Flock 2018

A couple weeks ago I had the pleasure of traveling to Dresden, Germany to attend Flock, the annual gathering of Fedora contributors. This was my third Flock and it was fun and quite productive.

One of the things I enjoyed about this year's schedule was the built-in coffee breaks. Most conferences pack the schedule completely full with many simultaneous tracks, so that attending the "hallway track" means that you are missing talks. The built-in coffee breaks were such that there were no other scheduled activities, which was great for having sanctioned hallway track time. It was a great idea and I hope it is also incorporated into next year's event.

Patrick and I gave a talk on Saturday about Fedora Infrastructure's use of OpenShift. We talked about many of the challenges we've met along the way, the benefits that OpenShift brings to us, and some of the remaining challenges (such as figuring out a way to automatically license-check software in our containers so we can use OpenShift's source to image (S2I) builders). The talk was highly conversational with lots of discussion from the room, and Adam Miller gave the room a very nice high level introduction to what OpenShift is.

I benefited from quite a lot of hallway track discussion around the Continuous Integration (CI) gating efforts in Fedora. It has been a rough journey to get Fedora packages gated based on automated test results. Some early work went into getting it to a Minimum Viable Product (MVP) state, but then progress halted at a point where the developer experience was overly painful and nobody seemed to be working to fix it. Thanks to FESCo's decision, some progress has been made towards getting the experience improved, and Flock was an opportunity for me to talk with several people about the next steps for the CI integration.

My favorite presentation at the conference was Rebecca Fernandez's talk about how to communicate effectively through conflict. I, like many engineers, have some "rough edges" when it comes to communicating with others, and I appreciated the insights she presented. That talk is well worth watching when it gets posted online.

I look forward to next year's Flock!