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Student and Academic stories for past Travel Assistance Recipients

This is part of our series of stories from past ApacheCon and Apache Big Data attendees, who were helped by the Apache Travel Assistance committee in being at the event. To learn more about TAC, please visit the main TAC page. For more stories, please see the TAC stories index page.

Bhargav Golla

What's your name?

Bhargav Golla

What Apache project are you involved in?

I was involved with Apache PhotArk (Retired project), and Apache Isis, as Google Summer of Code Developer

Were you a student/academic at the time of ApacheCon?

Yes, I was a student.

Where in the world are you from?

I am a student at Clemson University, Clemson, SC.

What was the best bit about ApacheCon?

Being able to meet all the great committers from the community, and listening from each of them first hand about their experiences.

What was the most interesting thing you learned at ApacheCon?

Though working on ASF Projects, I wasn't aware of the reasons why many open source projects like to get under the umbrella of ASF. The session on "But we're already open source! Why would I want to bring my code to Apache?" was very informative, and so were the other sessions which were tuned towards people to understand more about ASF.

What was the best new project you heard about at ApacheCon?

Kafka. I had vaguely heard about it, but realized how widespread this tool is in many enterprises.

What was your favourite non-talk part of ApacheCon?

The Committer Receptions and the Closing receptions where all the committers and attendees could hangout and share things in a very informal and comfortable way. And also the free goodies provided by ASF and sponsors.

How did the Travel Assistance program compare to your expectations?

Travel assistance program exceeded my expectations. I assumed that this program is about just a way for conference attendees to get sponsored. But all the recipients were expected to help in the organization of sessions. This led to increased involvement in the conference, and also more relations forming among the Travel assistance recipients.

What would you say to someone thinking of applying to TAC for the first time?

Take your time to answer the questionnaire in detail so that the TAC committee can understand your case well and make sure that you are funded.


Rafael Weingärtner

What's your name?

I am Rafael Weingärtner.

What Apache project(s)/Open Source Software project(s) are you involved in?

Apache CloudStack and IOTA

Were you a student/academic at the time of ApacheCon?

Yes, I was a Ph.D. Student in Computer Science 

Where in the world are you from?

Brazil

What was the best bit about ApacheCon?

The opportunity to meet great people from all around the world. Not just technical folks, but also people that know how to create and manage huge projects on a daily basis.

Also Lightning talks; I swear that I am not only saying that because there were free beers and snacks ;)

What was the best new project you heardabout at ApacheCon?

Chronix, a database system based on Lucene and Solr that is optimized for timeseries. That was kind of unexpected to see a project like that can solve someof the problems I am facing in my Ph. D. It was also interesting to see otherscholars actively participating and engaging in the Apache world. The Chronixwas a nice example; it is mainly developed by a Ph.D. student.

What was your favourite non-talk part of ApacheCon?

The event at the Steamworks Brewing Company. Great beer and lots of fun.

Who was the best person you met at ApacheCon, and why?

Daan Hoogland; this guy is awesome. He is in the Apache CloudStack PMC, and we have been working together for over 4 years. We exchange emails weekly, and ApacheCon NA was the opportunity to meet and share a beer. Daan is not just a great coder and PMC member, but also an great friend.

What unexpected things did you learn at ApacheCon?

Apache Fey, which is part of Apache IOTA. This project is what I was looking for to serve the base for a system that I have been building.

What would you say to someone thinking ofapplying to TAC for the first time?

Go for it ;)  

Keren Ouaknine

What's your name?

Keren Ouaknine

Which ApacheCon/Apache event did you attend?

ApacheCon in Miami, FL 2017.

What Apache project(s)/Open Source Software project(s) are you involved in?

Apache AsterixDB, Apache Pig

Were you a student/academic at the time of ApacheCon?

Yes, Phd candidate at the Hebrew University.

Where in the world are you from?

Israel

What would you say to someone thinking of applying to TAC for the first time?

Apply, Apply!

ApacheCon is a unique opportunity to have great discussions with many open-source committed people. I was grateful for the privilege to learn about the Apache community and projects. The total number of sessions and topics covered in those three conference days was mind blowing and I can clearly remember us TAC-ers did not want it to end!

