Plus.

1st event of Linux and Free Software Community, University of Macedonia, Thessaloniki

1st event of Linux and Free Software Community, University of Macedonia, Thessaloniki

Linux and Free Software Community of University of Macedonia (Thessaloniki, Greece) gathered as team to promote GNU/Linux to their university. So they had their initial event on Tuesday October 22nd at 20.00 at their university.

I had a talk about the use of GNOME-shell and as second issue, I covered the Greek and global community (download the presentation). The audience didn’t know much about FOSS and GNOME. So that’s why we decided to have the how to use part of the presentation. At the second part, I analyzed the why and where someone can contribute. I also presented Outreach Program for Women and I had 2 women interested on this.

Pictures:
Presentation at UOM

Presentation at UOM

You can find more pictures at Facebook page of community

Presentation video (in Greek): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9f2-IPtviD4

A fantabulous #openSUSE conference is over… #oSC13

Family Picture

THE fantabulous openSUSE conference is over. We have some left overs to do and the #oSC13 will be history. All presentations can be found at openSUSE Recordings @ Youtube. Soon we’ll have all the pictures gathered.
You can read what happened day by day at news.opensuse.org. Day 1, Day 2, Day 3. You can find links to more pictures there.

Continue reading A fantabulous #openSUSE conference is over… #oSC13

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