eLiberatica - the aftermath!

Wow, what an event! It was way more awesome than I expected. This is probably one of the later posts to get to the planet from eLiberatica because I wanted to form a complete opinion on the event.

eLiberatica is the first big open source and free software conference I’ve been to. The scale of it is quite amazing for something this far East in Europe and especially for my country. Some high-profile guest even said that he was astonished at the presence of very influential, key FLOSS personalities that aren’t present at some bigger events.
the booths

We (ajoian , nicubunu, alexxed and myself) had a whole booth for fedora and we really made the best of that opportunity, I think. We had a lot of SWAG. Nicu had printed some posters for the event which really helped beautify the booth and had also printed some fedora business cards for each of us. We had fedora t-shirts and a lot of CDs sent by Max (thanks Max!). These were the most helpful for starting conversations with passers-by. We even helped out the Ubuntu people when they ran out of cds on the first day!

The booth activity was more fun than I had expected. I didn’t think I would enjoy talking to people about fedora so much. We had people ask us to come to their town and “do something about fedora”. We told them we’d come and hold presentations when they would be ready and we gave them some free LiveCDs to spread around in the meantime. I hope we’ll have some new local fedora communities spring up. I’m especially hopeful of the guys from Iași who are active contributors to different opensource projects, mostly xwiki .

There were two other cool booths that were very engaging with the passers-by: the Mozilla booth and the Romanian Free Software Communities booth which was more of an Ubuntu booth actually, but that was good since a lot of people were interested in that.
the speakers

I only went to a few speeches as the booth activity and the new people I met were too engaging. I think Jeroen‘s speech was awesome and his message was very clear. It was a great complement to the discourse we were holding at the booth – telling people that fedora is all about contributing, not just using a stable, already tested linux distribution. A lot of people were ubuntu users, especially the ones in the Politehnica University (the host of the event) who are taught Ubuntu in class (there are no linux machines at my university :| ). Everyone kept asking how fedora is better than ubuntu. It was an honest question since many of them didn’t have experience anything else and I hope we succeeded in getting our message accross.

There were other awesome people, too. There was Monty – the founder of MySQL who told us about his new project to give MySQL back to the community: MariaDB . There was the president of fsfe and the OpenSource Diva – Danesse Cooper who both gave great philosophical speeches. There was David Axmark who had a great presentation about his awesome new project to create a stripped-down version of MySQL for webshops called Drizzle – I think this will be a great project to watch evolve. I didn’t get to spend too much time on the openagile track, but I went to Corey Haines ‘s talk about software craftsmanship in an agile context which I enjoyed.
the friends

contributors
The most awesome part of the entire conference, I think, were the people I met. There were a lot of people I only knew from online discussions. Some of them I had known for years, but had never met. I had a revelation with a couple of people who I didn’t like online, but prooved to be very nice people in real life.

I met some fellow Romanian Google Summer of Code guys for this year and last year with whom I hope to meet again.
I met a few Eau de Web guys – a small python/zope web company especially Alex who’s blog I had been reading and who turned out to be an even cooler guy than I expected. We discussed a lot of interesting python things. (I almost got him to switch from his OS X + virtual Debian setup to fedora. But I hope I’ll have another swing at it soon).
I met an old friend, Vlad who gave me an awesome idea for an enhancement to the fedora business cards that I’ll hopefully have time to implement this summer.
The guys from the other Romanian communities were cool people and I hope we’ll interact better and do more awesome FLOSS stuff now that we’ve met face to face. These were people from Software Liber, rosedu and the cool lonely guy from openSUSE Romania who had a taste of our fedora CDs, literally (the opensuse community is just starting out in Romania).
Last, but not least, the Romanian Fedora community was awesome. We got along really well and had a lot of fun. We made some really nasty videos with the fedora sign that I was going to post, but I changed my mind when I actually looked at them :), you can look at nicubunu’s pictures, though.
miscellaneous

I added 3 more O’Reilly books to my I hope I’ll read them this summer reading list: Beautiful Code, Masterminds of Programming and SQL and the Relational Theory.

This conference and the people I talked to really influenced me I think, career-wise. I got a lot of motivation and a great yearning to sometime be able to work with people such as the ones I met there. I’ll probably slip into a bit of a depression now that the event is over and I’m going back to real life and ignorant school people. That’ll hopefully be over in less than two weeks and I’ll have time to work work work == fun fun fun for the Fedora Project.

The good news is I’m going to FUDCon Berlin with Nicu. I hope to meet a lot of cool fedorians there aswell.


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