Shortly, I'll be off to travel to Tallinn, Estonia, to attend Ye Olde Annual KDE Conference aptly dubbed Akademy.
This is going to be something new to me, to be honest. First, I'm new to Estonia - never been there before in my life. Second, I'm a newbie in the KDE community. I haven't got the slightest clue what's awaiting me after I touch down, but for the stories my fellow Kolabian Paul Adams has shared with me. All of them funny, not all of them good...
Furthermore, I must admit in all honestly, I myself am a GNOME user. By convenience, more than anything else, and though it's not supposed to be bad, of course, yet I feel like I might be walking into the lion's nest ;-)
I'm confident I'll enjoy myself - but not in the way you're thinking of right now. I've heard Tallinn is a very beautiful city, and I regret not going to see much of it - if this conference is anything like the dozens of other conference I've been to. I'm sure there'll be plenty of KDE people who turn to be on speaking terms with a GNOME user after we have a good old-fashioned how-much-beer-can-you-chuck contest.
Yet though, all fun aside, the strongest impression I need to make is not at any random bar. It's on stage, right in front of all those people.
I'll be giving a talk titled "KDE Releases that Just Work(TM)" - this is supposed to be where I make my move. I've been practicing different stances to emphasize different points all week long.
I'll speak to subjects I think I'm an expert on, and that I think are open for vast improvement within the KDE project. There's a couple of gotchas though;
For release engineering and quality assurance and so ultimately the quality of releases to really improve, consensus between a large variety of people needs to be established, not all of them with anywhere near the same agenda, let alone anywhere near the same opinion.
This sort of effort touches processes, tools, workflows and ultimately what the individual developer is doing. The trick is to find consensus on a way to improve (the use of) all those tools, to make all of that touching further enable the people that actually do the work - those that'll give me the evil stare for using GNOME - and make them feel empowered, and achieve greater satisfaction.