DEV Community

Cover image for About:FOSDEM

Posted on



This FOSDEM post was initially about last year remote edition. For some reason, some call it procrastination and others perfectionism, it remained in draft status for way to long..
As FOSDEM 2023 takes places this follow weekend I though it is a good occasion to share some tips on how to make the best of it and also leave in the second part my experience in 2022.

Fosdem is a free event for software developers to meet, share ideas and collaborate.** Why is so special? **Because every year, thousands of developers of free and open source software from all over the world gather at the event in Brussels. For 2021, 2022 the event went online. Yes, I was among the lucky ones to attend the last in person one, in 2020 right before we shut down such events for a while.

I've been to FOSDEM many times. I will be honest, I did not count them but I would say around 7.. I was as a speaker, a MC, a volunteer and a regular attendee.

Ioana at FOSDEM as a speacker

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by I O A N A (@ioana_cis)


Being held each year in Brussels at ULB - huuuuuge venue btw - a full campus is taken over by geeks (I can see an apocalyptic movie set up in the same way). You will find yourself wandering between rooms, buildings and queues.


The conference starts unofficially on Friday, always. And not with a presentation. With a beer event! Most times, around Delirium. Which I feel the need to explain - it is a chain of different locations in central Brussels and where everyone meets. A small village some will say. As there are many attendees around - people stay outside and chat, you meet friends and make some new ones. Alcohol is not the most important so do go and check it out even if you won't be drinking. Seems that this year, might be a bit different though - which is better IMHO for these times.

I was there in 2020 and had a blast meeting my mozfriends. check the original tweet thread to see more pictures

And I did mock it a bit in 2022 while being at home, but was definitely not even close.

Now that we talked about the major FOSDEM event, we can more to some more practical advice.


The conference is extremely big in terms of talks. There are so many parallel tracks that for sure it will be hard to choose from. But also, remember that the videos will be available soon after the conference, so even if u miss a talk, won't be the end of the world. Some people squat in a devroom all day, but I honestly loved to explore different ones. You get to meet different people, see different communities in action and you move a bit your body. Also, I plan a full day of talks but i end with at most half of them checked. Because, I can watch the talks later, recorded but the impromptu talks with different contributes are only happening there.


Beside the devroom, you get to stroll in the booths section - one of the coolest places for geeks - most communities will have a booth with both employees or volunteers. And most of them will have swag! Be sure to check before grabbing some. Take up the challenges they have watch their demos and ask how you can help, how you can contribute!


My favorite thing at FOSDEM is bumping into people. Yeah, you plan to meet fellow contributors, you share meals and drinks, but the highlights of the days will be meeting random humans while changing sessions.

about:coffee β˜•οΈ

As a coffee afficianado, not to admit that I am probably an addict, I would suggest you to grab a coffee on your way there. From previous year, I can say there was a coffee station at the ULB but the queue was always longer than the patience. Let me know if you want me to share my favorite coffee shops around.

Github coffee cup from the station at the university

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by I O A N A (@ioana_cis)

about:waffles πŸ§‡

Another thing to try while enjoying FOSDEM are the waffles. Both in the city, but also at the food truck right outside the conference building. Honestly, those at ULB are really good.


As per more nutricious food, there will be some options at the event. To be honest, I did have some food from the food trucks - you need to plan a bit to avoid or skip queues. But, you can also walk a bit outside the campus and grab a lunch at a restaurant or something to go from Exki Universite. I like Exki.


Pack light. Even lighter than usual. Places to drop stuff are scarce and you will be walking lots. So light backpack and some layers easy to put on, take off as needed.

Hope you enjoyed my recommendation and I would love to hear what would you add to this list.

Fragment from 2022 post in drafts:

Photo from 2022 FOSDEM

So, another one bites the dust..
Aka another conference had to be held online because of the pandemic we experience but nevertheless we made the best out of it!

Last year I was the moderator for the Mozilla DevRoom. Was an interesting thing, to present people online - they sent the recording in before but they were on for live Q&A. So while watching the talks, I did get a chance to check-in with mozillians, see how this strange times were for them.

Even being remote and at home, beside the beer tradition, i took the regular Brussels menu seriously:

If you wanna check some talks from last year, check the archive. And you can find videos from more previous years too.

And after that I did make it to the closing video!

Top comments (0)

Regex for lazy developers

regex for lazy devs

You know who you are. Sorry for the callout πŸ˜†