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GNUnify 2014

Posted by priyanka nag on 11:27 AM in , , ,
This was my third GNUnify in a row as a participant....and the second one as an organizer. Being a student of SICSR and a member of PLUG, GNUnify is somehow way more than just another conference....its MY conference. Everything about GNUnify is a bit too special for me.

The GNUnify fever gets on all the organizers right from December, but this time, being away from college (because of my job)....I did catch the fever a bit late ;)
Right from 7th of Feb, right from a week before the commencement of the event, I went to college almost every evening; to jump into the excitement of GNUnify preparation. Its very difficult to explain others how we get this passion for the so called EXTRA work after office, but we who live it...just LOVE it!
GNUnify is of-course way more to me than just the Mozilla Dev rooms. This year, the Mozilla Dev rooms were a tough job though...due to the lack of budget.
The last MozCafe meeting that we had before GNUnify was a tricky one. Planning an event like GNUnify with "0" budget is not easy (rather its not possible)....someone we did manage it well with little spending from our own pockets :P



Day one was planned to be a bit different this year. We tried out 'the booth format' (instead of one to one talks, we had project tables (kind of booths) for as many Mozilla projects as we could. There were project experts in each booth) instead of the normal tracks. It wasn't much of a success though. There were several reasons behind the failure of this format on Day one:
  • Lack of a proper space- The space provided wasn't exactly a suitable structure for booths.
  • Improper crowd management - When in a technical conference, we never like to wait. Initially our booths were sooo much crowded that people had to wait outside the room which eventually ended up in us losing them.
  • Improper publicity- Somehow, the entire booth format wasn't well advertised to our audience. The people who visited the Mozilla rooms expected the traditional tracks and were disappointed not to find them.

A glimpse of the MDN booth on Day I


Day two went much better. On this day, we had several different tracks like: Webmaker, MDN, Localization, Privacy & Security, Rust, Firefos OS, Reps and FSA. Things went better than expected here. There were sessions like Firefox OS where we had to send some of our audience away due to the lack of sitting space in the Dev rooms.

A few very important learning from GNUnify 2014:
  • For any Open Source conference, using Windows OS while making a presentation should be strictly avoided. The Mozillians had to face some criticism as some of our speakers forgot this rule of thumb.
  • A little more coordination is required within the team...mainly in situation where we have limited resources and a huge responsibility, everyone needs to understand their role well.
GNUnify 2014 was a good show...though there are obviously some immense chances of improvements. Hopefully 2015 will be even better :)




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