We had the pleasure of attending two of the most interesting conferences in the Open Source space in Europe: here are our takeaways.
A little introduction
For those who do not know it, FOSDEM is the event for Open Source Software developers and enthusiasts in Europe. Started in 2000, it takes place every year in Brussels, Belgium and it grew to its actual size -8000+ participants- by offering a humongous amount of sessions split among dozens of developer rooms: technical deep dives, community discussions, lightning talks, and more all concentrated in the span of a weekend. There's so much going on both within and without the conference that it's almost impossible not to find something that picks one's interest: languages, databases, compilers, kernels, DevOps, networking and communities are all well-covered during the event. The festive atmosphere, the beers, fries and chocolate are only icing on the cake to what's already a wonderful two days of learning and networking.
A little less known than FOSDEM, the Config Management Camp takes place a few kilometres North-West of Brussels in the wonderful city of Ghent: it focuses on all things IaC (Infrastructure as Code) and features a solid number of talks split across several tracks: talks about tooling, practices and standards, as well as an entire day dedicated to workshops help making this conference a real gem, offering lot of value to its attendees.
Given the overwhelming number of tracks, we had to make some hard decisions and choose only a small subset of topics: we opted for the Golang and the Software Bill of Material tracks at FOSDEM, and we managed to sneak in a couple of Kubernetes and Security talks at the cfgmgmtcamp between our sponsor's booth duties.
Golang @ FOSDEM
In what we consider to be a FOSDEM classic, the Go devroom offered a rich and diverse set of talks: there were the traditional State of Go and State of Delve speeches, a few performance-related discussions about strings, functions and good practices, as well as a host of other interesting ones. If you're interested in Go and want to keep up with the state of the environment, this track is surely a solid choice.
Software Bill of Material @ FOSDEM
Supply chain attacks have been increasing at a steady pace in the past few years: slowly but surely, the industry is taking notice, and it's starting to pour more and more efforts in securing every aspect of the lifecycle of a software product. It's a very complex and fragmented topic, where there's still no definitive standard, tooling and adoption: we're still in the early days, but there's quite some momentum building.
Favourite talk: A standard BOM for Siemens
Security @ cfgmgmtcamp
As per SBoMs, the overall topic is somewhat getting hotter these days thanks to a number of new and fancier attacks, as well as the increasing tensions raising around the World.
Favourite talk: Securing the software supply chain for Infra management tools
Kubernetes @ cfgmgmtcamp
Being at the core of what we do every day, we couldn't skip some K8s goodness. We particularly appreciated the Kratix sessions, that showed how Kubernetes has evolved into a solid, mature tool for building flexible products. Inspiring.
Favourite talk: Building Your Platform Product on Multi-Cluster Kubernetes
What we did not manage to see
As per every FOSDEM, the number of devrooms we wanted to attend was just too high, and the Config Management Camp offered more than we could chew, too, considering our booth duties: we have accordings to go back to for a month or two! We're definitely going to take a good peek at the Rust and the Containers devrooms, without forgetting other interesting talks in the Nix, Testing and Automation, Security and Confidential Computing one.
As Open Source enthusiasts, we loved each and every second of both conferences: the learning, the energy, and the sense of community were nothing short of fantastic. We came back with so many new topics to explore, projects to try, and new friends to chat with!
If you're unsure what events to attend next year, FOSDEM and cfgmgmtcamp are definitely something to add to your list.
See you there in 2024?