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A love letter to FOSDEM - 14 February 2020

FOSDEM main room

On my first day working for the Foundation for Public Code, I went to FOSDEM with the rest of the team. This conference is one of the biggest in Europe, as it gathers thousands of developers of free and open source software from all over the world.

The open source community tends to create an ecosystem where every interaction looks very organic and natural. Maybe that’s why the event feels so different from others I’ve personally attended. In case you were wondering if you should join FOSDEM or not, I’m going to point out three reasons why you should, one per day of the conference.

Friday

This is when the satellite events happen. Whether you are in FOSDEM for the Belgian beers or if you are craving for some meetups like CHAOSScon or the EU Open Source Policy Meeting, you won’t get bored in Brussels during those first days of February.

Saturday

This is the first official day of the conference, and one of the first things I noticed when I arrived there was the good vibes surrounding the venue. Everything works and people organically distribute in between multiple rooms. Despite the great principles of cooperation and sharing that the open source community has, it is not 100% self-managed. The conference works thanks to a solid team of volunteers that support every year since 20 years ago and make sure every talk develops as expected.

Sunday

The last day of the conference was the most insightful for me. I spent the whole day in the Community Devroom, where I didn’t stop taking notes. The room devoted to open source communities shares plenty of tips and use cases of successful community management. If you are interested, these talks are now available.

In case you’re still reluctant, a bonus reason: as the community is all about sharing, the conference ticket is free.