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Codemotion! C4P! -4 to go.

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Curtains down on FOSSDEM and a new show is already ready to go!

Yesterday I went to the first Codemotion Techmeetup @Luissenlabs, a centre of excellence as start-ups Accelerator in Rome.

After almost an year far from home, it has been a good opportunity to meet some old good friends, among others Paola  “wonderpaolastra”  Santoro, from GGD-Rome, to whom we talked about Women in tech.

Born from the experience of Javaday, Codemotion is the event open to all (open) languages and technologies. The Italian stage of international tour will be held in Rome, from 9 to 12 April… If you’ll be around it could be interesting come and say “Hello!”. I attended a couple of editions, and I had a talk about Ubuntu some times ago, but I think nowadays Mara Marzocchi and Chiara Russo, the founders couple, gave to the event a more business oriented perspective.

Networking, Gaming and Hackhaton for a conference sponsored by Google, Oracle, Microsoft, IBM, with the participation of international speakers and a huge space for Communities.

C4P is still open till 9 Febrary, and I’m wondering to submit. And you?

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GUADEC GUADEC!

It’s always very exciting have the opportunity to meet face to face people you’re used to deal with on IRC or via mail.

I knocked on GNOME’s door in autumn and I need to say that this choice changed my life: I met some very valuable persons which let me step-in GNOME circle of trust. And that’s great!

And now… GUADEC is coming, and I’ll attend for my very first time!

I do thanks Travel Committee to have accepted my request of sponsorship and GUADEC papers committee to have accepted my talk in which I’ll present my work about outreaches.

And, of course all the friends who supported me during last months!

But much stuff is cooking… Don’t miss incoming news!

Can’t wait to meet you all in Brno!

Cheers,

Flavia

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The humble leader

Recently a company I know has chosen as a new leader of one of his most important project a very arrogant person.
I had the opportunity to work with him some times ago, and all the people that met him agree with me about his arrogance.
This man has indubitably a great know-how, he’s brilliant and talented for his work (but maybe less than others) but he is very able to increase his self-branding.
He built in times an image of solid professional, built not on his 20 years experience but on his bad temperament, on his arrogance, his language often remarkable when not openly rude.

The question is: he’s been chosen because or despite his bad temperament?

Some times ago I read an interesting story: a leader of a great company asked to a marketing guru if the fact his company wasn’t as big as Apple depended on he was an humble leader.
The answer was that Apple was a big company in spite of Jobs’ bad temperament.

In the highly controversial Good to Great book, the author, James C. Collins examines the performance over 40 years of 11 companies that became great.
The first of seven characteristics of companies that went “from good to great” is to have an inspired but humble leader.

Although many companies and many project have a strong leader, in my mind the my way or the highway approach is located just a step away from Godfather’s style.

I believe that a leader ought to be flexible, to be a good listener and not only a screaming monkey, he should be ready to learn from his mistakes, he should be aware to be not perfect, but perfectible.
In a nutshell, a good leader is charismatic and inspiring but refuses to be bossy.

A good example of charismatic humble leader is without doubt Mr. Barack Obama, a bossy leader is – unfortunately – Mr Silvio Berlusconi.

To be driven to do what’s best for the company, to be enthusiastic and crowd enchanter is quite different from state own authority with arrogance: in my humble opinion, a bad temperament often could hide skills and talents or – worse – cover a lack of them.

In reverse, an overweening attitude, very often shows an inner weakness and a intimate need to be reassured that immediately ceases when that leader lost his/her power.

That said, if mostly researches demonstrate that good-to-great leaders, it turns out, are humble, why so many bully leader there around?

Be inspiring. Don’t be overwhelming. Be a leader.

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Outreach report (part II)

During the first part of my OPW, I spent much of my time in investigating the issues newcomers could encounter in approaching FOSS. Results of my work, are available here.
Starting form these results, I’ve spent some time in second part of my internship in studying how to apply what I’ve discovered in the GNOME environment.
I’ve tried to provide some answers to the questions I met: I share with you the result of my work.

Classification of newcomers.

I’ve try out that newcomers could be generally set in three type:

Type A: Enthusiastic

An Enthusiastic newcomer is a great passionate of GNOME, is a GNOME user and generally decides to use some of his time to give a hand.
He has not a well established idea about what he can do, but he wants to contribute.
Probably he’ll start to follow as much ML as he can, join IRC channel, proposing himself for every task.
What he really needs is a guide not only a Mentor, but someone who can address him to the right team,   supply some indication about guidelines and more important, give him some task to do, that could help him to perfectly feel himself as a part of community.

Risks and potentialities: An Enthusiastic newcomer is proud to serve the project he chose, is very participative, but his outburst risks to burn away and fall very quickly, if he doesn’t find the right way to  take part of community.

