Canonical’s Support Team (part of Canonical Global Support Services) is at UDS 🙂 My colleague Shang Wu and I are at UDS representing our team, those folks we work with at the Montreal office where customers from all over the world get help with Ubuntu.
« Support » includes of course going through help requests we get over the phone or via Landscape, escalating bugs and working with developers to deliver fixes for our customers (and to Ubuntu public updates), but also helping other colleagues within Canonical (a benefit for all staff), review and write technical documentation, help with training, playing with some awesome hardware I can’t quite blog about and more… including coming to UDS and raise our issues while catching up with what’s going on in the Ubuntu galaxy.
We’re extremely lucky we are at freedom to chose how and where we participate in UDS. I personally consider it to be 50% social, 50% technical. There are some obvious places where it’s easy to jump in (such as Tools for better X.org bug triaging and diagnosis), because they are closely related to our troubleshooting process and how we approach problems. Others are not as easy to spot. Going together to a shooting range sure beats many bonding exercises I’ve attended before. You learn a thing or two about the great community folks and about your colleagues in-between shots 🙂 As a side note, I have to say although I don’t particularly understand the reason fire arms exist, this is one of those things I wanted to try. 🙂
Another interesting, unique experience is meeting our actual customers at support! You know who you are! It’s a bit crazy and it feels like it’s the Academy Awards – an expression Jono used this morning much to our enjoyment – and we’ve won a prize consisting of meeting face-to-face. I also see quite a bit of Québécois here which I am very proud of, as I am a Colombian living in Québec for 20 years now. And of course sabdfl is still very much part of UDS, not only for the obvious reasons but because you’ll actually see him busy at his keyboard and getting into many sessions giving his opinion and participating in lively discussions.
My first day at UDS started with the plenary, where Jono presented the seven tracks UDS follows, giving the opportunity to all ~300 participants to know the differents team leads and what their people do. Mark Shuttleworth also spoke about Ubuntu 10.04 LTS and how those three letters make it special in its very own way. We all have a lot of work ahead. I liked it a lot when Jono said this event consisted of one-hour chunks and we needed to make the most of every single one of those chunks. And stealing everyones’ hearts or something to that effect!
Then started the actual meat of this event. Here are the sessions and activities I was part of today:
- Ubuntu Foundations team roundtable, where I learned a bit more about services and their management
- Meeting with a few customers and gathering their goals and objectives for the week
- Catching up on all the free, open source community fun & positive gossip
- Sharing mneptok‘s hilarious and irreverent jokes
- How to Run a Good Session, Software Center Roadmap and Opportunistic Programmer plenaries
- Server usability papercuts
- Requirements for Update and Upgrade Experiences
- Landscape for Lucid
Back to back, it’s lots of talking, listening, agreeing and disagreeing, documenting, chatting, introductions, translating and catching up to do. It’s also useful to keep up with regular email. All incredibly useful & productive, if a bit intense. I tried to leave a trail of it on my micro-blogging backyard like others at http://identi.ca/tag/uds.
The day ended at the firing range as I mentioned before, followed by some relaxing time at the lobby and watching some TV while preparing this post. I hear we’ll have interesting visitors tomorrow, can’t wait! Until then, I can’t repeat enough – Thank You Canonical !