The Ubuntu Developer Summit is one of the most central events in the Ubuntu calendar. It is there that we discuss, debate and design the next version of Ubuntu. It is an incredible experience, filled with smart and enthusiastic people, fast paced and exhausting, but incredibly gratifying to be part of the process that builds the next Ubuntu.

Every time we run a UDS we re-think how we do things to ensure it is as effective as possible, and for the next UDS which takes place at the food-alicious Googleplex in Mountain View, California from Monday 8th – Friday 12th December 2008, we have decided to adjust how we sponsor people. For every UDS we (Canonical) sponsor a large number of community contributors, as well as sending our entire paid development team, so we can get as much out of the UDS as possible. Traditionally we have simply picked our list of sponsors, but this time round, we would like to have those of you who want to be sponsored submit a request for sponsorship.

How Sponsorship Works

At every UDS we have a set of key topics that most of us have in mind around a typical release. For this UDS we have taken a look at Ubuntu Brainstorm and determined that the key topics for Ubuntu 9.04 are:

  • Networking
  • Power Management
  • Desktop Experience
  • Booting
  • Hardware Support
  • Sharing and Backup
  • Desktop Configuration
  • Server Configuration
  • Network Authentication
  • Security
  • Community
  • Mobile
  • QA
  • Other

This time around we expect everyone we sponsor to lead at least one discussion around a topic that relates to one of the above topics – this means that you will schedule at least one session, lead the discussion and make notes about the outcome of the discussion. For sessions you are not leading, we still expect you to participate through the week and join in the discussions. The session you choose to lead should be based around an idea in the Ubuntu Brainstorm. We will also expect you to make the notes available at the end of the week so we can provide UDS proceedings for the wider community.

If you want to increase your likely-hood of being sponsored, the following helps:

  • Volunteer to become crew – we need lots of help to run the UDS, and if you volunteer to become crew you are helping to run the event and help our attendees. We like that. Also, we will give you a rather funky Ubuntu Developer Summit crew t-shirt to wow your friends and family with.
  • If you only need partial sponsorship (just travel or accommodation) you can specify this in your application.
  • We will be assessing your wider Ubuntu contributions – for example, if you have been keeping up with your 5-A-Day and have tended to the Sponsorship Queue, these are excellent additional factors that we take into account. 🙂

How To Request Sponsorship

Luckily, requesting your sponsorship is pretty simple, and we have built a rather snazzy system (thanks to the rather excellent Scott James Remnant) to handle sponsorship requests. To apply for sponsorship, just follow these simple steps:

  • Go to Ubuntu Brainstorm and pick out a bunch of ideas on there that you are interested in working on for the Ubuntu 9.04 release. Remember, we expect all sponsored participants to lead at least one discussion for a Brainstorm idea, but we also expect you to attend a number of additional sessions. Note down the brainstorm ideas you are interested in.
  • Go to summit.netsplit.com and log in with OpenID. When you have logged in, click the Request Sponsorship link.
  • On the first page, add your location and use the About yourself box to tell us why you should be sponsored and tell us about your work on Ubuntu – here you should tell us your vital stats – tell us your 5-A-Day numbers, your work on the sponsorship queue, what you have uploaded, which teams you are in, your LoCo involvement, any translation work and other work that you have been involved in. When you have done this, click the Next button.
  • On the next page, add each Ubuntu Brainstorm URL into box. Then select a topic that the Brainstorm idea most closely resembles and select from the Participation box what you would like to do for that idea. when you have added your idea, click the Next button.
  • On the final page, answer the questions and then click Finish to finish your sponsorship request.

All done. 🙂

Everyone should get their sponsorship requests in by Thursday 25th September 2008 to be considered. Good luck!


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