People, Personalities, and Planners: Who's behind your FOSS events? SELF10 Planner - Dave Yates

In this People, Personalities, and Planners interview I talk to Dave Yates--board member,Southeast Linux Fest. if you are attending SELF '10 please take a moment to locate Dave and say "hi". Whether you are a seasoned Linux user or just curious as to what Linux and Open Source is all about Dave puts users at ease and welcomes all to participate in and enjoy not only SELF'10 but Linux events around the community. So let's see what Dave has to say about SELF '10.

Introducing Dave Yates--

Amber Graner: Can you tell us a little about you and your role with SELF? How long you have worked on this event?

Dave Yates: Officially since June of 2008 (I think). First started thinking about it in October of 2006 after attending OLF.

AG: Since most event planners in the FOSS community are volunteers, what is your day job?

DY: I am a food scientist--I work in a product development lab for a vitamin company.

AG: How did you get involved in FOSS? What was your 1st OS distribution and when? What do you use now and why?

DY: 1994. RedHat was my first distro. Today I use Debian on my 5 servers and one netbook, and Ubuntu on all my other computers (2 workstations and 2 laptops).

AG: If someone wanted to get involved with SELF, how would that go about volunteering? What areas do you need the most help in?

DY: Three simple steps:

  • Step 1: go to a linuxfest
  • Step 2: hangout in irc
  • Step 3: participate--don't just consume, contribute your time, knowledge and passion for linux

AG: What are some of the challenges you face when planning SELF and how do you over come them?

DY: Mainly, inexperience. The only way to overcome that is by doing. Finding people willing to step up and do what needs doing has really never been a problem.

AG: How do you see the future of SELF? What numbers do you hope to sustain?

DY: I would like to SELF become the community event that people start looking forward to attending as soon as the current year's event is over. I hope SELF will always be an event that welcomes both new and old members of the Linux community. I would one day like to see SELF have a regular attendance of 3 to 5 thousand.

AG: Are there plans in the future to include a diversity day similar to SCaLE or a WIOS track at SELF?

DY: Sure, one day. This is only our second year and we still don't know what we are doing. Organizationally we are are spread thin enough now, that we are often reacting instead of planning. I do hope we will always be the kind of event that everyone in the community feels welcome attending.

Dave thank you so much for taking time to do the interview and let Ubuntu Users know how they can attend, participate and contribute to the Southeast Linux Fest 2010 being held in Spartanburg, SC on Friday, June 11 to Sunday, June 13, 2010. For more information on SELF '10 please got to:


Follow along as Ubuntu enthusiast and Community organizer Amber Graner helps put the "You" in Ubuntu.

Amber Graner is an active Ubuntu community member and organizer who encourages everyone around her to participate, support, and learn about Ubuntu and Open Source. With a smile and a sense of humor, Amber reminds people that there is a place for everyone in the Ubuntu community – regardless of technical skill level (or lack thereof). She is constantly looking for people, places, and events within the Ubuntu community that help inspire Ubuntu users to participate actively within the Ubuntu community. Email Amber at amber AT ubuntu-user DOT com.


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