FOSDEM was not the first free and open source event that I have been to, but it’s my first major one for Europe!
When I attended LibrePlanet in Boston a couple of years ago, I made a mistake of having a really tight schedule which meant that I barely spent enough time to explore Boston. This time around, I made sure to have plenty of time to explore Brussels and also attend the conference.
My only wish was that I was better at scheduling. On my first morning, I did a walking tour and the second walking tour was cancelled due to low numbers. I ended up wandering around the city centre on the first day.
My second day was at ULB (pictured above) for FOSDEM. I arrived in time to catch the talks after 12 noon, browse through the stalls a bit. Top talk was end of the day with Meltdown/Spectre by Jon Masters from Red Hat.
One thing about going to cons is that I’ve found it hard to talk to and meet new people. I’ve noticed many people there either already knew each other or they were in groups.
Many people left after FOSDEM so there was nothing much on (note to self: try to arrive a day or two early instead). On my final day, I had a late flight and wandered around Bruxelles including spending a good hour in one of the chocolate cafes.
I had a leisurely time – unfortunately I wasn’t prepared for the cold, my legs were getting a bit numb from walking around all day for the past three days and I really didn’t feel like going inside any museums. This is the part where I wish I was better at scheduling as the weather was considerably better so I could have instead gone to the conference over the weekend and did my walking tours on this day. At the very least, it was better than my scheduling at Boston as this time around I did have plenty of time to go sightseeing around the city!
Bruxelles was definitely a fitting destination to go to before my move out of Germany for some time back in Australia.