#conference #summit

UbuCon and SCaLE 2016 trip report

12 February 2016

I’m finally taking some time to wite about things that happened during UbuCon and SCaLE. I am really grateful for Canonical as without the sponsorship I wouldn’t have been there at all.


UbuCon is where was I was mostly involved, I had a scheduled lightning talk, a proper talk that I gave out with Manik and also actively involved in 3 unconference sessions.


Plenary talk

The day started with some an intro to the UbuCon Summit and what it was all about followed by a keynote from Mark Shuttleworth. Once Mark left the stage the UbuCon Plenary Day 1 sessions started. Mine was the first and so it went… not any task is without issues, I started out with the lack of an hdmi cable to hook up my laptop, apparently when I mentioned I needed one, the organizers took it as I was saying I wouldn’t need one, in the end, 10 minutes later, the problem was solved.

There were also problems with the Ubuntu archives at the event, a transparent proxy mirroring issue of some sort making installing and updating packages a not so happy experience. Luckily I focused on live snapping shout which does not require any Ubuntu packages. It seemed to go rather well for a lightning talk.

After my quick talk followed Jorge Castro talking about gaming, Didier Roche about Ubuntu as a development platform and Scarlett Clark about Kubuntu Development.

Talking IoT getting snappy

Manik Taneja and myself did a joint talk just to spice things up a bit; he talked mostly from a PM point of view and I from someone down in the trenches. It seemed to provide good balance.

We presented some slides and also got a demo going with ROS and opencv going through the new features in the soon to be Ubuntu Core 16.04 like the classic dimension.

There was many interest in the audience and many questions asked. People liked the fact that we were focusing on ROS as well. Personally, I felt the whole thing went down rather well.


On the second day, followed by a keynote from Cory Doctorow, we had the Ubuntu unconference part of the summit. As a snappy person I proposed 2 things:

  • creating a snap that uses SDL.
  • snapping your project.

Additionally, I attended another session snappy for sysadmins.

These sessions were basically round tables; small groups were formed, probably due to the focus required and the fact that the larger SCaLE event had started.

The admin questions and discussion was pretty good and a lot of doubts were aired out. The SDL session I consider a failure, as mentioned the archive was broken so we had to juggle around that and we also spent a lot of time setting up http://tmate.io/ so everyone could follow. In the end, I still have to work on that SDL based snap.

The snapping session got meshed into the SDL one as we ended up doing a lot of snapcrafting there, nothing working or final came out, but we got to walk through many scenarios, most of which translated into a bug and a fix in snapcraft so I do feel there was good value in this session overall even if during the session it felt as we weren’t moving forward.


I have to say, I had little chance and time to see other sessions taking place at UbuCon, I only got to see Marvin: Test your Ubuntu apps on phones you haven’t got which was interesting in itself

On a different day I saw an Ubuntu Leadership panel mediated by Jono.

Most of my time took place in the famous or infamous hallway track talking snappy, Ubuntu Core and snapcraft to people and sitting down and getting things done with these fine folk :-)


What can I say, I liked the exibit hall, it was massive compared to the events I go to in general. Lot’s of fun walking around collecting swag and getting the marketing speech from some vendors ;-) Microsoft even had representation, they had run out of T-shirts by the time we arrived but offered to send one over which was kind of cool and kudos to the new Microsoft as well, I guess 10 years ago no one would of seen this change coming!

As it goes with hallway tracks, I didn’t have enough time to see much of the events presentations. On Saturday I got to see Mark’s SCaLE oriented keynote

At some point in the day I went and saw Jono Bacon present about Build Awesome Communities on github. I take away here is I learned about this Trello like tool tailored for github called Waffle.

Then at the end of the day I saw Nathan Haines talk about writing books with free software which to my surprise did not involve Latex or similar but LibreOffice and other GUI productivity tools.

On day 2 I went and saw Sarah Sharp talk about diversity but to be fair, those problems are rather far away from where I live where we have a whole different set of problems so I couldn’t feel so identified with the discussion.

Again, at the end of the day, I got to see two talks, one which seemed hilarious The Road to Mordor given by Amye Scavarda, and then another talk from Dustin introducing adapt which shows a lot of potential.

Side events

There was lot of fun talking with everyone, people I already knew and people I got to meet. The social events were packed. We had a bunch of Ubuntu meetups and SCaLE specific ones, I attended these:

And of course hanged out with a bunch of awesome folk all around.

We also did some walking around Pasadena.

Closing thoughts

Simple a great event worth attending!