What up! In this post I will talk about my experiences at my first FOSDEM. FOSDEM (Free and Open source Software Developers' European Meeting) is the biggest open source event in Europe; It is celebrated every year in Brussels. Now that I'm living in Europe, I added that event into my calendar since the moment I knew about it.
My trip there was only possible thanks to Fedora, who sponsored my trip. The first day I arrived, I was confident that I would know how to arrive to the hotel using my phone's GPS, but when I arrived to the train station, Murphy's law came into action and made me be without internet =/, so I asked some policemen at the station and they told me to go in some direction. So I began walking through Brussels until I found out I was somehow lost in the city center. I decided to ask some locals, and when I did, those "locals" were also foreigners coming to FOSDEM, but they were heading to some bar where the preFOSDEM party was going on, so I decided to go with them. There I met a lot of people (and also drank a couple of beers), but what I liked the most was seeing some old friends from the States. After the bar I managed to find my hotel.
The first day at FOSDEM I went directly to the Fedora booth, were I met a lot of european Fedora and Red Hat folks. Between the stuff we brought to the booth, the thing that most attracted people were some 3D printers. And what do 3D printers have to do with Fedora? Well, Fedora has one spin called Fedora 3D printing, where we can find a lot of CAD programs and other design tools to use in regular 3D printers. I was there the first day all the morning helping at the booth. After noon, I went with some friends to give a round at the expo room. There were many FLOSS projects, and what I liked the most: hardware projects. Being an embedded systems guy hardware for me is one of the best things I could see there. That night I went out with the Red Hat guys and I manage to know them more.
The second (and last) day, I was mostly working at the Fedora booth, where I met a lot of people interested in the project, and we also heard some cool stories of them using Fedora. I also went to the Mozilla booth and met a lot of the Mozilla folks. I am also a Mozilla Reps, so meeting them was of great pleasure for me. I discussed with them about different topics, and I really liked seeing a lot of young people volunteering in the Mozilla project. I would be really glad to see a lot of teens volunteering in the Fedora project. At the end of the day, I had dinner again with the Fedora/Red Hat people, and I heard lots of cool stories about FLOSS and off-topic with them.
FOSDEM I don't think is just about going to conferences and getting free stuff, but most importantly of meeting the people with who you work with, the people who volunteer on other projects, or even people that barely knows about FLOSS but are beginning to get interested on it. I really want to be there next year again, and see my friends and make new ones. Thanks again to Fedora, and I am really glad I'm contributing to it (:
From june 14th to june 16th I went to San Francisco and surroundings to a Fedora event called BAMF Pi Fun. So first of all, BAMF stands for "Bay Area Mentoring Fedorans", which is a very cool group of people who try to teach Fedora and free software/hardware in general around the Bay Area. I was invited to the event by Mark Terranova (MarkDude). Jono Bacon described him as: Beautiful and weird. So as you can imagine, this guy is pretty fun and smart. Great friend! this guy is friend with everyone in the world :P check his cool suite he wore at the geeknic :P
So the first day (friday) we worked on some raspberry pi projects. We started to build what we called a "fedora box" which is a wooden box with a screen inside of it, and some space for a keyboard, mouse, maybe a camera and stuff. We want this box to be used at events (like the event box) so people won't have to carry their own laptops and raspberry pies and stuff to show Fedora, and to show how amazing it is, running on the computer, but also running on a Raspberry Pi using Pidora, the new Fedora distro for the raspberry pi (if you haven't use it, try it!, yeah, go ahead try it now!). On that day I also manage to meet another fedora ambassador: Ryansinger.
The second day we continued working on the Fedora box, this time another fellow helped us working with the wood(en box). We designed the box so everything could fit in. So when you open the box you could see the screen, the keyboard, a mouse, and over the box a camera connected to the Raspberry Pi. We made a simple demo using the Fedora photobooth. After we took the pictures, a QR code was generated so people could take a picture of it and download the picture. We also built a small RC car using the Raspberry Pi.
On that same day, in the coworking space we were working on, we met two cool girls who are volunteers on a project called 1/4Tech, an awesome project where they are trying to teach technology and geeky stuff to kids. As they describe in their webpage: 1/4Tech is a room dedicated to K-12 kids to LEARN and BUILD all things tech in a fun and safe environment. We talked a lot with these girls, about their projects and ours, and we promise to work together and help each other. MarkDude donated a computer to them, and he promised to donate more (the donated computer and the future ones use Fedora), and we will give support to them. We were very excited about all this! (:
The last day, we had an awesome geeknic, where I met other people like akk, an awesome girl who knows a lot about electronics! We had some hotdogs and talked about geek stuff =p this day was more relax and to make new friends.
So we made good progress on the weekend building the fedora box, we met could girls working for a project in which now they use Fedora, and I met a lot of great people! Thanks to everyone who helped me to go there, and who are still helping me a lot in everything!