There is only one reason to attend GUADEC: To learn about GNOME.
You may not know much about the GNOME project or the GNOME community. From my experience in the GNOME community for more than eight years, I can list some reasons to get to know more about it:
1. GNOME is a worldwide project and community
It is usual that people work in a company that has functional areas such as marketing, technology, human resources, accounting, and finance. It is also usual that people work with other local people face-to-face in a fixed schedule on weekdays. GNOME has the same functional areas managed by people from many parts of the world. Each person has a different way of working, different time zone, and different culture – but they all have the same mission: to improve the GNOME software and the GNOME community. You are more than welcomed to contribute to GNOME as a developer, designer, translator or any role you prefer!
Pictured on the left, we see Linux enthusiasts: Nuritzi and Sri from the USA, Sigu and StellaMaris from Kenya, and Julita from Peru 😉 On the right side, all the GNOMEies gathered at GUADEC 2019. You can get GNOME as a final user or get the code in gitlab as a developer.
2. GNOME creates breakthrough technologies
I got to know about Red Hat because I attended GUADEC 2012 and I saw Marc Andre and Zeeshan proudly wearing their red hats. Now in 2019, I am aware of the partnership of GNOME with Purism and was able to see the elegant work of Tobias Bernard at GUADEC and how GNOME can now be used for Linux smartphones. I want to also highlight the work of Peruvian Fabian Orccon, who is doing volunteer technical work for Cheese. This application captures static faces to apply effects, and now with Fabian’s help, it detects faces in movement and applies effects used in technologies like Snapchat and on Facebook. Finally, at this GUADEC, Lubosz Sarnecki from Collabora moved GNOME to another reality. He used Virtual Reality(VR) to simulate a virtual desktop environment.
These three innovative efforts I just mentioned came from three of GNOME’s former Google Summer of Code (GSoC) students. You can learn more about Google Summer of Code opportunities for GNOME here.
3. GNOME supports and empowers all of its members
GNOME has defined guidelines for members who want to participate in GNOME. Following these guidelines, I have designed some initiatives that I have applied within my local Linux community in Peru: Peru Rumbo GSoC 2018, GNOME PERU Challenge 2017 – I, and Lets CONTRIBUTE Peru. These were some of the volunteer programs I created in order to promote the use of and contribution to GNOME in my country. GNOME believed in my efforts and supported these ideas by providing the material resources I needed as well as some online support from other GNOME members. I feel that I only succeed once because Cesar Fabian Orccon was the only Peruvian that also became a GNOME Foundation member and not my other students. Even if I made mistakes along the way, GNOME appreciates my effort, time, and money I invested during more than 8 years.
Regarding my own story, I started in GNOME as a technical writer, and over the years I became a representative of GNOME and a speaker at Linux events. For instance, I gave a talk in Portland at the API 2017 conference where I did a workshop using GTK and C. That is only part of my experience with GNOME, and that is also the case for other members such as Carlos Garnacho, Maria, Nuritzi, and Sebastian, who works in Ubuntu. At this year’s GUADEC, I met Sigu and StellaMaris who have promoted Free Software in Africa for around four years! Pictured on the bottom left: GNOME members are taking selfies as a part of a workshop at this year’s GUADEC.
4. GNOME allows you to leave a legacy
GNOME has more than 20 years of existence and it has also been translated into more than 20 languages thanks to the contribution of volunteers around the world. In order to have a successful Linux project, you must attract a new generation of contributors and pass along the know-how to them. In this matter, GNOME has joined the GSoC program and Outreachy to reach newcomers.
I have met the GNOME students in Thessaloniki and I am glad that Carlos Soriano keeps this effort since he was a previous GSoC student and he is sharing his expertise with newbies.
5. GNOME helps build friendship around the world
First, you meet someone and then it can be hard to make the change from acquaintances to friends. I am so glad to share that I have been invited from GNOME members to be part of their lives and they kindly hosted me in their houses when I traveled abroad. That is the case for Andre Klapper in 2012 when we stayed at his apartment to attend the Documentation Hackfest in Brno. In 2014, I visited UK at Kat’s place, and in 2016 in order to attend to the ISC conference (a non GNOME conference), I stayed at Tobias Mueller’s house and I met his lovely wife.
