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The Fedora Project held the North America gathering of its annual Fedora Users and Developers Conference (FUDCon) in Lawrence, Kansas from Friday, January 20 to Sunday, January 22. FUDCon offers a chance for Fedora users and contributors, who are usually miles, states, and countries apart, to meet face-to-face to share ideas, attend hackfests, and discuss the future of the Fedora Project. This community is not just limited to developers, but also includes contributors working in documentation, evangelism, testing and other areas of the Fedora Project.  More than 140 people registered to attend FUDCon, which welcomed participants from around the globe and close to home, including students from The University of Kansas, the site of the event.

One of the Fedora community’s strengths is its wide pool of talent. Because its contributors come from all parts of the world, they generally communicate about project and release ideas via IRC and mailing lists. FUDCon is a unique opportunity for all of these contributors to get together in one location. FUDCon’s location changes every year, with previous conferences held in Blacksburg, VA; Tempe, AZ; and Toronto, Canada.  

Fedora 18 GA was released the week before FUDCon, making the event an ideal time to reflect on the accomplishments of the release and to look forward to what new innovations could be developed for Fedora 19. During her “Fedora State of the Union” address, Fedora Project Leader Robyn Bergeron asked how the group could become smarter about improving user and contributor experience while encouraging a constant push toward new goals to be met for the next release cycle.

FUDCon comprises barcamp-style sessions, hackfests, and lightning talks. Talks are not accepted beforehand like a traditional conference, but pitched much like the way features make their way into Fedora–through transparent introduction to the community and voting. Any FUDCon attendee was free to give a 20-second pitch for a speaking session or to give a five-minute lightning talk on any Fedora-related topic.

This year's FUDCon also brought together Robyn Bergeron, the current Fedora Project Leader, with two former project leaders, Paul Frields and Greg DeKoenigsberg. The three represented almost seven years’ worth of leadership dating back to 2005 in the Fedora community. Their conversation was recorded in the video below, discussing topics from the original organization of the Fedora Project and forming its identity apart from Red Hat Linux to scaling the product to accommodate more users. Robyn Bergeron has held the Fedora Project Leader position since March of 2012 and is looking forward to continually looking at the changes Fedora has made and how it can be more user-friendly in a variety of environments in upcoming release cycles.

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