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Re: "Breaking Cliques at Events"

Dear Chris,

Thank you for bringing this into limelight.

I recently attended KubeCon + Cloud Native Con in Austin, where we had a diversity lunch, the idea behind this event was to meet new people and talk about a common topic in groups for example, how they started contributing to open source. Althought, the discussion doesn't have to revolve around this topic exclusively. I connected at a personal level with ~6 other attendees from different parts of the world in around 30 minutes. I felt that this was a great idea to know one another and make each other feel included at the conference.
I also attended DebConf in Montreal which was my first DebConf! Despite being a newcomer, I felt welcoming when I interacted with a few Debian contributors :)

Having significant amount of mentor - mentee sessions and beginner level talks at the conferences could also be a great way to start with.

I believe, there is scope and need for more inclusion. For that, thank you for talking about it.

On Mon, Dec 11, 2017 at 12:38 PM, Bill Blough <devel@blough.us> wrote:
Montreal was my first ever DebConf, so maybe I should chime in here.

On the whole, I found everyone to be pretty welcoming and friendly.  But
as a socially-awkward, shy, introvert (as I'm sure at least a few others are,
too), it didn't stop me from feeling like an outsider sometimes. But I
also know that's just how I am, and so I place no blame on DebConf or
its attendees.

That said, I agree that extra steps to make newcomers feel welcome could
be helpful for any conference or community.

On Mon, Dec 11, 2017 at 12:23:31PM -0700, Bdale Garbee wrote:
> Daniel Kahn Gillmor <dkg@fifthhorseman.net> writes:
> > At the IETF (another technical conference, quite different from debconf
> > but with some similarities), there are "newcomer meet-and-greet" events
> > at the start of the conference.
> Linux Conf Australia also has a long tradition of a session for
> newcomers the evening before the conference starts that is usually well
> attended, with multiple long-timers providing advice on how to not be
> overwhelmed and how to feel good about joining and/or starting
> conversations.

At some point I was watching old videos from past DebConfs.  Didn't there used
to be a DebConf 101 (or something like that) for newcomers?  I didn't
see it on the schedule for Montreal, otherwise I likely would have
attended.  Perhaps that could be resurrected/morphed into something like
DKG and Bdale mention above.


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