My Experience at the Ubuntu Summit 2022

My Experience at the Ubuntu Summit 2022

Before the beginning of the year 2022, I wanted to get involved in more open-source initiatives by attending and meeting a wide range of people in the community who are using and contributing to Open Source in diverse ways. I wanted to meet people particularly outside of the Python Software Community, to have an idea of what others were using and contributing to Open Source. Luckily, I got invited to attend the first Ubuntu Summit, organized by Canonical.

The Ubuntu Summit was an opportunity for the broader Ubuntu Community, and for Open Source Advocates to learn, collaborate and share experiences. Ubuntu powers some of the world's innovation and is making the world a better place to live through technology. The conference Chairs were Mauro Gaspari and Philipp Kewisch and I must say that I learned so much from their poise, enthusiasm, and hard work, which made the entire summit successful.


The summit was held in Hilton Prague, Czech Republic. The country is famous for Innovation, Castles, Chateaus, and Beer, among others. It was my first time there, and I enjoyed seeing the different architecture of buildings, listening to their history and seeing and experiencing the various available transportation systems (metro, bus, tram, and ride share like uber). The hotel was a perfect place for the summit. The environment was serene and welcoming. For someone who had missed some Ghanaian food, I was looking forward to having a taste of the amazing meals offered at the hotel. In all, I did enjoy my meals and was glad I had a lot of options to choose from and explore. We had breakfast, coffee, and lunch breaks throughout the day. Also, the venue was wheelchair accessible and there were elevators to help with movement as well.

Prague Photos (1).png


The summit was 3-day long and occured both in-person and online. We listened to talks from different tracks such as community, data science, infrastructure, ubuntu-desktop, application ecosystem, content & design. The timetable for the entire summit which includes the talks, speakers, and breaks can be found here.

On Day 1, Mauro and Philip gave the Welcome & Opening Plenary. This session was about the purpose of the summit and how far the community had come. The CEO of Canonical, Mark Shuttleworth welcomed and shared about the Ubuntu Developer Summit and why it had now become the Ubuntu Summit. He took the opportunity to answer questions from participants as well. He reiterated that "This event is about the people leading Open Source beyond our ambitions and what we can drive. It's about empowering people who have different ideas and enabling them to address things that are deeply important to the future."

We listened to a variety of talks and I had the opportunity to moderate the afternoon session on Day 1. This helped me to connect more with the community. One of the most inspiring talks for me was one given by Ngazetungue Muheue on "Every programmer needs a donkey cart". Listening to him talk about his journey to becoming a Software Engineer and contributing to open source in Namibia was so inspiring. He is such a powerhouse for the African Open Source Community.

There were breakout rooms that made it easy for participants to choose areas they were interested in participating. I genuinely wished I could attend all the sessions. We saw open source in action in fields like robotics, documentation, music, arts, publishing, etc. I have read about how people and organizations were using open source in music and arts, but meeting such people was something I never dreamt of. I met Tom Ray, a podcaster, and singer/songwriter in the Creative Commons band Lorenzo’s Music and he gave a talk on “Using Ubuntu Studio, Ardour, and GitHub for music collaboration”. I was wowed! Guess what? He and his band treated us to some good music on the last day of the Summit, during the boat cruise.

Diversity and Inclusion

The summit welcomed people from over 38 countries worldwide! Wow! People represented from the various continents in the world. As an African, I was happy to have seen other Africans who gave talks and participated in other ways as well.

It is easier to find talents in disciplines like Web Development, Technical Writing, and Data Science among others at an Open Source Conference or Summit. The Ubuntu Summit had a mixture of people in this field including Music, Arts, Publishing, etc. This was a game changer for me because I have only read about how Open Source is being applied in this field but had never met anyone in-person practicing it. The individuals in these fields gave talks on how they are using and contributing to Open Source.

I met 13-year-old Rudra Saraswat who is an Ubuntu member and has worked on many other Open Source projects. He loves to develop for Linux and he flew from India to participate in the summit. He gave a lightning talk on "Contributing to Unity7 and Ubuntu Unity". It was a delight to see him participate and meet others who have been practising in the field for so many years.

Also, the summit was welcoming to people with disability. They participated in talks and shared their journeys of how the Ubuntu and Open Source communities have been helpful to them over the years.

Prague Photos (2).png

I am looking forward to participating in the next summit! Big thanks to Daniele Procida, Mauro Gaspari, and Sarah Craddock for the invitation and selflessness toward community building. Special thanks to Ondřej Auer, Eliška Auer, and Honza Javorek for taking time out of their busy schedules to show us the beautiful city of Prague! Kindly visit the Ubuntu Summit's Youtube channel here to view the recorded talks and more about the event. Don't forget to subscribe as well. Also, Canonical is hiring! Head over to their career page here, to learn more.

Shoutouts to Professor Jessica Kropczynski and Nicole Cochran for challenging and encouraging me to attend the summit.

Ubuntu - I am what I am because of who we all are.