FOSDEM 2015 Event Report

So, this year I had the chance to travel to Brussels and attend FOSDEM, one of the largest FOSS events bringing together around 5k developers and geeks from all over the world. Since I started contributing to the Fedora Project, I’ve always wanted to attend FOSDEM but I wasn’t actually able to for different reasons; but this year, I finally made it to attend as a representative of the Fedora Project.

I arrived in Brussels in Friday, and since I was the first one from the Fedora Project to arrive in Brussels, I checked in alone in the hotel. Later I went outside and did some sightseeing in Brussels, and before I realize it, it was time for the Famous FOSDEM Beer event in Delirium. This was my first time in Brussels, and because I was alone and I didn’t have any data on my phone, I found it ectremely difficult to find it in the first place, since it was hidden in a small alley. The crowd was huge, and I made it to the bar after 30 minutes of waiting! As I said the place was very crowded and I didn’t find any fellow Ambassadors that night, but I managed to find many Greek friends like Giannis and Christos from Mozilla, along with plenty others from other FOSS communities! I definitely didn’t expect to meet that many Greeks that night!

Next day FOSDEM kicked off. Fedora had a great booth presence, and we gave away many different Fedora stickers, and Fedora 21 Workstation DVDs. We actually managed to gave out everything we had brought. We also had some nice Fedora flyers, and a PC showcasing Fedora 21 workstation. A lot of people were so much interested, and they kept asking questions, which I was happy to answer. The Fedora Project leader was there, answering questions about the initiative to the public and the journalists. We were also pleased to have Tom Callaway and Jaroslav Reznik on our booth, the FESCO lead, and they gave answers to more difficult technical questions.

After the first day of FOSDEM came to an end, we had a community dinner at an Indian Restaurant, with all the Fedorians that attended FOSDEM. After that, we walked to our hotel that was nearby and I went straight to bed, to cope with the next day.

I can recall it was really cold that morning when we were waiting at the bus stop in order to get to the venue. Needless to say the whole bus was filled with FOSDEM attendees. Woah, how many cool people in such a small place! Thankfully we didn’t had to build our whole booth from the beginning, and we only set up our showcase machines. It was a very busy day as well, with many people stopping by at our booth, and I was more than welcome to help them. During breaks, I had the chance to visit other project booths, together with Giannis who was also attending FOSDEM as a Mozilla Representative, and to grab some awesome swag from our favorite projects for our local FOSS community in Samos! The conference was over in the afternoon, so we packed our booth and our stuff, and we were in our way to the airport. I found Nikos Roussos in the way to the airport, from the Greek Mozilla community. and we traveled together back to Greece.

What can I say… I can’t find a proper word to describe how unique, awesome and rocking this FOSDEM was to me. It was an extraordinary experience. The only thing that I know is that I’m not missing a single FOSDEM from now on! Take care everyone!