Celebrate GNOME with a Release Party

GNOME 3.26 is almost here! A new GNOME release is a milestone worth celebrating and is a great reason to get together with other GNOME community members.

Is there already a release party in your area? If there is, we encourage you to join. Release Parties are open to all GNOME enthusiasts. It’s a wonderful opportunity to meet other GNOME users.

But what if there isn’t one planned near enough for you attend? Don’t worry, you can plan your own!

A release party can be as simple or elaborate as you want it to be; anything from getting a group together for celebratory drinks to a big event with decorations, food, and swag.

Some quick tips on organizing your own party:

  • Have a rough estimate of the number of guests. While release parties tend to be open to anyone, it’s a good idea to take a quick measure of who might be attending. Send a note on social media or local mailing lists asking who is interested.
  • Have swag! If you have time and inclination, having GNOME stickers or other swag to give out is always popular. You can always request stickers from a GNOME SWAG center near you.
  • Have provisions! No party is complete without food. It can be something you provide, a potluck, or even a restaurant where guests can purchase food. Whether you’re a foundation member or not, you can request funding for your party by following the steps on the Events page.
  • Select a time and location. Knowing what kind of party you are planning should help you decide on a location. Is there a local coffee house that would let you host your event if people plan on purchasing food and drink there? Or if it is a smaller group, maybe a local bar. For a larger group, consider a local park or a room in the local community center.
  • Announce your bash. Let others know about your event by announcing it to the local user groups, posting it on social media, and adding it to the Events page. Have fellow enthusiasts help spread the word.
  • Take lots of pictures! Everyone loves to see what fun release parties can be. Make sure you take pictures of the party in action and share your photos with GNOME so we can share them among the community.
  • Pat yourself on the back. Thank you! You are helping cultivate the feeling of community that GNOME relies on.

GUADEC from a Newcomer’s Perspective: Meet Tom Pollok

This August, as you all know, was GUADEC. This year the annual European conference was held in Karlsruhe, a city in Southwest Germany. Much of the city’s culture revolves around KIT, the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, whose campus hosted the conference. Not only did the conference attract GNOME contributors from around the world, but it also brought in newcomers who have been GNOME users, but had never contributed. During the BoF days, we sat down with a long time GNOME user, Tom Pollok, who shared with us his experience of coming to GUADEC as a complete newcomer. Read on to hear his story!

tom
Photo by Cassandra Sanchez, CC-BY-SA 4.0

Where are you from and where are you based now?
That’s complicated *laughs*, I was born in Poland but most of my life I have lived in Germany. I’ve have mostly lived in Karlsruhe but also spent a couple of years in Berlin.

How did you hear about GNOME?
When I started studying computer science, I was more interested in Linux, and one thing came after another. I used to use Windows before I started studying computer science, and I started trying out GNOME. I was studying in Cairo for a semester and my hard drive suddenly broke while working on my laptop. No one could give me an ISO file of Windows, so I thought to install Ubuntu since it was free. I started to use Ubuntu with GNOME. I had heard about it in my first semester, a while before.

How long have you been a contributor?
I contributed the first time during this GUADEC during the workshops.

What was it like to experience GUADEC as a newcomer?
It was very nice. All the people are so friendly and so into GNOME. You can see it in their eyes that they really like what they’re doing. I’ve really liked the GUADEC spirit! 

Was there anything that surprised you about the conference?
I’ve been to other computer science related conferences, and compared to others I’ve felt especially welcomed here. At others I have felt not noticed, but here everyone has talked to me and it’s been very easy to talk to people and make new friends! And I was suprirsed that everyone spoke such great English! Everyone’s English is amazing!

Was there anything you were expecting or hoping for?
I haven’t had any expectations, I just wanted to see it. I really liked it, so I think I’ll join the next conference as well!

How did you hear of GUADEC and decide to come?
I was very active on the GNOME website and always reading the recent changes. I saw that GUADEC would be in Karlsruhe and knew I shouldn’t miss it! I really wanted to meet the people who developed GNOME and knew it would be a shame if I missed it. I was just lucky to find it!

What was your favorite part about the conference?
I don’t think there was anything specific, I’ve liked the whole package! I’ve enjoyed all of GUADEC.

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GUADEC 2016, CC-BY-SA 4.0

What is your favorite place on Earth?
I really love Cairo because the people are so friendly!

What is your favorite food?
Hmmm… Do I even have one? *laughs* 
Käsespätzle??
No, no! Come on! *Laughs* I don’t have a favorite dish, but I like Arabic dishes and Northern Arabic dishes. I guess I’ll say Koshary.

What’s your favorite ice cream flavor?
I always ask for two or three, so I’ll say chocolate, mango, and cherry. There is such a great choice of different flavors so it’s not that easy to decide for a single one

What is your spirit animal?
I’m like a Rhino, because if I want to do something and it doesn’t work I’ll ram against the wall until it I find a way through it! I’m sometimes a bit stubborn when I’m working on a goal.

Finally, our classic question; what do you think cats dream about?
I think they dream of dominating the world!

Thank you, Tom! We’re so glad to see you contributing and becoming a part of the GNOME community.