Fedora @ SCaLE 21x 2024

Originally published at: https://communityblog.fedoraproject.org/scale-21x-2024/

Our ambassadors delivered support, outreach, and swag items via Fedora @ SCaLE 21x Linux Conference – a 2024 community event.

At a Glance

  • What: A community-run open-source and free software conference in Pasadena, California
  • Where: Pasadena Convention Center
  • When: 14 – 17 March 2024

Our Team in the Field

This reports the activities of the following Ambassadors / Red Hatters at the Fedora @ SCaLE 21x Linux Conference:

What is SCaLE 21x?

The SCaLE (The Southern California Linux Expo) community Linux event delivered an iconic experience with four days of open source training, exhibits, and general presentations. This year’s conference took place in Pasadena (Los Angeles) area.

This expo drew worldwide guests to discuss AI, Linux, security, embedded, IoT, and more. The Conference Chair, Mr. Ilan Rabinovitch, and Technical Committee Chairperson, Owen Delong paved the way for a smooth registration.

Conference Highlights

Fedora @ SCaLE 21x Linux Conference – Ready, Set, Go!

Justin Flory arranged and shipped hand-selected swag and marketing items to Brian Monroe. Items include: pens, stickers, commuter mugs, badge ribbons, badge lanyards, and more.

Furthermore, the ambassadors gathered up supplies for the conference.

Day 1: Thursday 14 March

Red Hatter Brian Proffitt carefully delivered our marketing notebook system.

In addition, Perry brought the following:

  • Dry-board markers
  • Dry-board flipchart easel
  • Opportunity drawing tickets
  • Leftover ribbons, mini-swag from 19x event
  • Safety scissors
  • Gaffers tape
  • Glue
  • And more!

Some of our ambassadors travelled in the morning, to catch earlier events and workshops. Others, however, arrived later to factor in traffic.

We met in the exhibit hall to check out the booth and to discuss strategy. Henceforth, we thought about our discussions and engagement to attract visitors. In contrast to SCaLE 20x, our booth was some distance away from the Red Hat booth.

The booth did not receive any free-standing banners this year. Thus, aside from our table cover, swag, and flip chart, we had few items to work with which had large Fedora branding. Soon, we discovered that some guests had initial challenges trouble locating our booth.

Upon dropping things off, some of us reconvened at the KWAAI Summit, new for 2024. Matt Small, Reza Rassool, Román Pineda, Khai Pham, John Willis, and others closed out the the event with an engaging Q&A, introductions, wrap up, and reception, for example.

Afterwards, Fedora joined the Red Hat and CentOS teams and others for a meal at the Yard House.

Day 2: Friday 15 March

Checking in on the other variants…

Alejandro and I set out for breakfast Friday and discussed booth and expo plans for the days ahead. Eventually, we headed off to the NixCon track co-located in SCaLE 21x to learn about Nix. We were surprised to find a very packed workshop.

Booth Setup

After a brief look into these OSes, we returned to the Expo Hall to begin putting our booth together. For example, Scott arrived to install a notebook system that he configured with Flatpak pinball game running atop Universal Blue.

Next, Perry set up a Fedora flip chart and pasted in a handy QR that Alejandro generated for guests to claim a Fedora badge. Then, Alejandro later wrote in our Fedora scheduled talks, which was handy for guests to take pictures of as they stopped by. Concurrently, Brian strategically set up swag items and carefully routed power within the booth.

Perry later stopped by the Red Hat booth to help raise the 5-person banner. It’s not heavy, however, but it is awkward and difficult to stand up with fewer than 5-people in attendance.

What an Exhibit at Fedora @ SCaLE 21x Linux Conference

At 10am, the Exhibit Hall opened. As a result, we had a steady stream of community throughout the reminder of the conference. Then, we took turns for breaks from time to time; however, as we were down a person, things felt a bit busier this year. We definitely missed not having Iván Chavero there.

We greeted approximately 400+ this day.

One of the many highlights from today was discovering a vending machine that dispenses temporary VMs. The buttons were quite amusing.

At length, a few of us met up with Red Hat, CentOS, at El Portal Restaurant for dinner.

Subsequently, we met up with Red Hat and CentOS later at Barney’s Beanery to enjoy karaoke and merriment.

Day 3: Saturday 16 March

Specifically, Brian Monroe, Scott, and Perry met up early Saturday morning to go over slide logistics for our Exploring Immutable Linux Desktops with Fedora presentation later that day. Afterward, we caught up with Alejandro at the booth to continue engaging with guests and greeted approximately 500+ this day.

