It’s been quite some time now that I have updated my blog due to my busy schedule, GSoC 2015 and campus placements!. So today I am going to share my experience at FUDCon 2015, Pune.
I had proposed a session on “Python Code profiling using line_profiler” at fudcon.in. One fine day around the time of GSoC 2015 results, I got a mail from Amit Shah, one of the organizers of FUDCon APAC 2015 saying that my proposal has been accepted and I need to confirm my attendance during the conference so that they can arrange and schedule my talk.
The deadline to apply for Travel reimbursement was April 30th, 2015 and I didn’t realize it until May end after my Exams got over. I opened a ticket and the organizers were very helpful and they agreed to fund my travel as I was a speaker at the conference and the amount was small and within their budget.
FUDCon 2015, Pune was going to be held between 26th-28th June, 2015 at Maharashtra Institute of Technology, College of Engineering (MITCOE). They had a taxi scheduled on 25th afternoon and midnight.
Journey from Mumbai to Pune:
I reached Mumbai Airport by 11 A.M. on 25th June, 2015 as I stay nearby and the driver was nowhere to be found at the airport. Then after 10-15 minutes I saw a guy walking towards the terminal with FUDCon poster in hand and I understood he was our driver. I shared the taxi with Dennis Gilmore. He is a lead Release Engineer at Fedora. His flight landed by 11 A.M. so we knew that he would come out only by 12 noon.
Our travel coordinator was Rupali, she had shared the flight details with me and the taxi company but due to some issue we had different flight details and there were no flights with the number scheduled to land that day. So she contacted Kushal, who then immediately contacted us and made sure that we reach Pune properly and safely. We waited for some time and then Dennis found the driver and then we started our journey.
That day there was lot of traffic on the way and it took around 1 hour just to get outside Mumbai. After Navi Mumbai it was all clear way. Near to Lonavala, on top of the hills there were rain and the vehicles were moving slowly. There were lot of awesome tunnels too. The Mumbai-Pune expressway is really an awesome road. We saw many cars just zooming on the road, but the driver was good enough to maintain a speed of 80 kms/hr on the expressway (not too fast, not too slow).
On the way the driver asked us should he stop at McDonalds or some mall. I wanted to have something local, so I asked Dennis if he wants to have Indian food and he replied “Yes, I want to have Indian food if he has come to India” :P. We had Misal Pav at Food Mall on the expressway.
By evening we reached Pune, and traffic again. It was good that the driver was local, so he knew the roads properly. Then we reached Cocoon hotel in Magarpatta City, Pune. We got our rooms quickly and the service was good. I was sharing my room with another speaker, Kashish Bhatia. The reception contacted him and informed him that I will be coming upstairs so kindly keep the room open. The room was really good and we had a balcony too.
First Day: 26th June, 2015
I had to wake up early in the morning again :P, as they had arranged buses at 7.30 A.M. so that we were not late to the conference and everything goes on smoothly. First day was scheduled to begin by 9 A.M.
We all came down to the hotel restaurant where we had buffet breakfast, there was Pav Bhaji, juice, corn flakes, hot drinks and many more things. Didn’t quite taste everything as we woke up late as usual ;). We had breakfast and moved towards the entrance where the buses were waiting that would take us to the venue. As we stepped outside we saw that some of the organizers were carrying huge boxes and some had FUDCon bags in their hand. It was SWAG time ;). They distributed the bags in an orderly manner. We were eager to know what was there inside the bag. I got my bag and Tada there was a F22 DVD inside, a Fedora Umbrella and a Fedora Flask. There was some FUDCon guide map too.
We all kept our bags in our room and boarded the bus. It was around 45 minute journey from our hotel to the venue, a long ride indeed. We reached the venue by 8.45 A.M. We all went inside and we saw our Speaker tags were kept on the table and volunteers were waiting for us. They welcomed us and distributed the Speaker badges and there were some fedora tags too. Then we moved to the auditorium for the inauguration. Kushal started the day with introducing the team behind FUDCon and the day began by Keynote Speaker, Dennis Gilmore. There were some technical lags too relating to the Projector and WiFi bandwidth (very important part of our life nowadays 🙂 ). From a students point of view, the keynote might have been a bit too complex understanding the release cycle and other stuff that goes on behind Fedora releases.
I met a B.Com student who is taking computer courses and Red Hat certification. I was really impressed by his interest in Open Source Software and computer science in general in-spite being from a commerce background. In Engineering colleges I have seen students who shy away from coding saying they are from Biology background, but it is our passion and interest that makes us do great things.
We went to our Speaker’s Room and met other speakers and got to know about them, what they do and about their sessions, workshops, etc. There was a session by Parag Nemade on “DNF package manager” which was of great interest as it was related to my GSoC project too. I got a bit late to the session as the directions there weren’t clear. Many a times we used to get lost and had to find our way back and start again.
