openSUSE.Asia Summit is an annual conference organized since 2014 every time in a different Asian city. Although it is a really successful event, which plays a really important role in spreading openSUSE all around the world, it is not an event everybody in openSUSE knows about. Because of that I would like to tell you about my experience attending the last openSUSE.Asia Summit, which took place on August 10-12 in Taipei, Taiwan.
This year, openSUSE.Asia was co-hosted with COSCUP, a major open source conference held annually in Taiwan since 2006, and GNOME.Asia. It was an incredible good organized conference with a really involved community and a lot of volunteers.
On August 11, we had the openSUSE community day at the SUSE office. We had lunch together and those who like beer (not me ) could try the openSUSE taiwanese beer. We also had some nice conversations. I especially liked the proposals during the discussion with the Board session to get both more students and mentors involved in the mentoring in Asia and to solve the translations problems. In the evening, we joined the COSCUP and GNOME community for the welcome party.
On Saturday and Sunday was when the conference itself took place. Specially the first day it was really crowded (with 1400 people registered! ) Both days and from early in the morning, there were several talks simultaneously, some of them in Chinese, about a wide range of FOSS topics. Appart from the opening and closing, I gave a talk about mentoring and how I started in open source. I am really happy that in the room there were a lot of young people, many of them not involved (yet) in openSUSE. I hope I managed to inspire some of them! In fact the conference was full of inspiring talks, remarkably:
The keynote by Audrey Tang, Taiwan’s Digital Minister, full of quotes to reflect on: When we see internet of things, let’s make it an internet of beings.
We are openSUSE.Asia emotive talk by Sunny from Beijing, in which she explained how her desire to spread open source in Asia took her to organise the first openSUSE.Asia Summit.
“The bright future of SUSE and openSUSE” by Ralf Flaxa, SUSE’s president of engineering, which surprised me because of being really different to other of his talks I have attended.
Simon motivating talk about his experience in open source, packaging and the board activities.
Apart from the talks, we had the BoF sessions on Saturday evening, in which we could get together surrounded by A LOT of pizza. In the session, there was a presentation of the two proposals for next year openSUSE.Asia Summit: India, with a really well prepared proposal, and Indonesia, whose team organized the biggest openSUSE.Asia Summit in 2016. There was also the exchange of the openSUSE Asia photo album, preserving the tradition that every organizing team should add some more pages to this album. It is getting heavy!
The conference ended with another tradition, the one day tour for speaker and organizers. We went to the National Palace Museum, to the Taipei 101 tower and to eat dumplings and other typical food. It was a great opportunity to get together in a different and fun environment.
As you see, we had a lot of fun at openSUSE.Asia Summit 2018. From a more personal point of view, I enjoyed a lot meeting our Chinese mentors I normally write emails to. I had also the chance to meet some members of the GNOME board, exchange with them experiences, problems and solutions, and discuss ways in which both communities can keep collaborating in the future. The conference was full of fun moments like seeing a pyramid of pizza (and a hundred of people making pictures to it) and being amused by someone wearing a Geeko costume with 35 degrees and 70% humidity.
To finish, this is what attendees said to liked the most about the conference in the closing session:
See you next year!
My name is Ana and I am mentor and organization admin for openSUSE at GSoC, openSUSE Board member, Open Build Service Frontend Engineer at SUSE and open source contributor in projects inside and outside openSUSE.
This blog post was also published in news.opensuse.org.