Type B: Passionate

A Passionate newcomer is a volunteer provided of some experience in GNOME world.
He could be a GNOME user, and very often he came from other FOSS projects.
He desires offer his capabilities and some amount of his time in developing some specific part of project.
What he really needs is to find well defined task to do and some people who could steer him in early days.

Risks and potentialities: A Passionate newcomer is usually a professional who has little time to spend, but can offer a significant know-how. Generally his contribute is not daily, but often very relevant and long-lasting.

Type C: Technician

A Technician newcomer approach a community bringing a great experience.
Usually he has a technical background and is a first class citizen in FOSS world.
Coder or not coder, he has a great familiarity with community tools.
What he really needs is to find well written documentation and guidelines, and some project in which he cans easily take part.

Risks and potentialities: whatever be the know-how brought by a Technichian newcomer, it will be valuable; the main risks involve only the capability of newcomer to integrate his knowledge to work-flow.

Howdy, newcomer!

A very relevant issue we should take in consideration, is how a newcomer joins GNOME.
My personal opinion is through IRC Channels.
A direct contact is always the best, IMHO, but IRC Channels can’t be enough to provide detailed info.
This should be the role of gnome.org/ gnome.org/get-involved/ pages.
I’ve been really pleased to notice that design renewal of the site occurred for GNOME 3.8 released highlights Discover GNOME3, FoG Campaign and Get Involved project.

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But Get involved page is maybe a little confusing.

So, what do you want to do?

This question perfectly fits needs of Type B and Type C newcomers, but type A?
Very often a Type A newcomer doesn’t know what he wants to do, maybe he barely is aware of what he is able to do.
“Hi, I’m a FOSS passionate, I’m not able to code, I’ve a good command with writing and I speak a good English. What can I do?”

I’m sure every translation team leader is smiling 🙂

I’ve a long searched a graphical way to immediately depict if skills and team requests match via comparison tables or similar tools, but I didn’t find a good solution.

quicken-comparison-table-1

GNOME has a great initiative, GNOME love, but how can I find some info about GNOME love in Get involved page? At the very bottom of this page.

GNOME Love

I’ve browsed through many FOSS pages and their “Get involved” pages are very similar to each other.
I believe we should give more relevance to all the GNOME love initiative: GNOME love logo should be put in evidence on the upper part of “Get involved page” (I’ve tried to draw some mock up but it wasn’t really remarkable) and immediately has to catch newcomers focus.

Are you just arrive? Take a look to our GNOME Love program for newcomers!

GNOME Love pages, in my opinion, should be a very easy page, with a large use of Icons referring to each team, the name, mail and or nick of some referents for each project, a IRC channel (if present) and some quick info about most common used programs, technologies and tools.

Something like this http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/apps or like https://developer.apple.com/programs/ios/

GNOME Love pages should furthermore provide easy to use samples and tutorials like these  (and don’t forget translation!) which could be integrated and represent an effective starting point.

Conclusions.

I’m not pretty sure of which solution works as a charm to encourage newcomers outreach in GNOME Community; I can’t be sure that my proposals will be realized or perfectly match with GNOME lacks, I hope nevertheless they could be useful, in some ways.

I believe that every newcomer who becomes a volunteer and maybe a Member is a great achieve of whole community, GNOME Community, and FOSS Community.
Sometimes it’s hard, because newcomers are often very demanding and mentors are always too busy, but I believe it’s worth trying.
This is my last post as GNOME OPW intern, and if this internship has been so exciting, I have to say thanks to my mentors, Karen and Sriram, but to all the people I’ve met during last three months.

My OPW internship is over, but my work in GNOME is going ahead.

With love,

Flavia 🙂

 

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Ubuntu Open Week!

It has been a very hard work, but finally I’ve completed to write down the core of my first session on Ubuntu Open Week!
Tommorow at 16:00 UTC, if you like, you’ll find me talking about Ubuntu Women Project.
I’m very excited, other teachers are great and I hope to do a good job too.
I want to thank Cheri Francis that give me the opportunity to challenge myself in this occasion and the whole team of Ubuntu Women to be so inspiring!

Just the time of a night and then let’s pack everything to reach UDS!
This week I’ll be really Ubuntu addicted!

See you in CPH!

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Hi Copenhagen!

Really too much time has passed since last time I wrote something on this blog, but now it’s time to catch the pen again and write to share a great news: for the first time I’ll be able to attend to next UDS! WOW!

It’s really exciting to me finally to have the opportunity to meet in person all the people that works behind the great community called Ubuntu, and especially I’m very proud to be there to meet all that women that in these years are been so inspiring to me, and now gave me their trust asking to be Ubuntu Women co-leader, with Silvia Bindelli, of course.

It all happened suddenly… a pizza at Trastevere and a indefeasible invitation :«Do you want to attend to the UDS? You can stay by my home».

What could I respond? «Ohhhh yes!!!! Thank you so much!»
So saturday 27th I’m leaving, with Luca Ferretti of course 🙂

What also can I say?

Life sometimes is strange, and things simply happen…