conquering Tallinn this summer

My very first Akademy was the one in Belgium. I have only missed one since then – Gran Canaria (a Desktop Summit to be correct). I could still kick myself today for missing out on Gran Canaria. I’ll try to not let that happen again – ever πŸ˜‰ So obviously I have taken preventive measures and asked for vacation days and booked a hotel room to spend a week this summer in Tallinn before I fly to Washington DC to go to Wikimania. July will be an interesting month…

I have been to a lot of conferences so far but none of them were quite like Akademy. None of them were a family-reunion of such epic proportions. Each year since my very first Akademy I am looking forward to spending time with friends and making new ones, to getting stuff done, to listening to great talks and to seeing new places. Akademy is the time I get to chat with the people in KDE that I rarely work with day-to-day. But it is also the time I get to meet my best friends from all over the world.

New to KDE and don’t know anyone yet? Going to Akademy will change that quickly. Want to get more involved with KDE and don’t really know how? Show up at Akademy and listen to people for 5 minutes. Need input on your new amazing idea? Show it to people at Akademy and see what they have to say. Looking for a job? Talk to our sponsors and work for top-notch companies.

I hope to see you in Tallinn. Book your accommodation quickly and don’t forget to register.

things that make me happy today

I just checked and found that 8 of the 20 successful students who took part in Season of KDE last year have been accepted to Google Summer of Code with KDE this year. I have not checked other orgs and previous years but these 8 alone really made my day. Rock on folks!
For details about this year’s Season of KDE please check Teo’s blog.

I’ve also finally settled in in Berlin. It’s awesome here surrounded by so many of my free software and free knowledge friends. I hardly had an evening over the last week without some kind of get-together. Oh and the sun is shining. Wohoooooo! πŸ˜€

new adventures: Wikidata

As some of you might have heard I started working for Wikimedia Deutschland last month. I have finally settled in my new apartment and found some time to blog.

I am working on an exciting new project called Wikidata and am doing community communications for it. Wikidata will be a free and open knowledgebase that anyone can edit. It will be a place where people can collect statements like that the river Rhine is 1.233 km long. These can then be accessed by all the Wikipedias and can be accessed and used by 3rd party applications as well. For Wikipedia editors it means they will no longer have to update information in all language editions but just in one central place. This should help smaller Wikipedias immensely. If you want to find out more about the project head over to http://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Wikidata. There has been a lot of press coverage last week (techcrunch for example). You can also read the press release and check out the awesome team I’m working with.

What does this mean for KDE? I will still be around and doing board, mentoring programs and community working group work. However I will not be able to work more or less full-time on them any longer. I moved to Berlin so I am at the center of the KDE world and will show up at local meetings πŸ˜‰ Getting to know the Wikimedia world is great and I’m sure I’ll have some lessons to share soon.

Nearly 100 GSoC ideas are waiting for you!


Last Saturday Teo and I filled out KDE’s application for Google Summer of Code. I hope we will once again be selected as a mentoring organisation for many excellent students.

If you plan to apply as a student with KDE we have nearly 100 ideas for you to chose from on our ideas page already and I’m sure some more will be added in the next days. And you can of course come up with your own idea, too. (You really should talk to a potential mentor in that case though. But you should do that anyway ;-)) Don’t wait, start now! Oh and don’t forget to read Teo’s advice. As a former student, mentor and now admin he knows what’s ahead of you.

But most importantly: Believe in yourself. You can do awesome, I’m sure πŸ˜‰ Go pick an idea!

 

Oh and don’t forget that we’ll be focusing this year’s GSoC and/or Season of KDE on accessibility. Applications in this area are especially welcome.

Akademy sponsorship request deadlines

Some of you need sponsoring from KDE e.V. to attend Akademy. The board will handle sponsorship requests for travel and/or accommodation in 3 rounds. The budget is limited and only the funds not spend in a round will be transferred to the next round. (So you want to be in the first round.) The deadlines for sending requests to the board are:

  • round 1: 1st of April
  • round 2: 1st of May
  • round 3: 1st of June

We try to handle requests within one week after these deadlines.
For more information about reimbursement rules please check KDE e.V.’s reimbursement policy.

Akademy Call for Papers

Akademy is getting closer and that means it is time to submit talk proposals. I’m sure you have something interesting to talk about. Check out the Call for Papers for more details and some suggestions of what the program committee is looking for. Submit now – don’t procrastinate πŸ˜‰

Don’t know what to talk about or have questions/doubts? Find me on IRC or email me.

Also don’t forget to register to attend the conference! Akademy is free but you need to register to attend.

accessibility co-mentors needed for GSoC

As announced earlier KDE will apply to become a mentoring org again for Google Summer of Code in 2012. We decided to focus on accessibility this round should KDE be accepted again. To make this happen KDE’s mentors need help. Most of the mentors do not have the knowledge needed to make good decisions when it comes to making our applications more accessible. We are therefor looking for co-mentors who can help them – people who either have a disability that requires changes in KDE’s software to make their life easier or people who are otherwise knowledgeable in the area. These co-mentors would not have to do any of the mentoring on the coding side but instead advice the student and main mentor on non-coding parts. Does that sound like something you can help with? Then please send an email to kde-soc-mentor@kde.org and introduce yourself and how you could help. Please also pass this on to anyone you think might be a good fit.

GSoC 2012 is on!

At FOSDEM it was announced that Google will run Google Summer of Code again in 2012. Wohooooooo! KDE will apply as a mentoring organisation again. Here are the next steps to prepare:

For students:

  • Read the GSoC FAQΒ and timeline. (Don’t skip this step. It’s important.)
  • Read some GSoC infos from KDE.
  • Keep an eye on the ideas page to see what KDE is looking for. You’re also welcome to come up with your own idea as long as you discuss it with a mentor.
  • Get in touch with a mentor and discuss your idea. Maybe already contribute a little. (The better we know you the time it gets to voting on your application the better.)

For mentors:

  • Add ideas to the ideas page. Only add ideas if you are willing to mentor them! Please add them within the next 2 weeks. Earlier is better as students are already looking for ideas now. We will try to give a focus to accessibility this round. This does not mean that all ideas have to be related to that in some way but it would be great if a significant percentage of them would be.
  • Consider holding a GSoC info session at a university near you. Get in touch with me if you plan to do that. There are ready-made presentations and flyers available for you.
If you have any questions feel free to come to #kde-soc on freenode or send an email to the mailing list kde-soc at kde dot org.