Well, as everyone probably knows we’ve got coming up in December the North American edition of the always joyous Fedora Users and Developers Conference (FUDCon) in Toronto, Canada. And with that comes the somewhat less joyous task of figuring out how we can squeeze the maximum number of Fedora contributors into the available budget.
With this FUDCon we are operating under two additional constraints not found at the previous Boston-area FUDCons:
- We need to ship a bunch of gung-ho community members from Boston to Toronto.
- We don’t have anyone picking up the tab for FUDPub at this point.
The combination of those two needs colliding makes for a pretty hefty tab. But we’re still looking for suggestions of people who’d be able to benefit from, and add substantially to, the FUDCon experience. If you or someone you know wants to go to FUDCon and you’re looking for a subsidy, you can indicate that on the FUDCon preregistration signup. So how do we contain costs and still have a great event?
For one thing, Tom “Spot” Callaway and I began working last January, right after the Boston FUDCon in fact, to secure extra funding. That pot of money would help cover the costs of transporting Fedora Engineering team members to a not-Boston location. That way, we could bring some long-time Fedora contributors who are Red Hat employees to the event without requiring as much funding from the normal FUDCon funding provided by Community Architecture. But we’re also using some other strategies.
To combat problem #1, we are hiring a bus that will pick up in Boston and Westford, where Red Hat has an office, and then drive on to Toronto on Friday, December 4, and arrive that night; and provide a return home on Tuesday, December 8. We can save a lot in airfare by paying for a single bus — not to mention arguably decreasing our carbon footprint for the event.
We plan to maximize the cost and environmental effectiveness by packing as many people on it as possible. And this bus is NOT limited to Red Hat employees. If you’re in the Boston area and you want to catch a ride to Toronto, you’re welcome — but you do need to sign up on our bus list, in addition to pre-registering.*
The tougher problem that we as a community have the option to solve, though, is problem #2. We have no co-sponsor at this point for the always-popular FUDPub, which eats directly into the budget as well. Do you know a group that might be interested in the opportunity of a FUDCon co-sponsorship? If so, let us know, and soon! The sponsorship page on the wiki has details.
We already have a great partner in Seneca College, which is donating a huge amount of classroom space for our event. One of Seneca’s professors, and the esteemed author of a couple of excellent books you might want to check out, Chris Tyler, also has devoted significant time to helping us with ground-level logistics like the hotel, FUDPub, and other arrangements. I’ll mention this again a few times between now and December, but if you run into him at FUDCon in Toronto, make sure you give him a big hug and a “thank you.” We really could not have done it without him.
Back to the sponsorship issue though — how to let us know? Well, it’s simple, really. We didn’t want FUDCon planning to happen quietly in a back room where people wouldn’t know what was happening, so we have a planning list for FUDCon already set up, and a pretty sizable number of people are contributing there to the logistics of setting up this popular event. If you want to provide some help, by all means join us there!