FOSDEM 2019 summary - part 2

As promised, here is the second part of FOSDEM 2019 coverage. This part will comprise insights of two FOSDEM first timers, Kamil and Michał. But before we dive into those, I wanted to share an awesome thought of one of main FOSDEM organisers.

Basically, the man behind FOSDEM - Raphael Bauduin, said that since he felt he lacked the brains to properly contribute to the open-source community, he wanted to contribute by launching a European event in Brussels (and gathering more brain power than ever). Amazing and humble attitude, right?

The idea behind Open Source movement is an idea worth sharing, and all organisations dedicated to promoting it, exist only due to contributions of the Open Source community. Imagine how much can we achieve if we just all work together!

Now without further ado, let’s get into those FOSDEM 2019 summaries.

KAMIL

Going to FOSDEM for the first time, I was mainly interested in issues regarding programming, automatization and systems architecture. I was looking for inspiration and mindset refreshment. During the conference, I have attended a few lectures regarding Go programming language, Machine Learning on code, and technologies based on blockchain.

In terms of summary, I must admit that this is the most advanced conference I have ever been to. Different solutions are described in detail by the people who create them. Almost all topics that are discussed are open source, so they are widely available and anyone can get engaged. People are very open and helpful - the vibe of the conference is very interesting and a bit hippie like :)

In order to fully benefit from the conference, you need to adapt a little - you have to plan the schedule of lectures you want to attend, as very often commuting from building to building takes a lot of time and it might turn out that once you finally get there, all spots at the lecture are taken. The organizers have released a very helpful app to help you plan the conference, and I think it is an essential tool for anyone going to FOSDEM.

To sum things up, I was able to find what I was looking for and I was inspired to get into Go.

MICHAŁ

I was going to FOSDEM with a little prior knowledge or expectations. I have planned few tracks that I wanted to attend mainly dedicated to Blockchain technologies and Machine Learning. I’ve imagined that it will be similar to many other big conferences that I’ve attended in in the past. And that was my first mistake.

On Friday evening, sipping bear in Delirium (official FOSDEM pub) with some veterans I’ve installed the conference app - FOSDEM Companion. The app is simple but cool - basically It’s a double edge sword. It gives you all the information you need about what track are going on right now. What can kill you is the choice… with over 30-40 track going on simultaneously it’s sometimes hard to decide where you would like to be.

So the advice, that I’ve got from ‘elders’ and ignored… is to pick the Dev Room or track that you’re most interested in and sit there. If something is not interesting to you at any given moment, you can always switch to online stream from another talk. Because they are all streamed live!

The thing that I’ve processed for a while was the FOSDEM culture - obviously open, based on merit and very geeky. So, I think that, beside the food for thought you can go there to get that shot of motivation/inspiration and open minded thinking.

To sum things up, we have come up with a list of basic tips gathered from FOSDEM veterans. They might seem pretty obvious, but prove to be very helpful, especially for all the first-timers.

  • Plan ahead using the FOSDEM Companion app
  • Eat a big breakfast in order to avoid standing in line during the conference and save time
  • Take a bottle of water and don’t throw it away - you will be able to refill it at the conference
  • If you plan to watch the streamed lectures, keep in mind that: Questions from audience are not very audibleand Watching streams takes away the possibility to meet all those amazing people
  • Take a powerbank (or two) there are not many options to power up during the day
  • Leave your primary laptop and phone at home, take burners if you can

Now, knowing all of the above you are ready to attend your first FOSDEM conference! Have fun!

If you missed our Live regarding FOSDEM 2019, you can watch it here:

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