Food was arranged for the speakers at the venue, and there were some tasty dishes… ‘Yum’ (Fedora users would understand, Hint: DNF) 😉 I met some of my juniors at the conference. They traveled all the way from Kerala to Pune (around 30 hours of train journey) and were staying at the Pune Ashram. Made a lot of friends that day. After lunch we had a round of lightning talks at the auditorium where speakers as well as participants shared about their work, ideas, etc. I met lot of “IRC handles” from #dgplug including Kushal, the man behind Waartaa – Ratnadeep, Sayan, Chandan Kumar and others. We knew each other by our IRC nicks and when we met for the first time we were like “Oh yeah, I remember you from #dgplug”. It is really great to actually meet people whom we communicate and share knowledge with on IRC. The day ended by another Keynote by Harish Pillay about FOSS Projects and Open Source project activity .
We returned to the hotel in the evening and I took some rest and then went downstairs for getting dinner with Prima Yogi and Danishka. As we went downstairs everyone was standing there and Kushal was also there. We all planned to go to some place for dinner and then it started drizzling. Fedora umbrella’s came to our rescue :). We walked for quite some time and entered a mall, finally I saw some life in Pune.
We had dinner at TJ’s Brew. They had their own brewery. We had a German friend, Sirko along with us who could tell us all about the beer that they brought in for testing just by it’s fragrance. We asked them if we could actually see their setup and I asked Sirko to explain us the real process of brewing Beer.
We had a great time and got to know each other. I was a Fedora user from few years now and contributor to other open source projects but after coming to FUDCon I made sure that when I go back I will surely start contributing to Fedora Project too.
I, Prima and Danishka had a long discussion about our work, culture and open source. It was a nice discussion and we shared our views and learnt a lot of things from each other.
Second Day: 27th June, 2015
I got up early as I was going to present my talk today :). We had breakfast and left for the venue. We had some surprise waiting for us. Yes, FUDCon tees :). After reaching the venue we were so sleepy that we slept during the whole of Keynote and another session in the Auditorium, where there was AC and comfortable seats. Felt good after getting some rest. I went up to the Speaker’s lounge, collected my FUDCon tee and all the speakers then signed a FUDCon tee. I prepared some example code and test cases for my presentation, did some final editing to the presentation so that it would be as simple as possible for the participants to understand.
We had photo session after lunch and just after that my session was scheduled.
My session began at 2.40 P.M. in the afternoon, and inspite of being sleepy after good food, a good amount of attendees were present for my talk. I kept the talking part short and I focused more on live demo. It was a great interactive session, all the participants were excited to know about line_profiler, profiling and testing their code. They wanted to know more about line_profiler and how they can use it in different scenarios. I made sure that they understood it properly by demonstrating it, as testing is one of the important step in software development. Having written some generic code helped a lot. Participants who had a laptop were along with me following the steps as I went through each step from fetching the source, building and installing, running the profiler and I really felt good that the topic is getting great response from the participants.
Dennis was present there and as he was in Release Engineering, he noticed that we had to use pip to install line_profiler so he mentioned why don’t we have a RPM package for it so that we can use yum/dnf to install it correctly. And from there my journey as a Fedora Packager began, and it was another new experience in itself.
Here is my Session slides:
In the evening, we had a social gathering a.k.a. FUDPub at bluO at Phoenix Market-city, Pune. We had awesome food, paneer and chicken tikka ‘Yum’ again ;). There was a huge Bowling alley, pool and lots of Beer!. We also got another surprise, Fedora socks for Bowling. There were around ~15 bowling lanes, and every lane was occupied by 3-4 people playing randomly. We had lot of fun, one guy breaks the set and other one tries for a spare if the first one doesn’t get a strike :P.
My fingers were hurting for a few days since then. I played pool for the first time and after around 20-30 shots I managed to pot a ball. Everyone had a great time and we played a lot. The whole place was booked just for us.
Third Day: 28th June, 2015
Luckily we didn’t have to get up early in the morning. We got up at 8 A.M. and I got a call from Praveen Kumar (PK) saying that one bus is waiting for us. We got ready, I packed my things as I was going back to Mumbai and we had to checkout from the hotel. We had breakfast, checked out and left for the venue.
The final day was more related to Designing. There was Inkscape workshop by Sirko, Blender by Ryan and GIMP tee-designing workshop by Yogi.
The event was well organized and I met a lot of people from the community, learnt a lot about Fedora and just now my first package got approved in Fedora :).
Thanks to the FUDCon team for an awesome job organizing such a successful FUDCon APAC 2015.
Let the Windows be open, and feel the Freedom.