It has been nearly a month since I got back from the Randa Meetings this year, and the memories are still fresh in my mind. This was my first KDE event that I have attended, and the overall experience was awesome!
This year the event took place from September 6 to 13, and it started off with me and some other fellow participants meeting up at the Zurich airport on the morning of 6th to collect our train tickets. After some 2 hours of train journey which included some great scenic views from the windows we finally reached the Randa house, where we were warmly greeted by Mario and others who had already reached. Arrangement for lunch had already been made, and we enjoyed a great meal consisting of beef steak and spaghetti.
Later that day I met with some of the other developers. Till then I had only interacted with them via emails/IRC conversations, and finally getting to meet them in person was quite thrilling. In the evening we went for some star-gazing. Torsten from the Marble group had brought his own home-made telescope and invited us to join him outside. He started to build the whole telescope from its parts, and after it was ready he showed us many stars and constellations and shared many interesting facts. At last when it started to get too cold for me to even feel my legs we decided to wrap it up for the day.
We spent the following days mostly in the hacking rooms. There were several rooms allocated to different groups. I joined some of the KDE-Edu developers. I met with Andreas Cord-Landwehr, Aleix Pol, and some more developers who had helped me a lot with my tasks. I took up with porting of the remaining Edu apps to KF5/Qt5. I found that Kalzium’s port had already been started by someone, and I decided to continue it from there. By the end of the Randa Meetings I was able to complete most of the port.
We also went for some trips every now and then. After long hours spent in coding it was kind of refreshing to stretch out your legs and enjoy a walk along the hilly roads. Many a times in the evening we would go for some short nearby trekking. One day we all went to Zermatt. Mario had arranged for some cars, and we spent the entire afternoon there. The return trip was almost some 3-4 hours of trekking, and I for one was exhausted like anything. Finally we reached the Randa house towards the evening, and soon we had a splendid dinner. One of the awesome things about the Randa meetings is the food. You are always served with extremely delicious dishes all the time which you never get tired of. Moreover there are always fruits and coffee/tea kept for you.
Amidst all these memorable moments the 7 days came to an end (very quickly it seemed), and it was time for goodbyes. Some of them had already left by the evening of 12th. I and a few of my friends left the next day. This event was really a memorable one, and I owe Mario a big thanks for organising it so perfectly. A lot of projects were completed by the developers, and the week spent there was very fruitful. I sincerely hope that such events are again held in future, and I am looking forward to attend them.