We were on FOSDEM
Yes, we were! Biggest open source conference on this part of Europe. It was very crowded, as FOSDEM always is. But as always, no marketing, no sales conferences it was great.
Bruxelles is not sunniest part of 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, it is capital of European Union after all.
A conference was held in ULB Solbosch Campus, very old, but also very modern student campus, it was pretty pleased to be there. The conference itself is free, and there is no registration necessary what so ever. So, everybody interested can attend. You just need to appear there, and you are on. Which lead us to a little problem, a conference is huge. When I say huge, I mean a couple of thousand people attend this conference and sometimes, queues on some tracks is pretty big, so, if you interested in some topic, you need to go there lecture or two in advance to reserve your seat, meaning you have to sit there and wait for your desired lecture to start. Otherwise, you will stay outside lecture room. Seems annoying at first, but in a couple of hours, you figure out how things work over there and next day you are ok with the fact that you will not see all lectures that you wanted, only most interesting ones and for rest of it, there is either live stream while you waiting in a queue, or recorded lectures on FOSDEM's video repository or youtube channel. They put them online very fast, almost all of them were published online in next few days, some even in a couple of hours after a conference. Did I mention that conference is huge? Warning! There is a ton of material over there worth watching, and you will probably need weeks to watch them all, they are addictive, you have been warned.
Regarding food and drink on FOSDEM, there are few coffee shops inside the campus, and there is always few stands in the middle of campus serving coffee, beer, sausages, and other fried food, and, I should not forget, Belgian wafels, of all flavors, shapes, and sizes. There was, of course, some sponsored stands, for example, Github's coffee stand, but, since the conference is huge, there are few thousands of people over there, there are big queues for food too.
Talks on Fosdem are usually organized within sections: Keynotes, Main tracks, Developer rooms and Lightning talks. There is also time for certification exams from Linux Professional Institute, BSDA certification, and LibreOffice Certification. And there are a lot of Fringe conferences before and after Fosdem itself, most of them are very worth visiting and very good excuse for your boss to let you stay in Bruxelles few more days.
Dates for next FOSDEM is already known, it is 2nd and 3rd of February 2019. We will be there for sure and hope to see some of you too, it is more than worth attending.