Tomorrow we will be running our very first online Ubuntu Developer Summit. The event will take place over two days and span a range of different tracks: Community, Client, Cloud & Server, App Developers, and Foundations. We have never run an event like this before, but we have prepared extensively to deliver the best online UDS experience we can. When UDS is complete we will then review any rough edges and fix those up for the next event in May.

With this being a new event, I wanted to share some key tips about how to get participate.

For Everyone

UDS takes place on Tues 5th – Wed 6th March 2013 from 2pm UTC. Please note: the original time was 4pm UTC, but we brought the event forward by two hours.

The full event is taking place online and everyone is welcome to join, irrespective of whether you are an active contributor to the community, a partner, a business, an enthusiast, or anyone else. We will be using Google+ Hangouts On Air to stream video from the active participants in the session, and we also provide quick embedded access to IRC, note-taking, and more.

The event will kick off on Tuesday at 2pm UTC with a keynote session. There will then be two hours of sessions, then an hour of plenaries, and then another two hours of sessions. On the Wednesday we will kick off into sessions at 2pm, and have lightning talks in the normal plenary slot. Jorge Castro is taking care of the plenary talks and lightning talks; reach out to him if you want to run a lightning talk.

There are five tracks, with each (apart from Foundations) having two video streams. Each track has two track leads:

  • Client – Jason Warner, Sebastien Bacher
  • Server and Cloud – Antonio Rosales, Daviey Walker
  • Community – Jono Bacon, Daniel Holbach
  • App Developers – Alan Pope, David Planella
  • Foundations – Steve Langasek

You can find all sessions listed at summit.ubuntu.com. Just visit the session you are interested in at the time of the session to view it; everything is included on the session page. You don’t need anything other than a web browser to view sessions but you will need a Google+ account to actively participate in a hangout.

For Track Leads

You should have all received an email from me about how to schedule sessions and how to start and stop the video streams.

Remember to ensure your Google+ is verified (Michael Hall should have checked this with you).

You and your co-track lead should pick one of the two tracks you have for your track and take care of setting up those streams.

Five minutes before a session (e.g. 1.55pm) is due to begin you should start the video stream and update the session in summit.ubuntu.com with the hangout and broadcast URLS. Likewise, 55 minutes into a session (e.g. 2.55pm), be sure to stop the hangout. We need to start and stop the video streams to ensure the recordings are broken up into the different hour long chunks. Required participants will automatically see a link on the session page to invite them to join a hangout – this page does not auto-reload though, so you may want to ask them to refresh the page to join.

Please keep an eye on the sessions on your track and interact with the session leaders to ensure that any required participants can be invited to the session as needed. There may be times as the session is running that people will need to be invited to join the hangout (e.g. IRC participants) – you need to be available to do this when the session leader needs you. If you are not actively participating in the session, feel free to just mute your mic and keep an eye on IRC or listen for when you are needed.

Instructions for starting and stopping the streams is at https://wiki.ubuntu.com/UDS/Sessions.

For Session Leaders

As a session leader your responsibility is to run a quality session, and to ensure that the topic gets a good level of discussion, work is planned and distributed, and the blueprint gets updated with the agreed work items.

Some tips:

  • Make sure your Internet connection and computer are working well in advance of the session. We recommend you stop any software or services that is using your net connection (e.g. switch off any downloads or other video streaming).
  • The video hangouts will be started and stopped by the track leads (see above) – if you need to invite a new person to a hangout, ask the track lead to invite them.
  • In your session you will have people in the hangout speaking as well as people on IRC offering their contributions too. Be mindful of the IRC contributors, and repeat comments and statements of interest from IRC.
  • Think of the hangout as the inner ring of the fishbowl at a physical UDS. Unfortunately there only 10 seats on the hangout, so we need to ensure the most active participants are in the hangout. People in the hangout should be speaking and actively participating. If you have an active participant on IRC and have free seats on the hangout, be sure to invite them to the hangout. Likewise, if you see someone who is not contributing on the hangout and there is someone active on IRC, ask the hangout person to move to IRC to open up a slot to invite the IRC person and bring them into the hangout.
  • At the beginning of the session, explain the goals and purpose of the session and encourage people to take notes in the embedded etherpad.
  • Have the discussion in the session, and be sure to help everyone participate as much as possible. Remember, you should try to keep the most active members in the hangout.
  • 10 minutes before the end of the session summarize the key decisions and log work items on the blueprint that are assigned to people. This will provide a great set of next steps to move forward with that blueprint.

For Attendees

Joining a session is easy – just look at the schedule and click on a session to view it. On each session page you can see the video stream, the embedded IRC channel, and the embedded etherpad collaborative note taking. You can also see links to the blueprint and other related content.

You don’t need anything other than a web browser to view sessions but you will need a Google+ account to actively participate in a hangout.

If you want to chat to others in general about UDS, you can also join #ubuntu-uds on freenode.

All sessions will be recorded and available on the schedule when they are completed.

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