What a conference!!! openSUSE Asia Summit was unforgettable. The whole event had an amazing feel to it, and I had a rocking time in Beijing. openSUSE really has one of the best and most helpful communities, and the people are amazing. I had the pleasure of interacting with the active organization community. You guys absolutely rock!!!
Here are some of my experiences, and things I learned at the conference:
A little history:
The beginnings of the summit go back a year to Thessaloniki, where the idea of the Asia Summit was first mooted. Due to time constraints and clashes with openSUSE Summit in the US called for the event to be shifted to 2014. I had interacted with Sunny and Max in Thessaloniki and loved the idea of having an openSUSE event in Asia. At oSC14 in Dubrovnik, it was more or less confirmed that the summit would take place.
The Organization Team:
I joined the organization team a little late. The others had already done a lot of the hard work. I helped around a little with the invite letter and the promotion of the logo contest, and trying to find people to help around with the artwork. The opening session, where we welcomed the attendees in our native languages was cool. Also, Sunny’s speech in the beginning, which took us through the past one year was memorable, and I still remember each and every word of it.
I would take this opportunity to thank the openSUSE.Asia Summit
organization team. Today, now the openSUSE.Asia summit has started,
I’m reminded of the journey we took to get here.
I can not forget our weekly meetings, which often lasted to midnight.
I can’t forget 137 cards in trello for the preparation tracking.
And I can’t forget hundreds of emails about the Summit in our mail
When we were on the way to reach this summit, we encouraged and
supported each other. Even though we were tired, we never gave up,
because we did believe we would finally be here. It is my honor being
a member of such a great team!
There are 17 people in the organization team, I won’t list everyone’s
name because we are a team, and we couldn’t have make any success
without each of us.
The organization committee did a fantastic job with the event and everything was planned to perfection. I would love to work with you all to host openSUSE Asia Summit next time as well (hopefully in India ;) )
I absolutely loved the concept of ‘Chops’ where the workshop speakers would put a lovely ‘Geeko’ stamp on the brochure for the participants for the performance in the workshop. More than judging the performance, it gave us a good chance to interact with the attendees and have a lot of fun in the process. The gifts for the speakers and for the chops were great and well thought out. Personally, working with the organization team was very fruitful and I learned how an event of this scale is organized from the ground up. Additionally, being a room coordinator was a novel experience as well.
To put the event in a single word: memorable. It was a very well conducted event and the speakers did a great job. The workshops and talks were conducted both the from the point of view of newbies as well as seasoned contributors. I particularly liked Richard’s opening session where the direction that openSUSE (with respect to Factory and Tumbleweed) is taking became clear. There were workshops on Bugzilla and OBS which were really helpful for getting new contributors involved.
Talk is Cheap. Show me the Code:
This was the single biggest lesson I learned during conducting my sessions. While taking the Qt Workshop, I was talking about basic object oriented concepts like Inheritance. The attendees (mostly students from the university) gave me a blank look. I was not sure whether they understood me or not. I ultimately decided to show them some code. They understood that. At that point I realized that there is one universal language that we could communicate with: CODE. That made the job a whole lot easier, and the rest of the sessions went well. I also made some ‘brilliant’ errors during the workshop, which demonstrated some or the other concept with respect to Qt. Overall, had a fun time conducting the workshop.
Being a vegetarian, I was not sure how I would survive in China. I absolutely indulged myself and tried out plenty of stuff. I have never eaten so much in a conference than I had in Beijing. Thanks to the awesome community guys, specially David who helped me a lot in finding out things to eat. The food was amazing. I can safely conclude that the Chinese take their food seriously. Plus, I learned how to use chopsticks properly. Thanks ftake for that ;)
China and Sightseeing:
This was one trip where I did not do much sightseeing. I had talks for both the days and could not spare the time. To my dismay, I found that visiting the Great Wall requires a full day, and I had just about 6 hours to spare. In the end, I just visited the Forbidden City and the Bird’s Nest (Olympic Stadium). I should have made my travel plans a little better and stayed an extra day.
I found Beijing to be an excellent city. I managed to get around pretty comfortably on the subway despite the language issues. I found the subway system quite effective and very cheap (2 Yuan is dirt cheap). The only problem I faced was the air pollution, which was a little unexpected. Other than that, the people were amazing and really helpful.
Thanks to the openSUSE Travel Support program, that I, and many others got to attend the event. It is really an amazing program, and I hope that contributors use it very effectively.