Perry dropped in on a Digital Art / Krita open-source application workshop that went over how the fundamentals of using this tool. They gave pointers on how they use the app in their workflow, for instance.

We also held opportunity drawings throughout the week to beckon more booth interest. Indeed, this proved a success. 40+ people stopped by for each draw.

Comparatively, Perry, Brian Monroe, and Scott later delivered their presentation to 45+ guests.

Thereafter, we re-joined Alejandro to finish up meeting our community at the booth for the expo day. We ate a late linner at the Dog Haus to reflect on the week’s events.

Soon, SCaLE 21x held their annual game night event. Next, we reunited with friends and associates to catch up and enjoy.

Day 4: Sunday 17 March

All of us packed up our rooms early Sunday. Naturally, Alejandro and I re-joined up at the Cordova Cafe for breakfast.

Consequently, we made our way over to the Exhibit Hall to finish up a final day with guests. Altogether, we had a little breather to visit the CentOS booth and say hello.

The final exhibit day brought in about 250 guests to our booth. Following, our team packed up the booth for transport.

Ultimately, to complete a fine Sunday, we attentively listened to an excellent closing keynote provided by Bill Cheswick.

Suggestion / Feedback Box Items for Fedora @ SCaLE 21x Linux Conference

In addition, we had a booth sign-in sheet for visitors to help collect feedback and suggestions about Fedora and related efforts.

From data compiled, we summarize these key highlights:

  • Marketing: Many requests for Fedora new logo swag and shirts. Could use stuffed animals, socks, or something different, USB stick. More creative ideas, sticker ideas (hex are popular), floor banners with new logo, DEI stickers were very popular. Portable swag (small and travel-ready) is great for travelers.
  • Marketing: One guest suggested a Fedora merch store where community could purchase Fedora logo swag/stickets/items. Above all, proceeds ideally would funnel back to Fedora community where needed.
  • Cross: One Debian guest continues prefers Debian for consistency, but wouldn’t mind using Fedora if a consistent spin was available. Potentially opportunity for immutable education or Debian/Ubuntu/NixOS etc. to Fedora presentations.
  • Info: Another Debian guest wanted to know key differences between Debian and Fedora. Ultimately, potential opportunity for explainer or migrating presentation or Why Use Fedora vs. ________?
  • Usage: One mentioned they are a Rawhide user.
  • Info: One requested more information about NeuroFedora. In other words, clearer information about what it is and the status of that Special Interest Group (SIG). Explainer card might be helpful at the booth.
  • Usage: One guest enjoys QT packages with DX build.
  • Licensing/Booth Info: One guest wanted clearer definition of the licensing relationship and sponsorship between Fedora / RHEL, if any.
  • Fedora Activity Day: It might be advantageous for Fedora to identify an organizer for a Fedora Activity Day (or two). For example, possible topics include: Debian to Fedora, command-line, Gnome, KDE, Immutable, Ambassadoring, Why Use Fedora vs. X?, etc.
  • Other: Changes for CentOS and Red Hat were points of concern and confusion for some guests.
  • Comm: Connect with Universal Blue folks, Lutris, Nobaro (sp?). Bazzite quality badges
  • Booth: Engagement with community at the table, opportunity drawing seems to be a success. Let’s get people in the front door of Fedora…for SCaLE 22x, provide challenge or engaging gimmick.

Fedora 39 specific suggestions/comments:

  • Usage: Runs great on Dell Lat 7390
  • Usage: It’s awesome
  • Usage: (I) want to try it!
  • Marketing/Immutable/Porting: Cool retro (pinball) demo [at SCaLE 21x]
  • Thank You/Derivative: Ultramarine user says thank you for Fedora.
  • Thank You/Support: Thank you for Data Transit (GTFS) support
  • Magic Wormhole and Fedora are great. Ultimately, we referred this guest to Matthew Miller.
  • One guest tracking 39 and 40 Beta packaging and kernel. Definitely, this visitor expressed interest in helping with general or immutable. Additionally, we referred this guest.

In conclusion, we look forward to seeing you at next year’s SCaLE!

Snaps from Fedora @ SCaLE 21x Linux Conference

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Great writeup, thanks! Happy to see some faces in person, though I did not manage to make any of the Fedora meals

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Hey, just doing my (rare) Fedora Discussion checkin and noticed this, that was me, I’m a maintainer of Ultramarine. Glad y’all remembered it, and than you again :3

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