This past week I had the pleasure of travelling to Budapest, Hungary to attend the Ubuntu Developer Summit (UDS) for Oneiric Ocelot. Even better, my wife and baby daughter came along (my other two children had the *ahem* pleasure of staying at home and going to school).
This trip marked a number of firsts:
- It was my first UDS as part of the Platform Services team (I attended previous summits as part of the QA team)
- It was my first time in Budapest (and Hungary)
- It was my first time flying with “budget” airline Jet2
Let’s dive into these in reverse order.
Jet2 does the typical budget airline trick of advertising extremely low prices, and then hiking them as you actually try to book a realistic trip. In my case, I just wanted to get from Manchester to Budapest without transferring. The rest of it was organised by Canonical’s travel agent, so I had no interest in the choice of airline.
However, we were pleasantly surprised (especially compared to our trip to Dallas earlier this year with American Airlines). The planes were clean and comfortable, all staff incredibly helpful (I suspect our baby daughter helped get people on side) and the whole experience a lot better than we expected. We would happily fly with them again.
Budapest was an interesting place, but not somewhere I’d rush to visit again. The hotel was fantastic, but the city itself was less so. I can’t put my finger on it, we just didn’t enjoy it as much as Prague last year.
UDS itself was its usual, hectic, draining-but-rewarding experience (and it’s been a while since I attended one). As I mentioned, this was my first as part of Platform Services, and the attention on certification related topics was significant. Sessions that were basically just the certification team at previous summits were standing room only this time. Even our daily roundtable was packed out!
Our big push this cycle is the Ubuntu Friendly community hardware validation programme that will enable all Ubuntu users to help identify and promote hardware that works (well) with Ubuntu. I thoroughly enjoyed leading the various discussions around the programme, and the feedback we’ve had from the community has been overwhelming positive so far. Now we just need to make it happen!
Other highlights for me were the numerous design-related sessions that I attended, a number of the lighting talks on Friday, the “how do we pronounce Oneiric” improv session during Mark’s keynote, and the random Ubuntu user I met in the lift who just happened to be staying in the hotel - the sight of ~500 Ubuntu developers/users was a bit overwhelming for them!
One big realisation for though was how much my (non-certification-related) contributions to the Ubuntu community have dropped off in my time at Canonical. Hopefully I can do something about that this cycle too.