ponedjeljak, 4. kolovoza 2014.

Monthly skill exchange or is it?

If you belong to some Linux user group or community then you probably know what skill exchange means. Maybe they call it differently in your country. I'm talking about gatherings on a monthly or yearly basis where you have talks and discussions about FLOSS technology. Usually those talks end up on some tenth topic, not the one the talk was about but that's the beauty of it. 

You see, when I was a student I had a chance to attend those gatherings in live because they were held at my college thanks to one of my professors who started them. I was really happy about it because there was finally something for me. Skill exchange was usually on one Friday every month, first there were talks and after that discussions divided on several groups. Depends how many talks/lectures there were and you were able to join the discussion group by your preference. That was brilliant because it all started around 7 pm and ended up around 1, sometimes 2 am. If you are geeky and you love these kinds of gatherings you'll forget about time easily. 

Unfortunately nowadays I cannot do those live very often because I don't have that much time and we are all dislocated which is a bummer but hey, we can do them online. Up till now we (Croatian Linux Users Association and Croatian association for Open systems and Internet) had monthly meetings on IRC channel in order to bring monthly reports. But after a year of monthly reports that started to become monotonous. Thus we have decided to break that and switch it with mini monthly virtual skill exchanges. It's much more fun, you learn something new, you discuss with your geeky friends and you charge your FLOSS batteries. We had 2 topics on a schedule yesterday: Introduction to Linux course that was launched on edX last Friday and latest news from 3D world. To prove how discussions end up on a tenth topic, well, we have started with Introduction to Linux and we ended up on how to contribute to Linux kernel project. We didn't even manage to talk about 3D :) because Linux topic session lasted roughly 2 and a half hours. I didn't want to drag people more because you know, Monday. Now I'm thinking we should do those on Saturdays so we can talk even longer. Anyhow, hopefully this will last for some time and more and more people will join in. We'll see. The thing is, I really miss those monthly geeky gatherings I had at college and I hope this online version will compensate it till some point.

This doesn't mean we won't have reports anymore. Sure we'll have them but probably not so often. If you ask me, yearly report is quite enough where everybody can see what you did last year. 

To finish with what I have started, when you belong to some Linux group or community these gatherings are more of a necessity then a must do just because it is an unwritten rule.

četvrtak, 19. lipnja 2014.

DORS/CLUC 2014 impressions

On the beginning of this writing I have to admit that I have never felt so tired on prior conferences like I felt at DORS/CLUC 2014. I guess setting up higher goals and working on this next to my daily job and other obligations has left marks. Despite all that some crazy adrenalin has kept me awake.

Conference organization took several months of tackling with gathering sponsors, keynote speakers, speakers, volunteers, picking where to have a venue and how to organize it and decorate it, how to organize entire conference flow, so many lists, tasks, schedules, details..... oh my  but it was worth it. When you see full auditorium at the conference and happy guests then you know you are doing it right despite all the long journey and obstacles you encounter before the finish.

DORS/CLUC 2014, photo courtesy Igor Škevin

The biggest and toughest challenge every year is to bring sponsors in order you could actually organize everything you have planned. This year has been far better than on prior years but still not enough to bring more speakers from USA for example. When folks from outside of an organization team tell us something like: "Hey why didn't you bring this or that speaker" you see that they don't understand much how difficult it is when you are non profit and when everything depends on sponsors. Despite all the trouble as I have said I think we have managed to have pretty decent schedule and decent number of great keynote speakers and speakers. 

In the end everything went well, keynotes, talks, workshops... and I have finally managed to meet Elizabeth Krumbach Joseph in live :)  For those who don't know we have met in 2012 online when we have started to work on Ubuntu weekly newsletter together. She is one prominent lady in FLOSS technology world and I am so happy that I got a chance to spend some time with her and get to know her better. Also, I am very happy that number of ladies at the conference has increased, slightly, but still it has increased and that we have managed to have round table Women in FLOSS technology world.

Women in FLOSS technology world round table, photo courtesy Igor Škevin

For the end, BIG THANK YOU everyone who has been involved with DORS/CLUC 2014 conference and who helped us to organize and host another DORS/CLUC conference: sponsors, media, keynote speakers, speakers, volunteers, guests, Cassandra catering staff, Pivnica Medvedgrad staff, online followers. It was an excellent event and hopefully the ones in the future will be even better with even more people. For latter I hope for more people in organization team as well not just guests.

Now if you'll excuse me I'll go plan how to bring Linus Torvalds to Croatia ;)  If you think that I'm joking then think again. Of course daily work and recovery before that.

Happy Linuxing everybody,


utorak, 29. travnja 2014.

openSUSE 2014 conference impressions

Yeah, I can hear some folks saying: "Wait whaaa? Aren't you using Ubuntu, what are you doing at openSUSE 2014 conference?"

Just because I'm mainly an Ubuntu user and community member doesn't mean I can't help other FLOSS communities eh? In the end we are all penguins and as there is a saying for penguins: "Birds stick together."

Huh, where to start.... On 22nd of April started the openSUSE 2014 journey for me. Svebor, Krešimir and I went by car to Dubrovnik. It was a looong but fun ride :) I must admit that I have never been in Dubrovnik before, shame ha?

