FOSDEM: My first open source event

In an age in which November is a good time to advertise Christmas shopping, March can easily be a good time to talk about FOSDEM. So that’s what I’m going to do. 

My FOSDEM experience

At the beginning of February, I went to FOSDEM, my first open source conference. In fact, it was even my first non-maths conference. In maths, conferences and workshops have to be very topic-specific, since math talks are very concrete, often presenting a proof that can only be followed by people working in the same field (or, sometimes not even by them). FOSDEM was the total opposite to topic-specific. There are people, talks and stands of any kind of open source related areas. So the range of topics covered in talks was immense. But not only the range of topics; also the focus and the feeling given to the talks was very diverse: sometimes the focus was on a certain programming language, sometimes on the tools used, sometimes on the goals that got achieved, sometimes about the directions in which certain developments have been going or seem to be going now and what that implies, sometimes about moral questions involved and so on. It was very interesting to see so many different open source related topics focused from so many different ways in only two days.

But talks were not the only part of the conference that impacted me. The conference was also an opportunity to get to know people from my community: GNOME. It was very nice to meet several people in person, I had only known through chats before, and to get to know people I hadn’t known at all before; both at FOSDEM itself and at a related beer event organized by GNOME. So the social part was very nice, but also productive. For example, at some moment I got help from several people troubleshooting a styling problem I had, caused by an adwaita decision I didn’t know of.

To go to FOSDEM, I also got funded by my Outreachy grant. Thanks! 🙂 It was a great experience.

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