Celebrating KDE’s 22 years and embracing new contributors at LaKademy 2018

Almost two weeks ago we had the seventh edition of the LaKademy, an event that has been held in Brazil since 2012. As you may know LaKademy’s main goal is to get together the Latin American contributors of KDE community and to attract new ones. We don’t have talks like in Akademy because the event’s idea is to be a space for sprints. So people work in small groups doing specific tasks like fixing bugs, developing new features or translating software and documentation.

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LaKademy banner.

LaKademy 2018 was the biggest one so far. This year we had 23 participants of which 12 were newcomers. This is an impressive number of new people attending the event, the biggest number in all these years. We were very happy to have them all working with KDE projects in Florianópolis, an amazing island located in the South of Brazil.

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LaKademy 2018 group photo.

Among these new people we had a group from UFF (Universidade Federal Fluminense), a public university from Rio de Janeiro state, Brazil, who are working with KDE Edu project. One of them, Maria Edoarda, made an amazing pixel art of Konqi that was printed using a 3D printer we had there. That was a cute gift for the community in its 22th birthday ❤

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Edoarda proud of her pixel art.

Speaking of anniversary, we also had a cake to celebrate the date. We bought a traditional cake from the South of Brazil called “cuca” that we preferred to call “kuka” 🙂

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Kuka and Konqi 😀
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 The group celebrating 22th KDE birthday with a “kuka”.

During LaKademy I worked on the KDE timeline project that I’ve developed with Camila Ayres in 2016 for KDE 20 years celebration. The timeline was outdated and needed to have new info about the last two years added. So I made some changes like in the header to make this project follow the history of the community beyond the 20th anniversary. When I had the idea to create it my first thought was just use it for the celebrations of the 20th birthday, but now I think the project might be useful to keep a record about the evolution of our community.

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We’ve made konqi mugs for the attendees 🙂

There is a moment at the LaKademy where everybody participate of discussions about promo things like how to attract more users and contributors to the community, what should be our actions for the next year, which place we should choose for the next LaKademy. During our promo meeting this year we discussed the possibility of doing the event outside Brazil. This is an old idea and we’ve been trying to do this since the second edition.

The main obstacle that prevents us to do this is the cost of bringing everybody to another country. As we have the majority of the contributors in Brazil it’s cheaper for us just make the event here. On the other hand we need to connect with people from the others Latin American countries, otherwise the name of this event makes no sense. We do have people from outside Brazil attending LaKademy but they were never a high number. Bring the event to another country might help us to increase this participation.

As part of the anniversary celebrations we also went for a karaoke bar at night. That was one of the most funny moments of the LaKademy. This moment was a very nice opportunity to new and old contributors get to know each other better, have a break from the tiring routine of the sprints, and of course show their talent 😀

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Nerds just wanna have fun 😀
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LaKademy band ❤

Now our community have a person very good with communication and promo stuff and she is doing a very good job. Thank you, Barbara! She made this nice video to show the world some moments from LaKademy in 1 minute:

I would like to thank Patrick for his support in Florianópolis, organizing the event there and helping us with everything. I also wanna say thank you to the KDE e.V. that has been supported us all these years.

LaKademy is always a very reinvigorating moment for me, especially right now that Brazil is facing a difficult moment of growth of the far right and fascism. Being there with all these nice people sharing code but also sharing dreams and love is a form of resist to this wave of hate. I hope that more new people can come to this amazing event and see by themselves how is worth be in a friendly community like KDE. Happy 22 years, my community! ❤

Notes on the Akademy 2018

This year I attended to my fourth Akademy, the annual KDE summit.  The conference is always a good place to meet old and new KDE people. This year we had a lot of new faces showing up there, which is very good because new people might mean new ideas coming, more hands to work on KDE projects, and more mouths to spread our message 🙂 From Brazil we had three new contributors attending for the first time, Lays, Caio and Eliakin, from a total of eight Brazilians who participated this year. I think we can count with Tomaz and Helio although they are living in Germany 🙂

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Brazilian group at Akademy 2018.

As part of the conference program we had some good talks and the usual BoF’s (Birds of a Feather) sessions. This year, as part of our effort to get more people from Latin America to participate to LaKademy, the Latin American KDE Summit, we decided to host a BoF about KDE in America. Actually we were more interested in discuss with people from the three Americas about if we should try to make a big conference gathering all of us from South, North and Central America. We thought about a conference that could revive the Camp KDE and at the same time to get LaKademy outside of Brazil. Some possibilities were thought, like organize a conference in Cuba, Argentina, or in Colombia, because these are places where we might have local KDE teams to help with that. This is an idea that still needs to be matured, but the kick-off to thinking about a better integration of contributors in America has already been given.

In addition to BoF’s and talks, Akademy this year offered some trainings, which I thought was a great idea. The attendees could choose among four different trainings: Nonviolent Communication, Online Fundraising and Campaigning, Documentation writing for non-writers, and Public Speaking Training. Before the event I was very excited to participate in the non-violent communication training because I’ve been reading the Marshall Rosenberg’s book and enjoying to think of new forms of communications, especially a more empathetic one.

