Open Source Summit Japan 2019

Last week, I volunteered at Open Source Summit Japan, a professional conference hosted by the Linux Foundation.

This was my first ever presence at this event. Although I’m not new to attending or staffing at events, I learned quite a lot of things from both perspectives.

“From User to Contributor” Talk by Riona MacNamara

Riona’s talk “From User to Contributor: How Documentation Enables Vibrant Open Source Communities” was excellent. Since I’m in the middle of organizing upcoming events (WordCamp Tokyo & Asia) and still figuring out the best way to program Contributor Day, it was perfect timing to understand contributor personas and blockers.

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Riona MacNamara

Not only that, her talk was a good reminder of why we should help othrers to contribute. Her different talk from Write the Docs conference is available on YouTube. Some of the key ideas I resonated are also in this one – well worth your 15 minutes!

Women in Open Source Lunch

Another highlight of the conference for me was attending Women in Open Source Lunch. Thanks to Sato-san & Fukuyasu-san frin Linux Foundation Japan (who also invited me to volunteer), I found out about the opportunity to meet more people in the field.

At my table, Sarah Novotony, Patricia Ferreiro, Raona Roess, and I talked about a wide range of topics like career path, mentoring/leadership, and continuing education. I feel very lucky to have had a chance to spend some time with them!

Volunteering in a New Community

I also got to meet other open source community leaders/members in Japan through volunteering. Between our shifts, we exchanged ideas about event organization and community management.

Overall, I’m so glad I decided to go to this event! I even wish I had done it sooner. I look forward to going back again in the future.


Header photo credit: The Linux Foundation (CC BY-NC 2.0)

Sakura in Tokyo, 2018

It felt like this spring was the best sakura (cherry blossom) season in Tokyo since I had moved here 7 years ago. The blossoms started early, but the weather during the full bloom was warm and less windy/rainy than I had experienced in the past.

I fully enjoyed the flowers by taking many walks and going hanami picnics.

March 17

Early blossoms outside of the Imperial Palace, where I biked along with my new battery-assisted e-bike.

First fully bloomed tree I saw this year, near Iidabashi Station.

March 23

Another one right above the railroad of Sōbu-Chūō Line at Iidabashi Station.

March 24

Walked around Akagi Jinja/Shrine.

The darker pink kind I spotted while my daughter Lisa played in a park.

March 25

This was the best day of the season for me. Sakura at their most beautiful time.

March 27

I took kids to a quick night picnic. Lisa liked it so much she kept saying she wanted to go again. Hopefully, we can do that next year!

March 31

Back at the Imperial Palace area — picnic at Kitanomaru Park with some local families.

April 1

Last hanami for the year at Koishikawa Botanical Garden. It was a windy day, and the fallen petals looked like snowflakes.

Sakura season is so short and unpredictable, but that makes it even more precious. 🌸

WordCamp Kyoto 2017 Photos

WordCamp Kyoto 2017 took place on June 24-25. Around 350 people gathered at Kyoto University and enjoyed the time togeter as WordPress enthusiasts.

Day 0: Travel & Speakers Dinner

On the day before the event, two of my colleagues and I took a bullet train from Tokyo to Kyoto. We walked around Kiyomizudera Temple and Nineizaka, then went to the Speaker’s Dinner in Sijō.

Day 1: Session Day

Saturday was a session day. We arrived at the venue early to set up Automattic (Jetpack/WooCommerce) tables. All went by fast – I gave a talk about WordPress.com (video/sildes), attended a session about translation, and mostly talked to people at the sponsorship table.

The organizing team did a great job excecuting the event, closely focusing around session while keeping a relatively simple overall setup. They had beautiful and very original swag too!

I received some more Wapuu stickers and postcards from Tachibana-san, who went to WordCamp Europe in Paris.

At the after party, I talked some more people… For someone who work alone for most of the days and use typed words as the main means of communication, it felt as if I was intensely training my vocal cord during these WordCamp days.

Day 2: Contributor Day

Then on Sunday, about 100 people participated in the Contributor Day. I helped as a mentor for the documentation and polyglots teams.

It was a very well-organized setup and each team got a lot of things done in a day. There were many first-time contributors — it looked like they had a good time while learning how to get involved in many aspects of the WordPress project.

Day 3: Coworking

On the final day, some of us met up at Tenrō-in Bookstore (天狼院書店) for a little bit of coworking. It’s a renovated old house with two floors of coworking/café space.


This trip made me realize it again that the WordPress community in the Kansai region (= Kyoto, Osaka, Kobe, etc.) is very strong. With multiple local leaders that have experience in organizing WordCamps and meetups, the team is diverse and giving good infulence to each other.

I’m sure they will put together a great WordCamp next year – you should come and see it yourself, and get to know this part of Japan too!