Impressions of FrOSCon 2021

The 16th edition of the Free and Open Source Software Conference – FrOSCon was successfully held last weekend. Viaboxx was one of the partners supporting the event.

Two of our team members attended the FrOSCon 2021 Cloud Edition and shared some of their impressions:

I chose to attend these talks because of the relevance for our projects, the current situation, and the way we work. We use Open Source software in all our projects and experienced a period of 100% remote work, with ongoing discussions about the topic.

The Keynote from Manuel Atug (HonkHase) was a highlight, talking about visions and crazy ideas for the future of open source projects, such as a commitment to make public any open source software that is funded with public resources. One example is the Corona Warn App. In this example, open source development introduced new features and important design decisions based on feedback from the open source community, improving security and trust. Jürgen Bode also introduced ideas about how to protect your open source projects from being misused, i.e. offensive. He also covered ideas about open data, financial returns for open source contributions, and others.

Regarding the management talk from Dr. Stefan Barth about the long home office period in his and other companies, we found a lot of similarities to the way that we’ve been experiencing it. The lecture supports our beliefs in work values that apply both remotely and on-site: trust and transparency – with customers and employees. Stefan Barth presented numbers that show increasing satisfaction of employees with the remote work, also in surprising areas, such as the communication of the overall company goals.

It is always interesting to watch talks by other network administrators, like Merlin Wolf’s presentation on planning wireless networks, because they can share not only technical knowledge but practical experiences and difficulties met along the way.  There were many talks about the Matrix distributed chat system, and it’s good to see the community moving away from centralized solutions to distributed public services like this, and the audience was very active in trying out the bots, coming up with ideas, etc.

I especially enjoyed lusy’s presentation about the 23 projects, not necessarily of software, that she hopped through during the pandemic.  There is a tension between having diverse interests, and the pressures that make it hard to stay with them for long. The crisis situation intensified both. One of lusy’s interests is cartooning and her hand-drawn slides were a delight.

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