February 26, 2020

Fosdem 2020

Earlier this month we visited FOSDEM, an absolutely open and free event for developers, open-source vendors and enthusiasts to meet, share their ideas and news, and discuss the latest in open source. Talks at FOSDEM are usually organized within several sections: Keynotes, Main tracks, Developer rooms and Lightning talks.

Some people from our team had visited before, but for most of us first timers it was really exciting. Packed keynotes, busy dev rooms, people chatting outside, over coffee, beer, or snacks!

The conference was held in ULB Solbosch Campus, a very old, but also very modern student campus. The conference itself is free entry, without any registration necessary, so naturally, everyone interested can easily attend. Regarding food and drink at FOSDEM, there are few coffee shops inside the campus, and there’s always a few stands there serving coffee, beer, sausages, fries, and of course, Belgian waffles of all flavors, shapes and sizes.

We attended a couple of main track talks and keynotes which we found super interesting, but our heart belongs to the devrooms :D We were overwhelmed by the diversity of topics covered, especially with regards to containers, their ecosystem and related technologies: Container devroom, SDN or SDS devrooms, Microkernels or Virtualization. During the sessions, as well as during the breaks and evenings we had the opportunity to chat with intersting people, working on exciting projects.

Our contribution to FOSDEM this year was a talk on lighweight virtualization, focusing on a simple hypervisor we’ve crafted, and our upstreaming effort for running Amazon’s Firecracker on a Rapsberry Pi 4. People found it quite interesting, and we’re glad it stimulated insightful discussions for feedback, as well as next steps.

The event was quite big; attendees were estimated to be 5500 this year, whereas last year they were estimated to be around 6000. Network traffic statistics are available here and a detailed analysis here.

All in all it was a great experience, we loved talking to people about interesting projects, and we are super excited to showcase some of the things we’ve got piled up for next year! Brussels is a fun place to be, let alone the fine beer available from local and international breweries!

Looking forward to FOSDEM 2021!