FOSSCon Report

The first annual FOSSCon was great. I attended many interesting talks, met many interesting people working on many cool projects, and had fun overall.

The first two presentations I attended were titled “Making the most out of Communities” and “So you started an open source project, now what”. Even though I have worked on many FOSS projects, I was surprised about how much I learned and picked up relating to forming and interacting w/ communities. Some things I picked up relating to community engineering were (in no particular order):

After the first two talks, I spent some time in the vendor hall checking out the different projects being represented, especially the OLPC exhibit. There I spent a while talking to the RIT students working on the OLPC, discussing how they are helping to develop and promote the platform, and how they envision using it to teach students. Needless to say I was very impressed not only by the additions to the OLPC platform itself but also by the very talented students working on it and I wish them all the best on the road ahead.

Next I attended the POSSE (Professors’ Open Source Summer Experience) Panel where there was a phenomenal discussion pertaining to how to best bring open source to education, and how to best teach it. It was really a great discussion, with everyone contributing with their own experiences and thoughts and we really came up with some good ideas as to how to get more students involved, lower the barrier for students to quickly start and contribute to existing open projects, and some practical ways to solve these issues. This panel got me more interested in thinking about how to bring open source technologies to schools, including my alma-mata, Syracuse University, and I hope to help work towards getting more involved in bringing open source to education.

Finally I attended the lightning round discussions where many projects people were working on were promoted as well as new features in many major software packages demoed. After the closing keynote, me and my friends that I came with grabbed some food at a great Thai restaurant and then it was back to Syracuse. Overall it was an amazing conference and I look forward to FOSScon next year.