Recently i started talking to an amazing bunch of people, who had proposed, and been accepted to host the next Linux.conf.au in Auckland, New Zealand. I immediately requested to help, and be a part since i really love this sort of thing, and i want to give back.
Since the whole idea was still very Secret Squirrel and had not been publicly known, we had to keep hush until it was formally announced. The Announcement was going to be at Linux.conf.au in 2014 Perth.
With that in mind, i harassed my boss into providing funds to get me over (which he did of course), allowing me to learn the ropes of how an LCA was run.
Due to my usual insomnia, i had no problem adjusting to the time zone change (+5 hours) my sleep patterns were actually fairly normal for once. I hired a bike, and was up at 5am most mornings exploring the beautiful bikes paths.
Not to mention the amazing morning sunrise (sometimes with haze from bush fires)
My Personal favourite thing to look at was the amazing architecture
As far as the place i was staying at, we often referred to it as Hogwarts, due to its amazing resemblance
It was a short hop, ship and jump over the road (or under it via some tunnels) to the destination of LCA2014, usually combined with a detour past coffee shop and good conversation with like minded people. I talked a lot (maybe too much) , and met some really amazing people. Some of the best parts were the socializing, dinners, and hanging out with people. Some were famous, some less so (but no less interesting)
The first day of LCA found me mostly in the Sysadmin Miniconfs. It is my job after all, along with one of my interests. There were some great talks in this one, here are a couple of things i learnt
Elizabeth (aka @Pleia2 ) told us to put a license on your software (even if its free), she gets annoyed having to ask people what the license is or if she can use it .
Vagrant plus ansible , for vps deployment is good.
Carambola 2 makes a good cheap mini PC ( http://8devices.com/carambola-2 )
Husk is a great wrapper for netfilter which allows firewalls to be easy reading, & good for ipv6 http://sourceforge.net/projects/husk/
SysV is easy actually good , usable, and does some cool stuff saving you tons of time. it uses configs instead of shell scripts.
There was far more indepth talks, you can see them at http://mirror.linux.org.au/linux.conf.au/2014/Monday/
The second day i spend the morning in the Arduino Miniconf, building myself an Arduino Cell Phone
After that i ended up in the Haecksen Miniconf for a good part of the day, listening to a talks about Women in tech, Robogals ( http://www.robogals.org/ ) , and a lot of other interesting talks.
I finished the day by being called up to do a song on my Ukulele for the Multimedia miniconf. My voice was going by this time (Did i mention i talk a lot?), so i went with an old fav song called 'Shaving Cream' and slightly modified a verse or two for techs.
You can see Tuesdays talks in video yourself at http://mirror.linux.org.au/linux.conf.au/2014/Tuesday/
Tuesday night was the speakers dinner, where i got to see how this was organized, and it was at a great yacht club with fantastic food and drink. It was a little awkward since i was wearing a name badge saying Hobbyist, and clearly wasn't a speaker, several people asked why i was there (and of course i couldn't exactly say because i was learning how it ran, since that hadn't been announced!). I ended up going with the excuse 'pays to know people in high places *wink*'
This was most certainly helped by the fact that i met Linus Torvalds that morning, and Linus first words to me were 'Oh hey you're Liz' (wait, what? He knew who i was!!!). Turns out he had seen me on Google+ . Quick awkward photo was of course the next thing that happened :)
Of course when i posted that on Google+, it managed to make it into the "What's Hot" list (which i found out later).