We went to FOSDEM!sysbee
Yes, we were there!
FOSDEM is the biggest open source conference in this part of Europe, and as always, it was very crowded, but also an amazing experience.
Brussels is not the sunniest city in Europe, so we were prepared for the cold and cloudy weather. Getting to Brussels is easy since it is well connected with airports, highways, buses; after all, it’s the capital of the European Union.
The conference was held in ULB Solbosch Campus, a very old, but also very modern student campus. The conference itself is free entry, without any registration necessary, so naturally, everyone interested can easily attend. Which leads us to a little problem – the conference is huge, and when we say huge, we mean a couple of thousand people attending the conference. This means there are pretty large queues for the tracks, so if you’re interested in a specific lecture, you need to go there a few lectures in advance to reserve a seat. Otherwise, you’ll stay outside of the lecture room. This might seem annoying at first, but after a couple of hours, we figured out how things work and next day we were ok with not seeing all lectures, so we chose the ones we’re most interested in and look for live streams or recordings of the rest. The recorded lectures can be found on FOSDEM’s video repository or their Youtube channel. The organizers upload them very quickly, so almost all of them were published in next few days (some even in a couple of hours after the conference!). There’s a ton of material over there worth watching, and you’ll probably need a couple of weeks to go through all available lectures. They are quite addictive, so be warned 🙂
Regarding food and drink on FOSDEM, there are few coffee shops inside the campus, and there’s always a few stands there serving coffee, beer, sausages and of course, Belgian waffles of all flavors, shapes and sizes.
There were also several sponsored stands, such as Github’s coffee stand. However, since the conference is huge with a couple of thousand people roaming around, there are always big queues for food and drink too.
Talks on FOSDEM are usually organized within several sections: Keynotes, Main tracks, Developer rooms and Lightning talks. There’s also time for certification exams from Linux Professional Institute, BSDA certification, and LibreOffice Certification. FOSDEM also brings about many Fringe conferences before and after the main conference, and most of them are very worth visiting, and a great excuse for your boss to let you stay in Brussells for a few more days.
The dates for the next FOSDEM are already known, it will be on the 2nd and 3rd of February 2019. We’ll make sure to attend, and hope to see some of you too as is more than worth attending.