Today was the first day of this year’s FOSDEM. The advantage of it being online this time was that I didn’t have to jump onto a completely packed tram to get there. I also managed to join every session I wanted to without being stuck in a line just to eventually see the “this room is full” sign.
But, wow, do I miss Brussels. I haven’t missed a single FOSDEM since 2015 and I didn’t want to start now! So how does the setup work this time around?
Basically, the whole event is run on chat.fosdem.org with every single track (and also each talk) getting its own room. The video stream for the track is pinned to the top of the room but you obviously can also open it in a seperate browser window. This is also what I ended up doing.
Under the hood the system is a Matrix server. If you already have a Matrix account you can also join the fun through
fosdem.org inside your favorite client. So I just did that and kept Element running on my laptop alongside the talk in a browser window.
In that sense, FOSDEM is pretty similar to how GopherCon was run. It’s just so nice if you don’t have to sign up for yet another platform and then only get a mediocre chat interface. I really hope that they’ll be able to keep the server around for next year!
The amount of knowledge that was exchanged during the talks and afterwards was just mind-blowing. It as just awesome ❤️
So which talks did I attend live this time around?
- Empowering the school of the future
- Database schema management for lazybones
- Emacs and org-mode for reproducible research
- Ecosystem Introduction, A Scuttlebutt Walkthrough
- Principles, Patterns, and Practices for Effective Infrastructure as Code
- How to defeat imposter syndrome
- The Democratization of Databases
- Database Performance at GitLab.com
- The State of Go
One important of aspect for me is also sitting together with friends on Friday before the event but also after each day at some Belgian beer with great chocolate and waffles (or other delicious food).
To at least get some of that back, we did a Zoom call yesterday evening with everyone who was part of our group last year (or at least those who had time). A couple of weeks ago I had already assembled beer packages for everyone and sent them on their way with BeerLovers for those of us from Austria and bierlinie for those from Germany. I think everyone got something they enjoyed and we had a great evening!
Plans for tomorrow
Looking through my bookmarked talks for tomorrow I will probably spend most of the day in the community and docs channels. I might also make a small jumps over into the blockchain, web-performance, and postgresql tracks, though! The range of talks at FOSDEM is just, as always, amazing! I just wish there was a security track this year, but perhaps it will make its return in 2022 🙂