This year, the Polish city of Kraków hosts the fourth annual Flock conference. Flock is a working conference for contributors to Fedora. Each year, Fedora contributors come together to discuss new ideas for Fedora, and work to make those ideas a reality. It’s also a chance for folks who usually work together via email, IRC, or other remote channels to sit together and build stronger relationships.

Flock originated from smaller and more impromptu events held several times a year in different locations. Those were called FUDCons – Fedora Users and Developers Conferences. As the number of attendees and topics grew, Fedora needed a more organized and professional event. As a result, the first Flock took place in 2013 in Charleston, South Carolina, USA. Flock is now the major Fedora event of the year, and has an essential impact on the state of Fedora.

Content at Flock

The State of Fedora is also the title of Flock’s now traditional opening keynote. The keynote is usually presented by the Fedora Project Leader, and that is no exception this year. Attendees can look forward to Matthew Miller’s personal take on the project’s status and its anticipated future. There is also a keynote from Radosław Krowiak, the co-owner of Polish educational company Akademia Programowania. It will highlight coding as not only a way to create programs, but also an exercise of creativity and teaching problem solving approaches that is a fresh alternative to traditional education based on schemes and “the right answers.”

The keynote may be the most interesting session for many. Others may find interest in talks revolving around Project Atomic, ostree, or the upcoming Atomic-based release of Fedora Workstation. These technologies are likely to take over the hype Docker has maintained for the last couple of years. Still, container related content will be amply represented.

Non-technical issues will be widely (and wildly!) discussed as well. This year’s featured non-technical theme is outreach efforts. Those efforts range from minority and gender outreach to university and high-school programs.

The Schedule divides the sessions into categories. Most talks are under categories Building a Better Distro (38), Making Life Better for Contributors (19), and Hackfest Workshops (14). Workshops, in fact, comprise two out of the four Flock days. Since the goal of this event is getting to action, two days are reserved for theory and two for practice.

Are you hooked but your plans don’t allow you to attend? Don’t worry, the Community blog and the project’s Twitter page are preparing to share daily content from the conference in the form of blogs, pictures, and short videos. The sessions will be recorded, too. The availability of these recordings will be announced here in the Fedora Magazine as soon as they’re ready.

Prominent Flock speakers

Community gurus that will present at the conference include:

  • Joe Brockmeier – Long-time open source advocate, member of the Apache Software Foundation, member of the Fedora Cloud working group since inception, and active Fedora propagator. Joe will run a workshop about Fedora Budget at Flock 2016.
  • Paul W. Frields – Former Fedora Project Leader, manager of the Fedora Engineering team, founding member of the Fedora Project Board, Fedora package maintainer, musician, and more. Paul will present on the Fedora Magazine project.
  • Dan Walsh – Computer security expert with 30+ years of experience, aka “Mr. SELinux,” who currently focuses on containers and Docker. Dan is an open-source enthusiast who will present on his current projects. If he can’t enthuse you with open source, no one can!
  • Matthew Miller – Co-organizer of the first FUDCons at Boston University, current Fedora Project Leader, regular contributor to Fedora Magazine (Five Things in Fedora This Week), Cloud SIG participant, and 2016 Flock keynote speaker.
  • Thomas Cameron – Senior Principal Cloud Evangelist at Red Hat, Thomas is influential in the field of containers, cloud solutions, JBoss middleware, and more, in the industry since 1993. He specializes in cloud security and integration, has authored training for many Red Hat products, and is one of the most experienced and sought after presenters in the field.

Flock is not only about meeting your colleagues who work on the other side of the globe. It’s just as much about defining the future of the project you care about.

Fedora is an open source community, and always open to new members. Even if you’re not a hacker, you’re welcome to check out the vibe, in person or via coverage and recordings. Fair warning, though: open source and Fedora can be habit-forming!