FOSDEM 2019 review

FOSDEM is over and it was very successful! Thanks everyone for being there!

What we can improve

  • A printed schedule of the devroom at the booth would be great! (It already is at the room, right?)
  • There was some time zone confusion in the Doodle it seems, where for some people it was 1 hour offset. Next time let’s do it here on the forum, and we always know it’s Brussels local time.
  • To spread the workload, but also to get people connected, we should ask people already during the call for proposals process to help out with a shift at the booth.
  • The position of the table is a bit off to the side, same as last year. But overall it’s cool, with a bit of space to sit?
  • What else …?

What was good

  • Overall great work again! :slight_smile:
  • A lot of people checking out the booth didn’t know us before – so having the booth is really good. You go to the room if you are already interested, but at the booth we pick up completely new people.
  • We had enough stickers and cards! Roughly 2500 stickers and 1000 cards is what we usually should have.
  • The reusable posters were also good for the booth and the room – can bring them again
  • The dinner seemed very nice, although I couldn’t attend that due to late arrival
  • What else …?

Unfortunately I wasn’t in the room much (our booth as well as Nextcloud) so can’t say a lot about that. :slight_smile: What does everyone else think? @evalica @victoria-bondarchuk @ei8fdb @belenbarrospena @elioqoshi @AnXh3L0 @antonela


Thanks everyone for your involvement! It was a great FOSDEM.

Besides the schedule of the devroom, we also wrote on a poster the Twitter handle, the devroom location and made sure the website is visible.

I would also like to discuss the stickers that are present in the booth. This year there were a lot of stickers that had nothing to do with OSD: php, stickermule, ruby, etc. Not really sure how they got there, but I had some people asking me about some questions about these stickers. In the future, I would prefer to have only stickers related to Open Source Design.


Hi all,

Here’s my during devroom scribbled notes in a better format.

What we can improve

from @jan above

– A printed schedule of the devroom at the booth would be great! (It already is at the room, right?)


– To spread the workload, but also to get people connected, we should ask people already during the call for proposals process to help out with a shift at the booth.

Agree. As we’re growing we’re all stretched.

We also need more people involved in the devroom on the day. Only because we were a team of @victoria-bondarchuk, @evalica and I did we manage to do it.

– put a laptop/tablet at the booth for people to post jobs to the jobs board. Or at least advertise it “Have a design job? We’ll help you post it on our jobs board” etc…

– Put together a 1 page handout of “what Open Source Design is and does”

People keep asking, “what is open source design?” This year one person asked for something they could read on the train home. This could be as simple as a modified version of the OSD start page.

This could answer some of the questions we get every year:

  • “oh so you’re a consultancy?”
  • “what do you mean by design?”
  • “how much do you charge?”
  • “is there a fee for posting a job ad?”
  • “does OSD do free training for FOSS devs/projects”?

– add the devroom proposal accept/reject email templates to the repo

I’ll do this.

– update the “fosdem devroom prep” thread with something I learned this year

I’ll do this.

– find a way to automate the twittering about the devroom

Is this possible? We were manually scheduling the tweets announcing the next devroom. There must be a better way!

– put together a “tips list for during the devroom” for the next co-ordinator

I’ll do this.

– put together an easy way for people to give feedback on talks in the devroom

The pentabarf way is really awkward (you need to know the talk name, the event number, go to the schedule website…etc). So far we’ve had very little feedback on talks. It’s not necessary, but it can help speakers, and us.

I like @evalica’s QRCode survey :slight_smile:

– after the devroom ends, send out a survey to speakers about their experience in the devroom

Make a new one, or use the survey I put together. [1]

– during the devroom, advertise the attendee survey to get their feedback of the devroom

Here’s the one I created. [2]

What was good

– devroom was almost full, if not full from the 1st talk :tada: :blush:

– new people I spoke to at the booth. The continued positive reaction to “design” in FOSS makes me happy

– the number of new people that came to the devroom. I asked many if they’d been before, and they said no

– devroom setup has gotten even easier

– devroom co-ordinatoring team was great

– the diversity of people there

– the quality of the talks

– the design panel was brilliant. I think this is worth a blogpost summarising what was said. Well done @evalica and everyone involved.

– dinner was great (but a lot of work :flushed:…maybe :pizza: next year?)

That’s it! :slight_smile:

  1. Devroom speaker survey:
  2. Devroom attendee survey:

Yeah, that’s partly the reason I started putting stickers on a table in the devroom…if people wanted to donate/advertise stickers they could do it there.

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Thank you for putting it all together @jan, @ei8fdb and @evalica. To add to what was said already:

What was good

  • Some people from the audience mentioned that they have been to OSD devroom before, and came back because last time they learned something new
  • Apache people reached out both to @belenbarrospena and me and asked if we would be interested to do Design track at ApacheCon. I’m discussing it with the organizer of ApacheCon Berlin (October 2019) Will update you on it once I have more details.

I think that advocacy work OSD community does is more and more recognized and accepted by the community. Let’s keep it up! :purple_heart:


There are commercial solutions that do this. I’ve searched a bit and found also on Open Source one: . I have no experience with it, but we could investigate and try to use it. That is if people are finding interesting our schedule tweets.


Hello, It was my first time with OSD dev track, and I think that was awesome.

Was surprising for me discovering in the audience more projects and devs looking for designers, than designers looking for projects.

Could be interesting for next time sharing some general topic about the talks, let’s say “Transparency” or “Empathy.” Also, I think that could be more useful for assistants if I/we shared processes, deliverables, design tools, HCD content than an update about the work we are doing in our organizations.

I felt very sick at the middle of the day, and I came back to the hotel. I missed the afternoon, and I felt super FOMO about it.

Thanks for organizing it @victoria-bondarchuk and @ei8fdb! We need more spaces like this, without a doubt.


A bit late, but here come my 2 cents:

  • We need more hands: the booth and the devroom are a lot of work. We need to attract a few more people willing to step in to the organising side.
  • I agree with Antonela that more content about tools and techniques could be of interest to many attendeess, but 20-minute presentations are not the right format (too short). I’ve been toying with the idea of organising some UX workshops the day before FOSDEM, starting with basic techniques such as usability testing. We would need to find a free / cheap venue, but a Hackspace or a UX agency might be willing to donate space for a few hours. The goal would be offering the training for free to people involved in FOSS. Just a mad thought :wink:
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IMO this idea would have more effect if the workshop would take place after FOSDEM, so that we can properly advertise it. Still, I am not sure how many people would come, since people coming from outside of Belgium would need to know about this in advance.

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Yes, afterwards would work as well.

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