What unexpected things did you learn at ApacheCon?

Quick anecdote: I volunteered to help with the registration desk on the first day of the conference along with a friend. Naturally, I familiarized with many of the attendants, their names, workplace/organization. Following which, I no longer felt as a wandering soul, seeking to find a female peer to socialize with (like it often happens on conferences of this scale). Instead, I was part of the TAC-ers: united, incredibly nice, talented and organized group. During the registration, more TAC-ers joined to help with the load and together we mastered the incoming stream with ease and good spirit!

I cherish the friendship with all the TAC members and organizers and will keep a very fond memory of this conference.

Dammina Sahabandu

What's your name?

Dammina

What Apache project are you involved in?

Apache Bloodhound

Were you a student/academic at the time of ApacheCon?

I was a student at that time

Where in the world are you from?

Matara, Sri Lanka.

What would you say to someone thinking of applying to TAC for the first time?

If you are a first timer you should never hesitate, because you have the highest chance of getting accepted. And let me tell you if you are worried because you have never traveled alone before, please don't, because when I applied for tac I was a terrified kid who has never traveled out of the country. Trust me our dearest travel assistance committee guided me through each and every single step to get me over there. So please don't think twice this might be the biggest opportunity that you'll get in your life.

How did TAC and ApacheCon change your involvement in Apache?

Only after the ApacheCon I understood the real power of Apache. For me, before ApacheCon it was just a group of geeks who tries to write awesome code to make the world a better place, but now I feel like I'm a member of a huge family who cares very much for each other. It was like, what it seems to be a code base become home for me and now I'm not just trying to improve the code base but rather to make the family bigger in every aspect.


Gabriel Beims Bräscher

What's your name?

Gabriel Beims Bräscher

What was the best bit about ApacheCon?

It was one of the most intense weeks in my life, as I was constantly learning about new cultures, projects, people, places, technologies. To be honest, at first I was afraid (as a young guy, a mere master student); however, everyone treats you equally, it does not matter who you are and where are you from, because everyone knows that you are part of the ASF community. That feels great and made me confident to interact and learn even more.

Who was the best person you met at ApacheCon, and why?

It is hard to tell; lots of great persons!

TAC: For sure Melissa from the TAC program is one of them; she treats every "TACer" (people -- as lucky as I -- that was select by the TAC program) as a son; Sergio Fernández and Christofer Dutz that helped us all.

Speakers: Many of the Speakers that I helped were very charismatic and thankful, some of them: Luciano Resende (also Brazilian); Shane Curcuru; Daniel Izquierdo; Dzmitry Pletnikau; Giles Sirett; Will Stevens.

TACers: Andrea Patricelli (my roommate) a very friendly Italian; Svante Shubert, a guy that could make anyone laugh (note: he is german); Pedro Giffuni; Paul King; Darshan; and many others.

What was your favourite non-talk part of ApacheCon?

The interaction with people: the first night when the TAC gathered us to a bar; the last night of the Apache Big data, when we got another good time to known each other and enjoy a good beer/wine with Snacks; going out to explore Seville.

How did the Travel Assistance program compare to your expectations? First of all: I had high expectations! However, I received more than expected. The travel was great, the process after selected was easy and each information clear.

What would you say to someone thinking of applying to TAC for the first time?

It is a great experience as a programmer, researcher, and human being. This opened my mind to new cultures, Apache projects, technologies and contacts from Apache and the project that I am involved (Apache CloudStack). As a Speaker and also invited by the TAC program, I gained confidence for presenting projects and interacting with people from different cultures.

In exchange we, as "TACers", have to help with the conference, mainly introducing Speakers. The TACer has to help the Speaker to set up, and make sure that he/she is ready and comfortable for the presentation. That also helps on learning how to interact with the audience.

What did your project get from having you at ApacheCon?

With the TAC project, I got the chance to travel and present as Speaker a bit more about the Apache CloudStack. My presentation (Why Apache CloudStack) provides a feedback of why people should consider CloudStack and a discussion of why it is not as popular as it should be (considering how great piece of software the ACS is). Additionally, I presented a bit of a project that I work, which is a plugin for the Apache CloudStack.