Notes from FOSDEM 2017

Riding the tram you hear the word “Linux” pronounced in four different languages. Stepping out into the grey drizzle, you instantly smell fresh waffles and GitHub-sponsored coffee, and everywhere you look you see a FSF t-shirt. That’s right kids, it’s FOSDEM time again! The beer may not be free, but the software sure is.

Last year I got my first taste of this most epic of FLOSS conferences, back when I was an unemployed ex-grad-student with not even 5 pull requests to my name. This year, as a bona fide open source contributor, Mozillian, and full-time professional software engineer, I came back for more. Here are some things I learned:

See the notes below for more!

Disclaimer: The (unedited!!!) notes below represent my impressions of the content of these talks, jotted down as I listened. They may or may not be totally accurate, or precisely/adequately represent what the speakers said or think. If you want to get it from the horse’s mouth, follow the links to the FOSDEM schedule entry to find the video, slides, and/or other resources!

Mozilla Dev Room, Saturday

Firefox Nightly

Pascal Chevrel

Firefox DevTools

Alex “Laka” Lakatos (@lakatos88)


Daniele Scasciafratte

The Firefox Puppet Show

Dave Hunt (& Henrik the Foxy Puppet)


Nicolas Silva

How Rust is being developed

@jgbarah Jesus M. Gonzalez-Barahona, Bitergia

Code Invaders: Learning to code with IoT games and HTML/CSS/JS

István “Flaki” Szmozsánszky @slsoftworks

Diversity in Open Source

Kristi Pogri @KristiPogri

Diversity user research

Gloria Dwomoh

Raegan MacDonald

Other rooms, Saturday-Sunday

WebRTC and speech recognition with Adhearsion

Luca Pradovera @lucaprado - MojoLingo

Can open source open minds? IncLudo games for workplace diversity

Jesse Himmelstein

Thomas Planques

Tablexia: app for children with dyslexia

Andrea Sichova, cz.nic