I’m going to KDE Akademy 2018


Less than a month left until KDE Akademy 2018. As part of the local organization team, this is going to be a busy time, but having Akademy in such a great city as Vienna is gonna be awesome.

You will over the next weeks find many more “I’m going to Akademy” posts on Planet KDE detailing the Akademy plans of other people. So here in this post I don’t want to look forward, but back and tell you the story of the (in retrospect quite long) process of how a few people from Vienna decided to put in a bid to organize Akademy 2018.

The story starts 5 years ago, around this time, in the beautiful city of Bilbao at Akademy 2013. There I met Joseph from Vienna & Kevin from Graz, the first two Austrian KDE contributors I met. It was probably somewhen during that week, that Joseph & me talked about organizing an Akademy in Vienna. Joseph worked at TU Wien at that time and I was a student there, so we already had good connections to the university.

Later that year Joseph & me met at TU to further talk about a possible Akademy in Vienna, it was at that time clear that this would happen earliest 2015, also because the Call for Locations were sent out quite late (in autumn, after Akademy).

Not much happened until Akademy 2014, where we had the “KDE (in) Austria BoF”, about which I wrote a few years ago. There the plan was to have more KDE/Qt talks and a bigger KDE presence at the Linuxwochen Wien, thus organizing a sort of “Akademy AT”. Unfortunately we didn’t do this. And Joseph & me did also not really pursue our plan to organize Akademy in Vienna. But while those things never happened, since then the Austrian KDE community meets up more or less regularly.

The following years I always attended Akademy and also volunteered at QtCon 2016, already with the intent to get a bit of an insight into how Akademy is organized.

In April 2017, surprisingly early, the Call for Locations for Akademy 2018 was published, and I knew: Now or never 🙂 While still being a student and having contact to TU Wien, I already worked part-time as a freelancer and knew I can manage to dedicate time on the organization. And so discussions on the kde-at mailinglist followed and some first draft content for the proposal was gathered.

And it nearly was put on the pile of unfinished projects again, if weren’t for a students BBQ at TU Wien, where I met Lukas, who in 2017 was a GSoC student. I already knew him before from university, where he attended a course I organized and he was going to his first Akademy in Almeria. We talked about the idea to bring Akademy 2018 to Vienna and the later the evening and the more beer we had, the more sure we were: We are going to do this.

So when coming home from the BBQ it was already the 2nd of June (announcing interest should have been done until 1st of June), but I sat down and wrote a mail that Vienna would be interested in hosting Akademy.

Two intensive weeks of research, meetings with FSINF (TU Wien computer science students council) and proposal writing followed until the full proposal was sent half an hour before the deadline.

Afterwards a long waiting period followed (at that time I wasn’t yet a member of KDE eV, so I couldn’t even see the discussions on the members mailing list or other proposals).

Until Akademy 2017, where Lukas sent me near-real time updates about the status of our Akademy 2018 proposal. On Sunday he got the information that the Vienna proposal was selected and that it will be announced that day on the closing session. He even had to get up on stage, during his first Akademy and give a first spoiler for Akademy 2018.

So this is the story, of the long journey from idea to realization of an Akademy in Vienna. I hope you enjoyed it and look forward to seeing you all at Akademy 2018.

See you in Vienna!

KDE (in) Austria

KDE Community in Austria

tl;dr: KDE (in) Austria has a party in Vienna this Saturday and you should join. More Infos here: KDE Austria Party

I am going was at KDE Akademy 2014. From Vienna to Brno it is just an 2 hour bus ride, so it didn’t take much advance planning to go to this years Akademy. Previously I’ve been to the Desktop Summit 2011 in Berlin and last years Akademy in Bilbao. It was really great to see everyone again, meet new friends, drink awesome czech beer and dedicate time for hacking on OpenSource Software. (Late) Thanks to the organizer for this awesome Akademy!

