I recently got the chance to be an Akademy attendee, and the experience was fantastic. It was the first time I would travel out of India for a FOSS conference, and I was excited as hell for getting a word of support from the Akademy team for helping me by funding the travel and accomodation. Thanks to KDE for making it possible for me to travel from India and meet my GSoC mentor and other hackers from the international KDE Community at large.
Akademy is the annual world summit of the KDE community, which includes artists, organizers, evangelists and developers of KDE software. This year it was hosted at the beautiful city of La Coruña in Galicia, Spain. The first day, 25th July, featured the lightening talk by Jan about Trojitá which demoed the loading of a half-a-million messages large mailbox in about 15 seconds, and spoke about the works in progress and roadmap. Another lightening talk that I liked was the one that taught how to deal with jerks by Jens, "your work is bad and you should feel bad". The references to Futurama characters made it even more relatable, while Jens is a very engaging speaker already.
The second day was as packed with great talks as the previous day, and was flagged off by Lydia's keynote Evolving KDE, also followed by a BoF session later that gave everybody a chance to voice their vision for KDE. Trojitá uses Gerrit for continuous integration/patch reviewing and while there were many sessions around Phabricator as well, Jan spoke about how Gerrit makes life easier for the Trojitá maintainer in his talk.
The second day also concluded the main conference, so we had the photo session amidst drizzling rain (Galicia has hundreds of names to describe different types of rains) and the annual award ceremony too.
Original picture here.
Certificates were open to be signed by community members, which is an excellent way to symbolize how KDE is a community more than any other kind of organization. Congratulations to winners:
Best Application: Milian Wolff and the KDevelop team for their work on KDevelop
Best Non-Application: Jens Reuterberg & the Visual Design Group for The Breeze interface design
Jury's Award: Albert Vaca for the KDE Connect application
Jury's Award: Scarlett Clark for her work advancing the continuous integration infrastructure to more platforms and module
The organizing team at the university were majorly volunteers of the foss club called GPUL and they got an award for organization, for the relentless hard work they put and pulled off such a large scale event out of university. :D
The remaining days at Akademy were planned BoFs or mostly time spent in the hacking area, apart from this one day I spent almost two hours and all subsequent nights at the Sliding Block puzzle game (who said GCompris is for kids? Try level 13 ;). I really got excited about projects like KDE Connect, WikiFM and spent time speaking with their developers. It'd be great to spend some free time (I am soon going to get some days off work) on these projects.
Tuesday we had a great terrace party hosted at Terraza which brought the other sides of all us geeks when everybody made use of the unlimited drinks, gorged on finger food and danced together.
It was really an ice breaking session for most of us, and also when the Indian group started getting comfortable with the rest. Here's a pic of Alex with those of us from Kde India.
The next day we had the day trip, and we went to the Aquarium Finisterrae and then to the Tower of Hercules. Pictures speak :)
We sure made a lot of new friends, apart from putting a face to the names we worked with earlier, via IRC and emails. Here's a pic from the Airport while leaving A Coruña.
A huge kudos to the team at GPUL for pulling off such a great event and thanks to KDE e.v. and the whole KDE Community for such a great experience. Special mention to GPUL for the stickers to take back home. :)
And this was the last mediterrainian sunset, before I left Spain for India. :)
All these pictures are clicked by myself, from my Google Nexus 5. I am waiting for more pictures from Jan and Jigar, who were surely better equipped than me. Pictures aggregated so far can be found at the Akademy Photos page.
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