Conference Trip Report for DevConf.CZ, CHAOSScon Europe and FOSDEM 2019


What is it?DevConf stands for Developer Conference. DevConf.CZ 2019 is the 11th annual free Red Hat sponsored community conference for developers, admins, DevOps engineers, testers, documentation writers and other contributors to open source technologies such as Linux, Middleware, Virtualization, Storage, Cloud and mobile where FLOSS communities sync, share, and hack on upstream projects together.
Date25-27 January 2019
LocationFaculty of Information Technology at Brno University of Technology in Brno, Czech Republic (where Brno is known by locals as either the second biggest city in the Czech Republic or the largest village).
SizeApprox. 1500 attendees

Upon arrival in Brno, I was greeted by the cold weather and after commenting on it I was told “Welcome to Brno, get used to it” 😉

The conference was spread out over 3 days, with Friday being the busiest and each following day less so. Some of the sessions were so popular that rooms filled up and they stopped more people going in for health and safety reasons.

There was a variety of different session topics. I opted for mostly non-technical / community / business focused talks. Some highlights were:

  • Using Maslow’s Psychology to Build Your Best Team – Micah Abbott discussed the difficulty of objectively measuring relationships and team cohesion and how to know what kind of relationship you have with your team.
  • Bridging the Divide Between Community & Corporate – Jennifer Madriaga spoke about how a community doesn’t help to sell a product. Without a community, there is no product! Community provides the basis for trust and credibility, which cannot be bought.
  • Open sourcing your product – This was an interactive session I led speaking about how organisations are consuming, contributing and creating their own open source products. The audience helped drive the discussion to topics that were of interest to them, which led to varied discussion including the difficulties some small startups experience in establishing a community around a new project, how government’s are getting more involved in Open Source creation, how art (eg. poems, photos and paintings) could be shared (and in some cases created) openly in a community and the Intellectual Property (IP) around that and the reasons why you want to open source a project, which should heavily revolve around community, as if you only have a community of 1 (yourself) is it really worth open sourcing a project?
  • Debate and commit: Making decisions stick – Rebecca Fernandez led an interactive session on developing an effective decision making process and reminded us of the importance of listening more than we respond.
  • Cultural Diversity and Open Source Communities – Carol Chen’s dad provided her with a great quote: “Openness enables connectivity for cultural diversity.”
  • Red Hat Alumni – INVITE ONLY! – This was an event for invited ex-Red Hatters to meet up, find out about changes within Red Hat and have the opportunity to network (whilst eating and drinking pivo/beer!).
  • Issues are dead. Long live issues, goals, actions! – Fernando Colleone and Adam Šamalík talked about their experiences running the open source project Fedora and agile ways of working, stating that because agile is not making things up as we go, but rather iteratively working towards specific goals, the first thing that needs to exist is goal definitions.
  • How to Transform Dev and Test Silos into a Team – Stuart Corcoran explained why silos cause delays and that breaking silos will shorten the dev-test feedback loop.
  • Herding cats: project management in communities – Ben Cotton gave his insights working on Fedora about the key work that Project Managers perform in community (rather than corporate) projects, stating that everyone does Project Management. Some just do it poorly.
  • Merging community and business goals – Beth Elwell reminded us of the power of community: “In a community, you don’t have to know everything yourself. You can borrow your friend’s ladder.”

The sessions I attended were all very good. Comments from other people were that the Open Shift sessions were excellent and went into a good amount of technical detail for those interested. I saw a comment on twitter that said it was disappointing that DevConf was a PR event for Red Hat but others defended this and mentioned the large presence of community projects. I guess it depends on who you spoke with and which sessions you attended.

I also wanted to mention that the conference had several refreshment points with free water coffee/tea and fresh fruit. You could also purchase other items from carts and food trucks. This was fantastic!

It was my first time attending a DevConf event. I loved it. I would definitely recommend attending and I hope to return again next year!

If you’re interested to find out more, you can check out the website and watch the recordings of most of the sessions, which are currently in the process of being uploaded online to the DevConf YouTube channel.

CHAOSScon Europe 2019

What is it?CHAOSS stands for Community Health Analytics Open Source Software. The conference is for anyone interested in measuring open source project health. It’s for the CHAOSS community to network and learn about metrics and tools used by open source projects, communities, and engineering teams to track and analyze their development activities, communities health, diversity, risk and value.
Date1 February 2019
LocationL42 Business Center & Workspaces in Brussels, Belgium (land of chocolate and beer!)
SizeApprox. 50 attendees

There was just 1 track of sessions for everyone to attend. Some highlights were:

  • Metrics in a Company-led Open Source Project – Ray Paik spoke about asynchronous communication & working. Just because you’re awake & working you can’t expect everyone else globally to be.
  • A Tale of Metrics Faux Pas: Answers Without Questions – Brian Proffitt gave a great talk about the importance of questions and having answers that tell stories about the data. He also spoke about the need to share vulnerabilities and the difficulties faced (even if not fully overcome yet), as this (and not just successes) is what can benefit others in the community.
  • Diversity & Inclusion Working Group Tutorial – Nice to see diversity and inclusion being a focus topic on the agenda and encouraging this in the community.

