FOSDEM 2017

Last weekend, I was able to attend Free and Open Source Developers Europe Meetup for the second year in a row. The event is a conference, which also holds a number of lightning talks, as well as providing the ability to meet up with various FLOSS-friendly companies and individuals. It was a really great weekend, and I had a lot of fun - both through learning some new tech and ideas, and also from meeting some really interesting people.

While there, I managed to get along to the following talks:

I also managed to meet some really cool people. We had a couple of new people who joined the regular FOSDEM group, and were definitely the better for it! It gave us some new, fresh blood, and was nice seeing some new perspectives on ideas we had, and helped guide us towards different talks.

On the Friday afternoon, we met up for the annual Friday Beer Event which is, as always, a great time to meet up with the group and have a good catch up, as well as meet new people. For instance, while getting a round in, I started talking to some engineers at Canonical about how they approach community, what things they do to differentiate against other distributions, and how they actually build the distribution.

In addition, I managed to spend Saturday afternoon with Sid (@sytses), Kamil (@ayunfanpl) and Axil (@_axil) from GitLab, as well as Nick, a friend of Axil's. The afternoon consisted of talking about GitLab's roots in Gitolite, GitLab's recent mishap - and very honest, transparent, and responsible way of dealing with it - and their future in Kubernetes and being an all-in-one platform.

Being a huge GitLab proponent since discovering it in 2016, I found this a really insightful discussion, and it opened my eyes to different ways that they're working and how they're moving forward. With my interest in Continuous Builds and Integration, through to learning recently a lot more about the use of Docker (such as on my site) it was a really cool talk to see how they're approaching it at such huge scale, and how they're able to orchestrate it all.

But the conference wasn't just about talks and grabbing a beer with some people you look up to - there were also loads of companies around. Not only were they there to tell you about what they do, but they give out swag such as stickers, or in the case of CoreOS, free beanies! A number of companies also had paid swag items such as Free Software Foundation Europe, GNOME or Libre Office tshirts, as well as the official FOSDEM conference T-shirts. I managed to get myself a couple of FSFE T-shirts - both because they were cool and because it's great to help them out with the amazing things they do - and the FOSDEM T-shirt.

While walking round between talks on one of the days, I managed to peek a tool called Bitergia which makes it possible to provide insights and metrics on Open/Inner Source projects, which I can see as being a great tool for determining what sort of people contribute to repositories, what sort of contributions they make, how long it takes on average for issues to be closed, etc. However, another thing that made me remember the name was that they have a lot of backends that they can integrate with. For instance, there is the option to work with JIRA, which I can imagine is going to be very useful at Capital One - such that we can perform more cross-cutting analysis of different tools we're using, and be able to collate all these findings in a single place.

Overall, it was another hugely successful year, and I'll be most definitely going again next year.

*****

Written by Jamie Tanna on 09 February 2017, and last updated on 05 June 2017.

Content for this article is shared under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike 4.0 International, and code is shared under Apache License 2.0.

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