GNOME Asia 2019

I feel very emotional and excited while sharing my first ever GNOME+ FOSS + International conference experience with you all.

So let’s get started.

Before starting my journey I was really nervous as I never traveled outside my homeland, I was travelling alone, I am a pure vegetarian and I am someone who fear air travel πŸ˜₯Β  (but not anymore :p)

Speaker 😎 , Loved the Design Team’s Work !

So, firstly and foremost I would like to thanks a lot lot lot lot …… to local committee for making everything smooth and already planned for the guests and speakers. You folks did a lot of hard work, were awake till late nights to make sure next day goes alright and what not. The local committee was so so helpful and gracious that they arranged us an 45 KM+ far Airport pickup, Awesome venue, Lunch (And for me I was vegetarian they took care of that also) , and I think almost everyday at the conference there was some sort of Dinner party organized by them, the city tour, great swags, lots of love and support.

It’s the people of Indonesia and local team which made all of my fear went away as soon as I entered the Indonesian land.

From local team, I can’t remember all the names but those I remember I would love to share Mr. Andik , Mr. Ahmad Haris, Mr. Kukuh ,Mr. Jordan, Mr. Mohammad Fadhil, Mr. Firdaus etc …. To me personally now it feels like I left a family back there and I miss you all ! Everyone of you were really friendly and made us feel at home 😭 

Day 0,

There was inauguration ceremony, and later on Newcomer’s workshop πŸ™‚ , I took sometime to figure out the huge campus and missed a bit from the starting half of the day 😦 , When I arrived the next schedule was for Newcomer’s workshop which was organized by Felipe, Me and Sajeer Ahmad. Sadly Felipe wasn’t able to attend the conference but he kindly took time out and was available online helping us out the whole time.

Our workshop was for 3 hrs which was like the only thing apart from the other workshop parallel to ours that day.

In this workshop we had quite a good amount of attendees where some came from far off distances like 200+ KM which made me feel more excited and honored about organizing it.

I talked about the GNOME application projects which are a good way to start, newcomers wiki, Introduction to Git concepts, Role of IRC for a newcomer, our Gitlab infrastructure, GNOME builder πŸ₯° , code reviews etc.

Audience was fairly new to GNOME technologies, FOSS development and internet was not so fast at that location so it became a bit hard for us to solve and solve issues then and there, So I took another approach and demonstrated them how to solve bugs using my development setup and some of the bugs which were already solved and were easily visible in our gitlab, this also gave me a chance to explain how to submit patches on gitlab and how discussion look like there.

I also got a chance to explain them about Git as my friend Exalm once pointed out during newcomers IRC discussions long time ago that ‘It’s a common problem for newcomers where they forget to fork projects’, so I took this chance and explained concepts of Forking, Branching, Merge Requests, Cloning, etc which can give them a boost towards submitting their first patch πŸ™‚

In the workshop I also took a chance to make students aware about programs like GSOC, GNOME coding education challenge, Outreachy, etc. In the end I told them for a student FOSS not only has rewarding opportunities like internships and jobs but most importantly you get a lot of learning. When you as a student get to work with highly skilled people working as an experts in their fields the learning you will get is enormous. And for me personally the most important thing is I get to hangout with amazing folks πŸ™‚

Sajeer contributed to GStreamer side, so he took a chance to explain newcomers on how they can contribute there. (More to follow about that in his post :p )

So in short a lot happened in newcomers workshop πŸ˜‰

Thanks a lot to Felipe who kept mentoring us online and helped us from very start.

I was really nervous without having him around and this was my first ever workshop :/ , but at last I feel good now that it went more good then I we all imagined.

I met Andre Kalpper , Kiki from Mozilla foundation, Mr. Khairul Aizat and his lovely little son, Bin Li, Haris, Franklin, Mr. Enoki , and lots of amazing people which was a really amazing and lovely experience for me. πŸ™‚

Day 1,

This day, I attended talks but mostly talked a lot with folks in the speakers room πŸ˜‰

The talk which I loved the most was on “Running linux on PS4” by Mr. Iwan S.

In the speakers room, I looted Kiki’s Mozilla swags πŸ˜‚ , she is really sweet and was kind enough to share her swags with every one πŸ™‚ , I plan to spread the swags among my local community.