To find out more, view the website and watch the recorded sessions, which are currently in the process of being uploaded online to the CHAOSS YouTube channel.


What is it?FOSDEM stands for Free and Open source Software Developers’ European Meeting. FOSDEM is a two-day event organised by the community for the community to promote the widespread use of free and open source software and the opportunity to network.
Date2-3 February 2019
LocationULB Solbosch Campus in Brussels, Belgium (land of chocolate and beer!)
SizeApprox. 5000 attendees

FOSDEM was very very busy, where many sessions were crowded and full, with no capacity to accommodate all those who wanted to attend. There were a few sessions I really wanted to attend that had no space left so I sat outside the sessions and watched the live stream online instead. Madness!

Some session highlights:

  • XR: The present, the future and how to get there – This talk by Jakob Bornecrantz was changed last minute from “VR: Open Source and Standards”. Unfortunately, it came across as not being very well prepared. The talk was at a very high level, lacking detail. The most interesting part I found was when he was talking about the use of Virtual Reality (VR) glasses in the movie Back to the Future, which is of course fiction and so I’m not really sure how relevant it was to talk about this. The talk finished early and audience questions remained unanswered. An audience member commented that the speaker should replace the word ‘open’ with ‘secret’ as he wasn’t able to tell us much about what his company was doing. This was a shame as the topic was of great interest to many people. Jakob did recommend watching this video, which is actually a good insight into Open XR and I recommend watching it.
  • LibreOffice: the origins of a community fork – Italo Vignoli gave some great insights into the different ways of community governance where they decided to never have a Community Manager again, as the last one was the most hated person in the community. No one would want that job. He also had some interesting Q&A at the end, particular when he gave his personal opinion of IBM acquiring Red Hat and the importance about understanding Open Source, investing in the community and changing with the times.
  • Who wants you to think nobody uses the AGPL and why – John Sullivan spoke about protecting user freedom. Freedom first, money second!
  • Functions as a Service: How PHP set the ground stone for serverless – Sven Finke gave a great quote “The term serverless is misleading. There are servers involved, of course.”
  • Some quotes from the event that I liked from Twitter:

To find out more, view the website and watch the recorded sessions.

Final Thoughts

So after attending these 3 Open Source community focused conferences, what did I gain?

  • Networking – it was a great opportunity to meet and speak with people from the various communities (and also my Red Hat colleagues) from across the world. It was great hearing the different perspectives, finding out what people are working on and sharing best practices and lessons learnt. I enjoyed catching up with old friends and making new friends. Being part of communities is so important and these conferences allow you time to focus on what is most important to Open Source – the people!
  • The variety of sessions – I particularly liked learning how people balance the business/enterprise world and communities.
  • The importance of developing communities – collaborating within communities allow us to learn from one another to solve problems, spark curiosity and just reminds us that there are people out there with the same common interests that we have.

I would encourage you to get more involved in communities. Get to know different people and groups, find out what they do, find something that you’re interested in and see how you can use your strengths to contribute to the community.

Don’t underestimate the power of Open Source and the role that communities play!

7 thoughts on “Conference Trip Report for DevConf.CZ, CHAOSScon Europe and FOSDEM 2019

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    I want to pass along some very important news that everyone needs to hear!

    In December of 2017, Donald Trump made history by recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. Why is this big news? Because by this the Jewish people of Israel are now able to press forward in bringing about the Third Temple prophesied in the Bible.

    Jewish Rabbis have publicly announced that their Messiah will be revealed in the coming years who will be a leader and spiritual guide to all nations, gathering all religions under the worship of one God.

    Biblical prophecy tells us that this Jewish Messiah who will take the stage will be the antichrist “who opposes and exalts himself above all that is called God or that is worshiped, so that he sits as God in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God” (2 Thessalonians 2:4). For a time he will bring about a false peace, but “Therefore when you see the ‘abomination of desolation,’ spoken of by Daniel the prophet, standing in the holy place (Matthew 24:15)…then there will be great tribulation, such as has not been since the beginning of the world until this time, no, nor ever shall be” (Matthew 24:21).

    More importantly, the power that runs the world wants to put a RFID microchip in our body making us total slaves to them. This chip matches perfectly with the Mark of the Beast in the Bible, more specifically in Revelation 13:16-18:

    “He causes all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and slave, to receive a mark on their right hand or on their foreheads, and that no one may buy or sell except one who has the mark or the name of the beast, or the number of his name.

    Here is wisdom. Let him who has understanding calculate the number of the beast, for it is the number of a man: His number is 666.”

    Referring to the last days, this could only be speaking of a cashless society, which we have yet to see, but are heading towards. Otherwise, we could still buy or sell without the mark amongst others if physical money was still currency. This Mark couldn’t be spiritual because the word references two different physical locations. If it was spiritual it would just say in the forehead. RFID microchip implant technology will be the future of a one world cashless society containing digital currency. It will be implanted in the right-hand or the forehead, and we cannot buy or sell without it. Revelation 13:11-18 tells us that a false prophet will arise on the world scene doing miracles before men, deceiving them to receive this Mark. Do not be deceived! We must grow strong in Jesus. AT ALL COSTS, DO NOT TAKE IT!

