SCaLE 13x!

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It's been a fun several days out here in LA with the Fedora gang - myself, Tom Callaway, Clint Savage, Scott Williams, Brian Monroe, and countless others. On the first day out here (Thursday) we had an awesome Fedora Activity Day, which involved hacking on Beefy Connection, which is something that we started at the SCaLE FAD last year and didn't complete (and didn't work on during the intervening year, but who's keeping track?). Let me explain a little bit about Beefy Connection and what we're intending to do.

Let's pretend that you're at a conference (like SCaLE) and you have a booth. One of the main reasons that we run booths like this is to recruit new contributors. We of course could have them sign up for a FAS account on the spot, and we've tried doing that in the past. However this ignores the reality that at many conferences, we have either very limited or no Internet access available to us at the booth (this is fortunately not the case at SCaLE, where the Internet access is completely awesome!). Therefore, we need something to keep track of the people that have expressed interest, and follow up with them later. If you have something like this, you can also reach out to the leadership of the particular areas that people have expressed interest in (for example, an Ambassador mentor for an Ambassador) and have that person or people follow up.

We did this with an application that we're calling Beefy Connection (a nod to the Beefy Miracle). There are two parts to the app, a frontend that you use at the conference, and a backend that will need to be hosted somewhere. The frontend is a web application that runs on localhost and connects to a SQLite database stored locally. It takes all the data in (including pictures of the potential contributor!) and stores it. Later, you give that data to the backend service, which will keep track of who we've reached out to and their status (something similar to a CRM system, but certainly not full-blown CRM).

We wound up with a working version of the application that we successfully used at the Fedora booth on Saturday and Sunday!

Speaking of the Fedora booth, there's some pictures that Scott took that are pretty awesome, and we all had a great time. I was there the majority of Saturday (excepting the time that I went out to BevMo with Clint - which turned into a trip all over the LA metro - Uber in LA is super-cheap!) and things went fairly well. We had both the Lulzbot Mini (the little brother of the Taz) and the Fedora Jam spin in full effect this year! I think that the reception of the booth was pretty good, and people were intrigued both by the open hardware of the Lulzbot (I had a few conversations with folks about this) and the open software of the Jam spin.

All in all, SCaLE was awesome, and I'm looking forward to a great event next year! The only thing that sort of sucks about it is traveling from New York, but such is life! At least the weather is better here than in NYC at this time of year, which is one of the main reasons that I come (and it's immediately after the end of FRC build season, so it's a great way to decompress from that!)

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