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Be able to communicate with people inside a big and diverse community like ours without using a violent language that provokes conflicts is a important goal that we should pursue as a community. The Akademy team is to be congratulated for having offered for us such a great opportunity to think and to practice non-violent communication in our context. I think we should have more this in the next Akademies. In my opinion, one of the ways we can attract more contributors to our community is making the environment even more friendly and the language we use to express ourselves is a very important part of this. So, to finish this post, I would like to say that my main highlight and insight from Akademy this year was think about empathy in our community. After all, for me Free Software it’s all about community <3.

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Akademy 2018 group photo.

Thank you all involved in make this community an amazing place to be!

 

 

 

LaKademy 2017: expanding horizons

On May 1, another edition of LaKademy, the Latin American KDE Summit, came to an end. This was the 5th edition of the event, which continues to attract new people interested in being part of the community. This time we had 6 beginners, which is a great number, considering that the event itself is small, since it is not an event of talks or courses, but a concentrated one, in the contribution sprint style.

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LaKademy 2017 group photo.

During 4 days we dedicate ourselves to work on projects of interest of each one. There were 17 attendees who were divided into promotion, translation, development and design tasks. I, for example, dedicated myself to finishing the LaKademy site, as well as working with community promotion and translation tasks.

The promo work was full time, since during the whole event I dedicated myself to posting on social networks, photographing the event and structuring LaKademy’s main dissemination vehicle, which is its website. As the event has already been happening for 5 years and is already consolidated, we thought it was about time to make a website for it. From the experience I had in building the Timeline KDE 20 years, I thought it would be fun and interesting to venture into building this site as well.

I chose to make a page in static HTML because the site would only function as a repository of information about the event editions. Nothing involving news or insertion of much information and requiring a robust system. When I arrived at the event, a good part of the site was ready, I just needed to make the page responsive to mobile devices and make the localization for Spanish and English.

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During the first day I worked on the site responsiveness, I made some changes in the layout so that it fits on mobile devices. In the desktop version, the site has a hover menu that clearly would not work well on touch screen devices. The solution was to configure it to become a clickable hamburger-style menu when the site was opened on phones and tablets. With Francisco Fernandes help, who made this part of the hamburger menu, the site can get a little more responsive.

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The problem is that since I had not used Bootstrap (which would have made my life a lot easier if it had been used from the beginning: D), when I added the language menu on the site this messed up the configuration that had been made from the hamburger menu 😦  In the end, the decision I just made was to give up static HTML and move on to something that is easier to organize and more automated. Farid Abdelnour has volunteered to help me do this using WordPress. Soon, therefore, we will have a more beautiful, responsive and more powerful LaKademy website 🙂

On the first day, beyond that work on the site I also had a meeting with the translation team that was present at the event: Fred, Bianca e Camila.  We gather to define the workflow for the restructuring of Vocabulário Padrão (Standard Vocabulary), an old project that existed here in Brazil and that we have been trying to recover since the last LaKademy. The idea was to upload the VP to the KDE infrastructure (which we were able to do during the event) and update its terms as we revise software and documentation translations of community projects.

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During the second and third days, I counted on the help of Fred, Bianca and Camila to translate the website pages to English. The idea is have the website available in 3 languages. The English version is already done and the next step is to ask for help from someone from the Spanish translation team to translate into that language.

Still on the third day, the long-awaited promo meeting took place in the morning. Everyone attends to it, regardless of the area. It is the moment of the event in which everyone joins efforts to contribute to the construction of strategies that aim to improve the dissemination and the reach of our community projects. It is also in it that we always discuss the location of the next LaKademy, receive proposals or already leave with the venue decided. This year we had 3 proposals (Curitiba, Belém and Florianópolis), which is very good, because it means that there are many people willing to organize the event 🙂

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On the fourth and last day I dedicated myself to reviewing some things of the website code, such as the links integrity and some translation parts. But the main work was done in promo. After the previous day’s meeting, where we discussed the need to restructure some things on the KDE Brazil website and how to improve information about our communication and contact channels, I dedicated myself to writing a text that presented the community the various ways through it could connect to the KDE group here in Brazil.

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A nice gif 🙂

In the end, we left the event with lots of cool ideas to put into practice and with the feeling that we are strengthening each LaKademy and bringing new and good people. It was tiring, but at the same time very pleasurable ❤

I would like to thank KDE e.V. for supporting (again) our work. To Fred, who hosted the event this year, as well as all attendees who contributed to the harmony and success of LaKademy 2017. See you in LaKademy 2018!

To see more event images, just visit our page on Flickr.

LaKademy 2017 just started!

The Latin America KDE Summit, LaKademy, just started today in Belo Horizonte, Minas Gerais, Brazil. The country is in the middle of a general strike, which I’m supporting, but the LaKademy couldn’t stop. We’ve been organizing this meeting for a year.

The event will last until May 1, Internacional Worker’s Day. This year LaKademy is celebrating its 5th edition. It’s a special time to celebrate our activities here in Latin America and keep up the work to attract more contributors to community.

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LaKademy stickers.

This edition we have 6 new people attending to LaKademy, it’s a great number considering that the summit have 16 people in total. We hope all of them can keep contribute with community and also bring more people too 🙂

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Almost everyone gathered, some will still arrive.

In these raining days here in BH (how people lovingly call the city), I intend to finish the LaKademy website and work with some translations stuffs. I also plan to do my usual work, which is to think in ways to spread the KDE word to the world :).

Stay tuned, I will post more news about the event soon.