It is priceless that somebody trusts you enough to give you the key of their house. It was very exciting to see these people again at GUADEC 2019! Petr Kovar’s is just in the collection of photos because I had no other choice 🙂 Felipe Borges taught me GTK on Python once in a Hackfest, and keep many other valuable stories in my mind from Javier, Sam, Rosanna, David and Bin Li that were also pictured for this post. Finally, even though I did not visit Nuritzi’s home, I feel that she is my friend not only because she supports my ideas and initiatives, but because a real friend tells you in your face good and bad things in order to be a better person. Nuritzi did that in this GUADEC, and I will try to behave better for the sake of humanity. I will post Zeeshan’s photo when he will take me on his plane! 😀
Additional thanks To Federico Mena, Marina, Karen, Shaun McCance, Phil Bull, Siska and all the GNOMErs that did not attend the GUADEC 2019 but they are definitely in my mind and heart 💜
6. GNOME is constantly working on user-friendly changes
A project exists based on a user’s need. Nowadays, an IT project must be enough to solve the needs of two generations such as millennials and members of Generation Z. These two generations are closely impacted by the presence of technology, then GNOME has been reinvented during the latest years. The first substantial evolution I witnessed was the implementation of GNOME 3.x. This effort is constantly improved by developers of GNOME, due to the ubiquity and online-oriented information demand. The GNOME technologies that are created must be adequate for the sake of the project and for all its members and users. There is also a board of directors of GNOME that are supervising all the efforts done by the GNOME members.
You might see the full schedule of the projects presented at GUADEC 2019 here.
7. GNOME rewards your efforts
Meritocracy is a basic principle that GNOME has demonstrated over the years. As GNOME people contribute to the GNOME project and community, they are prized by being sponsored to attend different Linux conferences around the world. In my case, GNOME recognised my effort by featuring me as a people side of GNOME. It definitely raised my confidence. Moreover, I feel strongly connected with GNOME when I read posts of other GNOME international members such as Philip Chimento and Felipe Borges where they showed empathy towards my work.
In this GUADEC 2019, I met again and shared my table with the GNOME Asia members. I had the honour to travel to Asia to meet the strong GNOME Asia community in 2015. Glad to talk to BinLi, he is one of the most active members for several years and works for Open SUSE in China.The “Bingo” prized the effort that some people did in this GUADEC to meet GNOME in deep. I will never forget that I won twice! That is the first time in my life that it happened!
8. GNOME is an important part of my life
Over the past 8 years of contributing to GNOME, my life has changed from the routine to a life of trips, and continuous learning because the world of technology also constantly changes. GNOME gave me trust in myself and that is, in my eyes, more valuable than anything else. I have moved to the USA and the UK in the last two years. Starting off has been so difficult since living abroad implies acquiring new mindset and ways to behave in a different culture. However, wherever I go, I try to spread the Linux word, especially the GNOME and Fedora word. You can see that in the two interviews that ORNL did to me in the USA: 1, 2; and here is the video that summarizes my volunteer work as the general organizer of Linux at Edinburgh, an event where a did a talk about GNOME and Fedora.
Thank you so much again GNOME for second 0.3 in GUADEC 2015, the 1:31 on GUADEC 2012, My GUADEC 2014, My GUADEC 2017, and My version of the Desktop Summit 2011, My own video of my talk at GUADEC 2012 and my lighting talk at GUADEC 2015.
9. GNOME made challenge myself
I have recently completed my masters in Computer Science when I won the OPW 2011 for GNOME. I started in the GNOME documentation team, and then I realized that learning Linux will help me get better career opportunities. Unfortunately, I have never been hired by any partner company of GNOME such as Red Hat, Collabora, CodeThink, Canonical or Purism as most of the current GNOME members are. However, my entrepreneurship allowed me to achieve my Red Hat Certified Professional and then I was able to work in IBM Peru. This opened me other doors such as being a Linux teacher in universities in Lima, Peru. Later, I was involved in High Performance Computing researcher projects.
I dare to say that GNOME made me find myself as a blogger, photographer, teacher, sysadmin, international speaker, developer, IT event organizer, and nowadays I am acquiring skills as a researcher in the HPC field.Taking GNOME people’s backs represented my challenge at this GUADEC because I usually take pictures of people’s fronts. I am also excited to see ARM as part of the GNOME sponsors.
10. The GNOME heart is left wherever the GUADEC is held
Throughout these eight years, I met GNOME communities around the world. I got fascinated when I saw in person different volunteer workgroups making possible GUADECs. This GUADEC 2019 in Greece has definitely a lovely group behind the scenes.Thank you so much Efstathios Iosifidis, Mariet Vaina, Eirini Basdani and all the team! 👍