Finally in Dubrovnik selfie: Svebor, me, Krešimir (photo courtesy: Svebor)

 Still that day we have met with one  part of the openSUSE crew: Jürgen, Christopher, Darix and Robert.  These guys are amazing and I mean it. We arranged right away what will we do and when. I got a chance to work with Jürgen on conference recording but with help of other volunteers.

23rd and 24th of April mostly went on preparing the rooms - video/audio recording setup, decorations, refreshments and materials for conference attendees...

Decoration and preparations (photo courtesy: Marcel  and Krešimir)

....and of course Kick off welcome openSUSE 2014 party on April 24th

openSUSE 2014 welcome party (photo courtesy Krešimir)

From 25th - 28th of April keynotes, conference streaming and recording, attendees, packing, on 29th of April - travel home..... Ivan and I spent mostly recording and streaming with the rest of the video team: Sarah, Daniel, Alexandros, Dimitris, Marcel, Marvin, Martin, Christopher, Dubravko, Stephan and of course our mentor Jürgen who was monitoring everything and helping when/where needed.

Ready, set aaaaand action! (photo courtesy, Marcel and Krešimir)

Unfortunately I couldn't be in all rooms because this was a multi track conference which included 4 rooms full of keynotes from 10 a.m. till 5 p.m. Ivan and I were mostly in Ragusa room recording and streaming, other members of video team were in other rooms: Bokar and Revelin, Stradun room was not recorded because it served as a room for community meetings. You can find all the recordings on the following link: tinyurl.com/osc14youtube

We rounded conference with a nice group photo shoot :)


Group Geekos photo shoot (photo courtesy: George Bratsos)

Aaaand of course finish party, or how would one of the openSUSE board members say: "Paaaaaartyyyyy, Woooo!" -- Robert Schweikert

openSUSE dance, Izabel was a great dance partner :)) (photo courtesy Krešimir)

What to say in the end, everything that is nice doesn't last long. This was a great experience for me because I was able to see how other FLOSS communities are breathing and functioning. I have learned a lot and charged my FLOSS batteries. It feels good to help others and that's what it is the core of FLOSS technology world in the end. It's the people that matters the most and then everything else. 

Special thank you to entire openSUSE team and my Croatian colleagues for making an effort into this conference.  This is our passion and we will continue organizing FLOSS conferences in order to champion FLOSS technology that we all love and in order to champion "all for one and one for all" spirit because that's how people from FLOSS technology world function and should function.

Now back to work and of course another conference is in front of me, DORS/CLUC 2014, annual conference which I organize along with my colleagues.....

nedjelja, 16. ožujka 2014.

First virtual day of free, libre and open source technologies

After almost a month of preparations my colleagues and I have held first virtual day of free, libre and open source technologies. Got to say that this took time and energy like you were preparing some mini conference, the only difference is that it was virtual.

Here is the video and I'll describe briefly below the video what does this virtual day present to all of us.

To explain the event, Virtual day of free, libre and open source technologies serves to promote/present FLOSS technology world to Croatian audience.

What actually motivated us to run this event? Well, there are several reasons why this virtual event happened:

  • Last year we should have presented free, libre and open source technologies at INFO 2013 Fair. Unfortunately that fair has been canceled due to a small interest of people who would present themselves there and in general that fair doesn't have a lot of visitors unlike gaming fair. Sad but true. 
  • Second reason is to promote free, libre and open source technology world in a different way then we would do it live at INFO Fair and similar events
  • Third reason is to open ourselves more to the public and try to diminish wrong believes where people think that everything what is free and open source has lesser value. 
Keynotes that were held:

How and why would someone get involved into free, libre and open source technology world, keynoters (Lucija, Pilić and me)
OpenStreetMap Croatia -free world map, keynoter - Matija Nalis
NetBeans and GDB on Linux, keynoter - Domagoj Stolfa
Project Open Network, keynoter, Valent Turković

To conclude, I'm very happy that this event happened and I hope there will be interest for more events like this one.

Happy Linuxing

utorak, 31. prosinca 2013.

Happy GNU/Linux 2014 Year

This year was even better than year 2012

Here are highlights of year 2013

Visited  president of Croatia with my colleagues in January

Linux Kernel hacking with Greg Kroah-Hartman, Sarah Sharp and many other Linux mentors and many cool Linux girls in May

Organized and held DORS/CLUC 2013 convention with my colleagues in May

The biggest highlight to me are my first jobs starting from June. Work at Gymnasium was my first starting point and I will always be thankful to Bibijana Šlogar (principal of Gymnasium) who accepted me to get my first steps in real work. Many thanks to her and the rest of the Gymnasium team. 

 Work at TeamSnap..... Now that is a chance that I still can't differ is it a dream or is it real. Really, hats down to my mentors for giving me a chance to learn from the best team this year. Jamie Oliver is my favorite Chef in real kitchen but Mark Cornick, Wade Minter and Geoff Brodinak are my favorite Chefs in virtual kitchen. (Those who are familiar with sysadmin automation tools will get what I wanted to say). 

