Thanks to the sponsorship of Fedora, I was able to travel to Lamia, Greece from October 10 to October 14 to attend at FOSSCOMM (Free and Open Source Software Communities Meeting), the pan-Hellenic conference of free and open source software communities.
Things I did in the event:
1.- Set up a Fedora booth
I arranged the booth during the first hours when I arrived Lamia. The event registration started at 4:00 p.m. and thanks to the help of enthusiastic volunteers and Alex Angelo (I met him in GUADEC 2019), the booth was all ready to go since the first day of the event.
The Fedora project sent swags directly to the University of Central Greece, and I created my own handmade decoration. I used Fedora and GNOME ballons to have a nice booth 🙂 Thanks to the tools provided by the university I was able to finish what I had in mind:
2.- Spread up the Fedora word
When the students visited our Fedora booth, they were excited to take some Fedora gifts, especially the tattoo sticker. I was asking how many of them used Fedora, and most of them were using Ubuntu, Linux Mint, Kali Linux and Elementary OS. It was an opportunity to share the Fedora 30 edition and give the beginner’s guide that the Fedora community wrote in a little book. Most of them enjoyed taking photos with the Linux frame I did in Edinburgh 💙 Alex shared also his Linux knowledge in our Fedora booth.
3.- Do a keynote about Linux on Supercomputers
I was invited to the conference to do a talk about Linux in supercomputers. Only 9 out of 42 attendees were non-Linux users. However, I am so glad that they attended to know what is going on in the supercomputer world that uses Linux. Then, I started by asking questions about Linux in general, and some linuxers were able to answer part of the questions but not all of them. I have been told by professor Thanos that Greece has a supercomputer called Aris, as well as the students were aware about GPUs technologies. When I asked a question about GPUs, a female student answered correctly about the use of GPUs and that is why she won the t-shirt of the event I offered as a prize to the audience. You might see my entire talk in the live streaming video.
4.- Do a workshop of GTK on C
I was planning to teach the use of the GTK library with C, Python, and Vala. However, because of the time and the preference of the attendees, we only worked with C. The workshop was supported by Alex Angelo who also traduced some of my expressions in Greek. I was flexible in using different Operating Systems such as Linux Mint, Ubuntu, Kubuntu among other distros. There were only two users that used Fedora. Almost half of the audience did not bring a laptop, and then I grouped in groups to work together. I enjoyed to see young students eager to learn, they took their own notes, and asked questions. You might see the video of the workshop that was recorded by the organizers.
My feelings about the event:
The agenda of the event was so interesting, I was quite sad to not attend because I had to take care of the booth, and most of the talks were done in Greek. As you can see in the pictures, there were a variety of technical talks in charge of women. I was impressed by Greek ladies because they are well prepared, most of them were self-taught in Linux and in trending technologies such as IoT, security, programming, Linux, and in bio-science.
Authorities supported this kind of Linux events and I think that was an important factor to have a successful event. Miss Catherine and Mister Thanos were pictured with minorities, women and kids were very excited to be part of FOSSCOMM 2019. Additionally, its local government also supported this event. Here a post in the magazine.
Food for everyone
I was surprised by time and schedules, they started the journey every day at 8:00 am and the talks finished at 8p.m. The lunch break was set at 2:30p.m. and a local guy told me that just for breakfast they usually take a cup of coffee. We had a very delicious and consistent dinner on the first day of the event with the professors of the Informatics and Biology department of the University Central Greece. Free lunch and coffee breaks were served carefully to all. I enjoyed Greece food, we had a variety of salads and sweeties.
Turistic places I visited
Thanks to Alex for being my local guide during the whole event! Thanks to Iris for the welcoming, to Argiris for the invitation and the t-shirt he promised me, and to Kath for being so nice in the thousand pictures we took and for the touristic guide and her help.
Thanks to Stathis who encouraged me to apply to FOSSCOMM, to each volunteer for the help they gave me and all the effort they did, I know that most of them live an hour and a half far from the university. Thanks again to Fedora for the travel sponsorship!