Early during Akademy, I realized that due to the fact that Brno is so close to Austria, there were around 10 attendees that live in Austria. Probably more than on any Akademy before. Unfortunately there isn’t (yet) much KDE community in Austria, but we want to change that, as you can also see in the picture below (Kevin Krammers contribution to Lydias project: “One thing that would make KDE better“):

KDE Community in Austria
One thing that would make KDE better: Community in Austria (CC by Lydia Pintscher)

When the BoF sessions started on Monday I also organized a spontaneous BoF with the topic: KDE (in) Austria.

The BoF was attended by 7 people, we planned some events (one of them will be this Saturday) and we now also have our own mailinglist for communication & coordination. If you live in or close to Austria, join the mailinglist.

Also, if you have time this Saturday, come to our “(late) Plasma 5.1 Release/(very early) Plasma 5.2 Release/Qt 5.4/End of Year Party“. You will also find all the infos below:

Hope to see many of you there or on (possible) future events 🙂

Teaching Qt/C++

In less than a week, the summer-term at the Vienna University of Technology starts. And as last term, I will be tutor for a course about Software Engineering & Project Managment.

In this course, students should learn how to create a bigger piece of software in teamwork, in all its facets, e.g. project managment, coding, testing, documentation. Normally the software is written in Java, as this is the programming language that they learn from their first term onwards.

Additionally to the Java mainstream variant, there was a variant where the code had to be written in C++. I took this course around 2 years ago and while it was more technical than the Java course, I learned a lot and it also brought me into starting FOSS development. As the person organizing the course stepped back from organisation and the institute was looking for new tutors, two colleagues and me took over the C++ variant of this course and during last summer term, we developed a new project for students to implement and created a reference solution. We changed many aspects of the course, including the used technologies. We changed the GUI Toolkit from GTKMM to Qt and the build system from Autotools to CMake.

Last term our new variant of this course was offered for the first time and after some lectures prepared and held by us (my lectures where about ZeroC Ice and Qt & CMake) three studentteams started to plan & implement the project we gave them. The feedback we received was very positive, especially the use of Qt not only as GUI Toolkit, but for acessing a database or in combination with QCA2 for encryption/decryption made coding a little bit easier for C++ beginners.

So what is the relation to KDE/OpenSource here? In my opinion, it is really bad practice at our university that people aren’t normally forced to learn any other programming languages than Java (depending on the field of study you may also learn C & Haskell). That’s why it was important for me that interested students can choose to code C++ while doing the Software Engineering & Project Managment course. And to give them an introduction into Qt & CMake, so that they would be able (either in their spare time or for university during advanced courses or university projects) to contribute to KDE Applications or other FOSS Qt Software. So I partly see this variant of the course as a FOSS recruitment program 😉

This should also be a call for action: if you think you can mentor an individual student or teams of students and have an idea for an area in your application that they could work on,please contact me.

Hello Planet KDE

Finally (2 Months after I wrote “soon”) this is my introductory post to Planet KDE: Hello Planet KDE 🙂

About me

I’m Stefan, living in Vienna (one of the greatest Cities on Earth 😉 ) and I study Computer Science at the Technical University of Vienna. After learning C++ in the Summer Term 2010, I’ve started last Summer developing small features for Amarok. In Winter 2010 we (2 colleagues & me) created libmygpo-qt & the gpodder.net service for Amarok, which was my first bigger Open Source project.

Especially my work on libmygpo-qt and the gpodder Service made me an even more Open Source Enthusiast as before. It was a great collaboration between the gpodder/gpodder.net Developers (both also living in Vienna), Amarok Developers and our Team. During the process of creating a library and the feedback we got, I’ve learned many things (like d-pointer or API/Binary compatibillity) which I didn’t knew before.

Other than my interest in Open Source & trying to get my degree at University, I’m also a CouchSurfer, even though in the last years I don’t host that much, but I’m active in attending & organizing Events in Vienna.

I think for the moment that’s enough for my introduction, I should start packing, because:

10 more hours and I will already be on the Train to Berlin, 3 days of sightseeing, then I will attend the Desktop Summit and afterwards the CCC Camp, soo much looking forward to this nerdy holiday in Berlin, hope to meet many of you there 😉

Powered by Blogilo