Jabberwocky

FOSDEM 2010: all was well

Posted in conference, FOSDEM, open source by elisehuard on February 10, 2010

This weekend we had our 10th edition of FOSDEM. Fosdem is the Free Open Source Developers European Meeting. It’s the second year that I’m part of the staff – my reasons to join the team was that since I’m using a lot of open source, but contributing precious little (working on it), I might as well give something back in another way. Since then I found another reason to enjoy working on FOSDEM: it’s amazing to bring about such a mammoth event with just a dozen of people and a larger group of volunteers.

Since FOSDEM is entirely free and doesn’t require people to register, it’s always difficult to estimate the attendance. Judging from the numbers of t-shirts and the booklets, and the constant throngs of geeks in the hallways, the general impression is that we had even more participants than last year. To the point that we start wondering if we’re not going to grow too large.

The organization was a success. Kudos to the whole team for doing a good job.
Sponsoring and donations were crisis-insensitive. The network was up on friday night (respect to Gerry, Jerome, Peter, and all who made it happen), with a glass fiber gigabit uplink. During the conference the geeks didn’t even use 10% of the bandwidth. In one of the hacker rooms there was a sign ‘please use more bandwidth’. The devrooms were mostly packed, and the main tracks were (I think) interesting. It’s not always easy to get brainiacs who can speak in front of an audience, but I think we hit the spot most of the time.

Where last year I had to run around like a headless chicken, this year there were plenty of opportunities to sit down for 20 minutes at a time ! Which meant I got out of it feeling marginally less exhausted than last year.

I think we can say that the organization has now reached a nice plateau, and everything was ticking along very smoothly. The only danger is to grow complacent – it’s never a good idea to let your guard down.

Heart-warming: to have faithful volunteers who help us until the bitter (or should I say dirty) end. To have a great atmosphere, and to get heartfelt thanks from participants. If you’ve got any feedback of your own, tips you’d like to share, let us know.

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