I’ve put a lot of thought into what I’d write about today, but my ideas didn’t really come together until I read Daniel Holbach’s It’s human beings who make Ubuntu! that it became clear to me what I should write about: the way LoCo teams make Ubuntu human.
Prior to my involvement with Ubuntu my F/OSS work had been with people I didn’t know and never thought I’d meet. I attended Linux User Group meetings and LinuxChix events but these were never with people I actually worked with on any real projects, our association was very social. LoCo teams changed all this for me, and some of the first projects I was involved with on the Pennsylvania team touched upon things I were really passionate about, like when we set up a bunch of dual-boot systems for Girls Inc. In addition to some of the great work we did, I met several people who continue to be some of my closest friends. Huge thanks to Alex Launi, Jim Fisher, Randy Gold and Kevin Valentine who were so active and inspiring in my early LoCo days.
But it didn’t stop with Pennsylvania!
In 2009 when my fiance MJ (not my fiance at the time) was in Dublin and mentioned that he was looking for some geeks to meet up with in Dublin I pointed him at the Ireland LoCo, Laura Czajkowski blogs about the meetup here. When I was visiting California in September of 2009 I contacted the LoCo team there and we had a very fun meetup at Thirsty Bear Brewing, huge thanks to Grant Bowman for organizing it and making me feel immediately welcome in my soon-to-be new home. In November was invited up to spend the weekend with the New York LoCo for their Karmic Release Party in Waterloo, I was finally able to meet Charles Profitt, Jeremy Austin-Bardo and Landon Jurgens, all of whom made me feel like I was part of the team and whom I look forward to visiting with every time we’re in the same area.
But wait, there’s more! While in Dublin during the Maverick Release MJ and I met up with the Irish team for their Maverick Meerkat Release Party and the next day I got to spend lots of great social time touristing around Dublin with Laura Czajkowski. When I was vacationing in Puerto Rico earlier this year Melvin Garcia of the Puerto Rico LoCo gave me lots of great tips for places to visit. While in Budapest for the Ubuntu Developer Summit for Oneiric I contacted Hajnalka Horváth, a member of the Hungarian LoCo and she, László Torma, Gabor Kelemen and others from the team not only took a group of 30+ out to the Invisible Exhibition on Wednesday to help raise Accessibility awareness, but also took a group of us out on Thursday night for an amazing sight-seeing adventure! And let’s not forget Horror Movie Night by the Florida LoCo just weeks ago at UDS for Precise!
And of course there is the team I’m involved with now. Ubuntu California is a very active team Ubuntu Hours all over the state and leaders from all over the state planning parties, conference booths and a yearly Ubucon. Thanks to Nathan Haines, Grant Bowman, iheartubuntu, Philip Ballew, James Tatum, nUboon2Age, David Wonderly and countless others who contribute to our vibrant California team!
Finally, thanks to all the teams in the future I may visit. It’s been an extraordinary adventure so far to be able to get local tips from and visit with LoCo teams that aren’t my own while I’m traveling. It’s great to feel so welcome and accepted in an unfamiliar place!