What about year 2014? As usual I wish for more FLOSS in Croatia and abroad, many opportunities for everyone in different areas and may the source be with us!

subota, 7. rujna 2013.

Dear ladies how about an open source career?

Dear ladies,

Getting a career in IT world can be a struggle for women  - that should be acknowledged. Not every company will be welcoming/friendly. IT society also and that includes open source society as well. Somewhere you will find an acceptance somewhere you will hit the human brick wall as Randy Pausch said. 

 But hey, that's life. 

If you are in an IT world and even better if  you have an IT background you know what I am talking about.

So, you are a lady and you would like to have a career in IT world but you are struggling somehow. I think I can help you.

Free and open source technology world offers much more than a proprietary world and that also doesn't need proves. You can join projects, work with people and show what you are made of and in case you didn't know, you can develop a career in that world.

You can start as a volunteer and eventually someone will notice you. That's one way. Maybe it is a harder/longer way but it is a good way. IT companies will appreciate that - trust me. If they'll see on your CV that you are an active person who doesn't wait for opportunities but makes them than you are on a good way to make a career. Also, do not be afraid of making risks. Push your limits every day. 

The other (slightly faster?) way  is applying for an internship that Open Source companies offer. How to do that? Please read an article about Outreach Program for Women. If you have read it you have noticed important dates when next round for applying will be up and running. That is your chance. Grab it with both hands. 

I'm giving you a heads up to start preparing for an internship because it won't be easy. I didn't make it in May because I needed more background in Linux kernel hacking and didn't have time to dedicate myself enough because I was overloaded with DORS/CLUC 2013 convention preparations.

Start learning now, start researching and prepare yourself. Even if you fail at first as I did don't make it stop you. Apply for the next round because you will know what will be expected from you. Application process and first contribution may seem easy at first glance but they are not. It is intensive, you will have competitors who will be stronger than you etc...etc... 

After first Linux kernel Hacking I had a plan in my head that I would apply for the next round but certain people changed  my life. I got an opportunity for an open source career which I think that suits my personality better. Being a system administrator enables me to touch many different areas - from monitoring and analysis to hacking and going through lots of different technology. 

So, getting an open source (IT) career can be a struggle but it is definitely doable.  Everything depends on you and your will. It doesn't matter how you start. It matters that you start!

nedjelja, 7. srpnja 2013.

First job/s

I know, I have been silent on this blog since May but I had a good reason to be silent. After the  DORS/CLUC 2013 convention I continued my quest of finding real jobs. I nearly lost every hope but then came the sun i.e. opportunities I would have never dreamed of.

First job was at Gymnasium Antuna Gustava Matoša in Zabok. "Was" because It lasted only for a month. You'll see later why. So, at Gymnasium my position was information expert intern which involved: helping teachers to use technology easier, web maintenance, computers maintenance... Most of that time I was a help support for teachers and have to tell you that I quite enjoyed in it. It was a good jumping start, welcoming people, positive atmosphere but I had to let them go. Why? Second job is the reason why. Also,  I have realized that I can't do two jobs at once. I was too exhausted and had headaches because I was sleepless.

So, second job is system administration internship at TeamSnap company which is based in Colorado. OK I didn't move to Colorado :)  - I work from home.  I better pinch myself again to make sure that this is real. :) You see, I always had a dream to work somewhere where I could speak English every day. You know what, I got that chance in the best possible way. It all started at Ubuntu women mailing list when Jenny Shedd TeamSnap's recruiting consultant posted job vacancy for a Jr. Linux System Administrator. I had to apply. First of she told me: "Sorry we are only looking for people from US but I'll ask my boss." OK, I said thanks for a chance (didn't hope for anything.) But after several hours I got response: "We can test you if you are interested." ... Holy moly, of course I accepted. I didn't do quite well since my knowledge with servers administration was really low. Said to myself, nice, I wasted their and my time plus I embarrased myself.

Then the most positive mail I ever saw came from Wade Minter, he is a CTO at TeamSnap. Really encouraging mail not to give up and to continue learning. Of course I thanked the man but my curious nature had to ask if they offer internships for n00bs like me. I wasn't expecting anything because on previous interviews (in my country) people thanked me and that was it.... What a surprise it was when I got positive answer from Wade around internship and that's how it all started to roll.

Currently I have two weeks behind me at TeamSnap. Really cool company and people and great working environment. Do I have to mention that most of the technology they use is FLOSS technology? If you know me you will understand how happy that makes me --> big time because I can use free and open source software at work as well not only for personal stuff.

I know, I know this is an internship position and who knows what chances are there going to be after internship finishes but hey, this is a fantastic chance not to be missed but embraced with both hands. This is a chance to upgrade knowledge considering servers administration and FLOSS technology in general.

Oh yeah, once I get into a routine with the job I'll continue volunteering in FLOSS world with full strength. Now I decreased volunteering  because job is No. #1 and there is a lot to be learned.

For a conclusion,  Linus Torvalds said (and I can completely relate with that sentence): "I love the technology." Would add FLOSS technology :)

See'ya on the next post.