19 Dec 2009 mbanck   » (Journeyer)

Tutorials at the Garching Debian Stammtisch

Munich traditionally used to have a lot of Debian Developers, but over the last couple of years quite a few of us who used to be students graduated and moved elsewhere or became very busy with their day jobs. We still meet for having a beer and a chat, but not as much as some years ago. We used to meet about once a month, but in 2009 we only managed to meet four times (however, we organized a Bug Squashing Party in November and had a special meeting as Lenny Release Party in February)

As the meetings are really rather informal and not necessarily very Debian related, it is difficult to attract new people this way. So Johannes Wiedersich and I decided to try a more hands-on approach by having a second meeting in Garching, in the student-run bar on the campus of the Technische Universit√§t M√ľnchen (TUM). The idea was to get more of the local science, mathematics and computer science students (as well as possibly interested faculty members) involved.

We tried a first time about a year ago, but after two or three meeting in late 2008 and early 2009, we lost momentum. However, we began organizing the meetings again with the start of the winter term, and had two rather successful meetings so far. For the first meeting, we basically handed out some information on how to get involved locally (the Debian-Munich list, its subscription address, the wiki etc.) and discussed Debian in general and Debconf11 in Munich in particular. About half a dozen people showed up, and two of these attended the Bug Squashing Party later that month, and another one (a faculty member) got very active in Debconf11 organization. Thus, I was quite happy with the outcame of that meeting.

Some days ago, we had another meeting, and this time I was doing a live-tutorial on Debian package building. As Johannes was ill, we did not manage to announce or publicize the meeting well in advance, so only three people showed up. Still, I think it went rather OK, and we will be doing another Debian package-building tutorial for the next meeting, and possibly other turorials/workshops afterwards (ideas so far include library maintenance, Debconf, how the Debian community is organized and how to get involved in it). As doing a live-tutorial on one notebook is a bit difficult if you both have to type on it and people should see what happens, we will either use some extra hardware next time, or move to some nearby seminar room with a projector, this will be announced in advance.

So if you are on Garching campus or nearby and interested in Debian development (and Debian package-building in particular), come to the next meeting on January 13th! We decided to meet on the second Wednesday of each month, at 18h. Subscribe to the Debian-Munich list to get the invitation or watch out for the flyers on the campus.

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