    “Then a third angel followed them, saying with a loud voice, “If anyone worships the beast and his image, and receives his mark on his forehead or on his hand, he himself shall also drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out full strength into the cup of His indignation. He shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels and in the presence of the Lamb. And the smoke of their torment ascends forever and ever; and they have no rest day or night, who worship the beast and his image, and whoever receives the mark of his name” (Revelation 14:9-11).

    People have been saying the end is coming for many years, but we needed two key things. One, the Third Temple, and two, the technology for a cashless society to fulfill the prophecy of the Mark of the Beast.

    Visit http://WWW.BIBLEFREEDOM.COM to see proof for these things and why the Bible truly is the word of God!

    If you haven’t already, it is time to seek God with all your heart. Jesus loves you more than you could imagine. He wants to have a relationship with you and redeem you from your sins. Turn to Him and repent while there is still hope! This is forever…God bless!


    We all know God exists. Why? Because without Him, we couldn’t prove anything at all. Do we live our lives as if we cannot know anything? No. So why is God necessary? In order to know anything for certain, you would have to know everything, or have revelation from somebody who does. Who is capable of knowing everything? God. So to know anything, you would have to be God, or know God.

    A worldview without God cannot account for the uniformity and intelligibility of nature. And why is it that we can even reason that God is the best explanation for this if there is no God? We are given reason to know or reject God, but never to know that He does not exist.

    It has been calculated by Roger Penrose that the odds of the initial conditions for the big bang to produce the universe that we see to be a number so big, that we could put a zero on every particle in the universe, and even that would not be enough to use every zero. What are the odds that God created the universe? Odds are no such thing. Who of you would gamble your life on one coin flip?

    Is there evidence that the Bible is the truth? Yes. Did you know that the creation accounts listed in the book of Genesis are not only all correct, but are also in the correct chronological order? That the Bible doesn’t say the Earth was formed in six 24-hour days but rather six long but finite periods of time? That the Bible makes 10 times more creation claims than all major “holy” books combined with no contradictions, while these other books have errors in them? The Bible stood alone by concurring with the big bang saying, “In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth” (Genesis 1:1); and says our universe is expanding, thousands of years before scientists discovered these things. Watch a potential life-changing video on the front page of http://WWW.BIBLEFREEDOM.COM with Astronomer(PhD) Hugh Ross explaining all these facts based on published scientific data. He has authored many books, backed even by atheist scientists.

    Jesus fulfilled more than 300 Messianic prophecies concerning His birth place, details of His life, His mission, His nature, His death, and His resurrection. He came to pay a debt that we could not, to be our legal justifier to reconcile us back to a Holy God; only if we are willing to receive Him: “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 6:23).

    God so loved the world that He gave us His only begotten son, so that whoever believes in Him, through faith, shall not perish, but have everlasting life. Jesus says if we wish to enter into life to keep the commands! The two greatest commands are to love God with all your heart, soul, strength, and mind; and your neighbor as yourself. All the law hang on these commands. We must be born of and lead by the Holy Spirit, to be called children of God, to inherit the kingdom. If we are willing to humble ourselves in prayer to Jesus, to confess and forsake our sins, He is willing to give the Holy Spirit to those who keep asking of Him; giving us a new heart, leading us into all truth!

    Jesus came to free us from the bondage of sin. The everlasting fire was prepared for the devil and his angels due to disobedience to God’s law. If we do the same, what makes us any different than the devil? Jesus says unless we repent, we shall perish. We must walk in the Spirit, producing fruits of love and forgiveness, so we may not fulfill the lusts of the flesh being hatred, fornication, drunkenness and the like. Whoever practices such things will not inherit the kingdom (Galatians 5:16-26). If we sin, we may come before Jesus to ask for forgiveness (1 John 2:1-2). Evil thoughts are not sins, but rather temptations. It is not until these thoughts conceive and give birth by our hearts desire that they become sin (James 1:12-15). When we sin, we become in the likeness of the devil’s image, for he who sins is of the devil (1 John 3:8); but if we obey Jesus, in the image of God. For without holiness, we shall not see the Lord (Hebrews 12:14).

    The oldest religion in the world is holiness (James 1:27). What religion did Adam and Eve follow before the fall? Jesus, Who became the last Adam, what religion does He follow? Is He not holy? He never told us to follow any religion or denomination but to deny ourselves, take up our cross daily, and follow Him (Luke 9:23). There are many false doctrines being taught leading people astray. This is why we need the Holy Spirit for discernment. Unlike religion, holiness cannot be created. It is given to us from above by the baptism of the Spirit. Jesus is more than a religion; He is about having a personal relationship with the Father. Start by reading the Gospel of Matthew, to hear the words of God, to know His character and commandments. Follow and obey Jesus, for He is the way, the truth, and the life!

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