Monday, October 20, 2014

EuroBSDCon Trip Report: Bjoern Heidotting

The FreeBSD Foundation was a gold sponsor of EuroBSDCon 2014, which was held in Sofia, Bulgaria in September. The Foundation also sponsored Bjoern Heidotting to attend the conference, who provides the following trip report:

Since I'm fairly new to the FreeBSD community I would like to introduce myself first. My name is Bjoern Heidotting, I live in Germany, I work as a system administrator and I'm a FreeBSD user since 2006 and a contributor since 2012. I mostly contribute patches for the German documentation in the doc-tree. Why do I contribute? Well, the short version is that I simply wanted to give something back to FreeBSD and the community.

Thanks to Benedict Reuschling, who invited me, and the FreeBSD Foundation, I was able to attend the DevSummit and the conference at EuroBSDCon 2014 in Sofia.

I arrived at Sofia airport on Wednesday and I took a taxi to get to my hotel the Best Western Expo, directly located at the IEC where the conference was held. However, the taxidriver decided to take me on a sightseeing tour through the city of Sofia. But after 1,5 hours I finally arrived at the hotel. The actual time to get from the airport to my hotel is about 10 minutes. Fortunately taxis are cheap in Bulgaria compared to Germany. And the city is really, really worth seeing.

Later that day, I met Daniel Peyrolon, a GSoC student with whom I shared a room. We decided to take dinner together and started getting to know each other. Afterwards, we socialized with some other FreeBSD people at the hotel bar.

On Thursday the DevSummit started with every attendee and developer introducing himself. Then some interesting topics and roadmaps were discussed for the upcoming 11.0 release, as well as other topics such as ASLR, UEFI, 10G Ethernet, just to name a few. It was a very interesting brainstorming with valuable input from all attendees. Since it was my first time at a DevSummit, I was impressed to see how fast these people can fill a bunch of foils with topics and ideas. Awesome!

After lunch a small group, including me, sat together in another room where I started to work on several patches for the Handbook. In the evening we had dinner at Lebed Restaurant. A very nice location. This is where I first met Deb Goodkin from the Foundation. She was the one I talked to prior to the conference and she brought Daniel and me together. Thank you Deb. It was very nice meeting her.

On Friday I mostly worked on a big patch for the network-servers section in the Handbook. I also met Beat Gaetzi while catching fresh air outside and we talked about our roles in the Project and what we do. After lunch the documentation topic started, which I was very interested in. We talked about issues on the website, Handbook sections, etc. The details of the session can be found on the wiki.

In the evening we had dinner at "The Windmill" and I met Henning Brauer from the OpenBSD project. It was really fun talking to him. Man, this guy can tell crazy stories.

Saturday and Sunday were conference days with one interesting talk chasing the next. All the talks were great, altough I had some favorites, including "Snapshots, Replication, and Boot-Environments" by Kris Moore, "Introducing ASLR in FreeBSD" by Shawn Webb, and "Securing sensitive & restricted data" by Dag-Erling Smorgrav. One of the highlights for me was the social event in Hotel Balkan on Saturday. Again, meeting the people behind the email addresses and talking to them was a great experience.

A big thanks goes out to Shteryana Shopova and her crew for organizing this great event.

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