The most inspiring thing which I learnt from the whole trip was Mr. Iwan’s story. My eyes still shine like a baby’s eyes listening what he achieved and how well he’s ready to share back to community.

Mr. Iwan is sponsor from which is a local Indonesian brand having products in footwear. But to my surprise he was not just sponsor he was a speaker also. And he had a really amazing story.

He told me that he has saved 30 K USD just by adopting FOSS in his company per year in departments like designing, office suites and Operating systems. He also helped publishing one designing book for Inkscape in local language which was phenomenal.

Hearing from someone that they have saved thousands of dollars in their business in person is amazing 🀯 , but what’s super amazing is that the guy is in front of you and is giving a lot back to community not just by sponsorship but by actively participating in entire conference. Plus his humility and kindness, I am simply a fan of fans now 😌

Now I feel even more proud working for FOSS πŸ₯³Β 

Mr Iwan and Me :p

During the conference I certainly made lots of friends, I mostly enjoyed hanging out with Andre and Haris, Andre also share some of his own farm grown apples back there which I would never forget, I never had such amazing apples tbh. thanks a lot for that Andre!

Haris was absolutely amazing guy, I never felt he is some guy whom I met 2 days back, instead I felt like he’s a friend from years. We talked on lots of things from community in Indonesia , his love for guitars to Him being a supreme leader :p , his family, his company, open source, ….. to him helping me figure out vegetarian options there.

Haris with his lovely daughter πŸ˜‹

Day 3,

It was amazing keynotes and talks, I loved the talk by Haris and Mr. Khairul Aizat where he explained the plan to have next GNOME Asia in Malaysia πŸ˜‰

For me my biggest takeaway from the conference is,

FOSS is about people, community, freedom and code. I personally really loved the people part of it. People like Haris, Jordan, Andik, Kukuh etc etc from Indonesia are simply amazing infact everyone there is so respectful, friendly, helpful, cheerful …. I just don’t have words to describe.

Hospitality of Indonesia is simply great! , FOSS community is great you will enjoy a lot lot more when you will hang around with people in person! πŸ˜‡

(There is really a lot left for me to say, I just can’t cover everything up in words it was truly amazing experience for me and I see a lot of great potential and strength in FOSS community back in Indonesia! )

I would like to thank GNOME Foundation for sponsoring my travel. It was such a great pleasure to see everyone in person and I hope to meet everyone more and more!

6 thoughts on “GNOME Asia 2019”

  1. We could have shared some travel tips πŸ™‚ Being a vegan myself, and a recurrent traveler, I can’t help but think you’d be much less frightened of traveling as a vegetarian had we talked before πŸ™‚

    GNOME events, though, are usually safe spaces for us: we’re never left out, no matter which lifestyle, dietary choice, gender, origin, etc, we are or chose to be. It’s a truly respecting community!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. @Georges, yes totally we could have shared tips! , sadly I had not been granted the fortune to meet you :(, I tried to come at GUADEC this year twice but I was not granted visa. Hope to meet you in person maybe in next GUADEC!!!
      Plus my parents sent me packed with 15 KG of food :), so I managed everything out :p , But I can’t agree less on the fact that community is great and you will always feel safe there. Cheers!


  2. > It’s a common problem for newcomers where they forget to fork projects’,

    Heh, that was a long time ago. I don’t remember now, but IIRC the newcomer steps didn’t mention forking project before cloning it and a lot of people were asking how to open a merge request. Checking now though, they definitely do mention it (though at the very end) and people stopped asking about that since then. Or maybe people didn’t read them as far. πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Hello Gaurav. I came across your post from the GNOME Planet. First of all, many congratulations on your achievements. I wish to know how you basically managed to cover up the expenses behind the conference tickers, travel tickets, and accommodation (and basically the trip as a whole) being a student. I see the travel was sponsored by GNOME. I also wish to attend some of the coming conferences but the expense towards these is quite overwhelming (for just being a student). I have a travel stipend covered under the Outreachy internship but sadly, in our currency, it won’t cover the travel tickets even. I would love to have some pointeres from you regarding this.


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