Last year I delivered the closing keynote talk, and this year I'm part of a 2-talk "open source and education" track, with the other speaker being my good friend Greg DeKoenigsberg, formerly of Red Hat and current CTO of the Institute for the Study of Knowledge Management in Education.
Our trip down from Raleigh to Spartanburg began following a Fedora 15 release party held at Red Hat's headquarters, attended by about 60 people. Jared spoke about the release and gave a demo of GNOME 3. Paul spoke a bit about the importance of the Fedora to RHEL pipeline. Cupcakes were consumed by most, and several people had a chance to do some interviews on camera, to be edited into an upcoming Fedora 15 video.
Eight of us made the drive down from Raleigh in a big van, which at the time it was rented had exactly 3.6 miles on its odometer. We made the obligatory pit stops at Bojangles and Chick-fil-A, where banana pudding milkshakes were acquired.
Paul, Jared, and I had a dinner discussion that was a Fedora 15 retrospective -- not from the bits and bytes side of things, but rather from the big-picture perspective. My opinion is that the single largest problem facing Fedora these days is an insufficient amount of visibility and communication into what people are doing, what they are thinking, and why certain ideas or strategic choices are being made or rejected. There is a silent majority in Fedora of people who are quietly just getting stuff done, but I think that we all (and I number myself in this group) need to do a better job of being more vocal, consistently.
On the good side, I think that Fedora 15 represents a huge success from a change management perspective. In the past year, we've turned over Fedora's Project Leader, Program Manager, Infrastructure Leader, and Release Engineering Lead, but nonetheless a quality release was shipped, and was done so in a timeframe that is pretty consistent with past history. People should take a moment to recognize that achievement and congratulate each other.
More from SELF soon....