Fedora at Bitcamp 2016

Fedora ambassadors attended Bitcamp Spring 2016 at the University of Maryland last weekend, from April 8th to 10th. The team arrived late Friday night and talked to hackers until the next Sunday.

Bitcamp is a hackathon, an event where students from all over the east coast come together to work on a technical project and demonstrate their prize to judges and sponsors, all while having fun and interacting with sponsors and other participants.

The event started with a bang, at the opening ceremonies, where certain sponsors gave inspiring speeches. The organizers briefed everyone on the schedule, and a keynote was given. By 10 PM on Friday night, Bitcamp had officially begun; hacking had started.

From later Friday night to early Sunday morning, the hackers worked on their projects. Some built web hacks, some built civic hacks, and a team even built a roller coaster simulator that used pistons to simulate the ride.

Throughout the event, we were able to help prospective users learn more about Fedora, install Fedora, or even help spread Fedora by wearing our swag on their laptops. I was able to speak to some students about the ease of use of Fedora and its customisability while discussing their project and future plans. They seemed very eager to try Linux and discover the world of open source.

Burning the midnight oil, Corey was able to assist a prospective Fedora user with installing the distribution on his new laptop on Friday night. Justin and I ventured into DC for a visit of the important monuments and areas for a couple of hours on Saturday afternoon, and came back full of energy and reignited excitement.

On Saturday night, Bitcamp organised a cup-stacking competition as the event wound down. Corey and Mike gave a talk on their journey through open source, and helped foster even more interest in the topic from the student participants.

A couple hours later, we were surprised and weary, but we were proud that we were able to assist prospective student Fedorians at Bitcamp and help them improve their hacks with the assistance of open source.

Overall, the event was extremely rewarding and eye-opening, allowing our team to garner useful UX feedback, user stories, and even learn more about what our target users are passionate about.

More pictures can be found here.