FOSSCOMM (Free and Open Source Software Communities Meeting) is a Greek conference aiming at free-software and open-source enthusiasts, developers, and communities. This year was held at Lamia from October 11 to October 13.
It is a tradition for me to attend to this conference. Usually I have presentations and of course booths to inform the attendees about the projects I represent.
This year the structure of the conference was kind of different. Usually the conference starts on Friday with "beer event". Now it started with registration and a presentation. Personally I made my plan to leave from Thessaloniki by bus. It took me about 4 hours on the road. So when I arrived, I went to my hotel and then waited for Pantelis to go to the University and setup our booths.
ALERT: Long projects presentation...
Our goal was to put the stickers and leaflets on the right area. This year we had plenty of projects at our booths. We met a lot of friends at Nextcloud conference and we asked them for brochures and stickers. So this year our basic projects were Nextcloud and openSUSE (we had table cloths). We had stickers from GNOME (I had couple of T-Shirts from GUADEC just in case someone wanted to buy one). Since openSUSE sponsorts GNU Health, I was there to inform students about it (it was great opportunity since the department organizing was Bioinformatics department). We had brochures, stickers, chocolate and pencils from ONLYOFFICE, also we had promo material from our friends Turris. We are happy that Free Software Foundation Europe gave us brochures when we were in Berlin, and we were able to inform attendees about the campaigns and the work they are doing for us. We met Collabora guys also and we asked them if they want to promote them, since Collabora and Nextcloud are working together. Finally, our friends from DAVx5, gave us their promo material since the program works with Nextcloud so well.
I warned you!!! Well the first day we met the organizers and the volunteers. I was surprised by the number of volunteers and their willing to help us (even with setting up the booths). The first day ended with going out to eat something. Thank you Olga for introduce us to FRESCO. I used to eat at FRESCO when I was in Barcelona. I guess they're not franchise :-)
Well Saturday started with registration. We put more swag on the booth (we saw that last night they took almost everything). Personally I went to meet other projects. I was glad that my friend Julita applied to present what she's doing at the university (Linux on Supercomputers). I was kind of surprised but happy for her that her talk upgraded to Keynote. Glad I met her at GUADEC. Glad also that she had Fedora booth and gave some different aura to the conference. Check out her blogpost about her FOSSCOMM experience .
Glad I met Boris from Tirana. He did a presentation about Nextcloud as a service with Cloud68. Never met before, although I can say that I know many people from Albania and Open Labs.
My presentation was the last one on Saturday, so I had plenty of time to be at the booth and inform anyone about all the above projects. Also I had the opportunity to attend some talks I wanted to see. Well, my talk was about communities. I described my personal example. I started a little bit about what is contribution to open source projects. I focused on my example, meaning on end users that they like the software, they want to contribute but they don't have a clue about programming languages. Personally I translate and promote (articles, conferences etc). I met a lot of people (Greece and abroad) that I consider friends. Those friends maybe can help find a job (especially you are an IT). The best part though is when we meet AFK and we have fun.
You can see my presentation file here https://tinyurl.com/fosscomm2019.
After my presentation, there was a party (not because I finished it but because it was on schedule ;-) ). We had pizza and wine. Also there was music. We left kind of early (I guess) with some FOSS friends and some volunteers. We had a beer at the center.
On Sunday I left Lamia by car with a friendly couple from Thessaloniki. Well she had a presentation as well (before mine) about "Building digital competency in European small and medium-sized businesses with Free and Open Source Software: Results of the FOSS4SMEs project". I suppose to have another, more interesting talk for the Bioinformatics department (subject: "GNU HEALTH: The fight for our rights to universality and excellence in the Public Health System"), but due to my departure, it was canceled. I asked the organizers the day that the schedule was out to change my talk to Saturday but never got an answer.
Well, I took some videos and I'll upload it on youtube soon. Some volunteers took some pictures and I guess we'll have them soon. When I'll have them all, I'll edit this post.
Finally, I would like to thank Nextcloud for sponsoring my trip to Lamia.