MySQL@FOSDEM 2009: a summary
By Lenz Grimmer on Feb 12, 2009
Now that FOSDEM 2009 in Brussels, Belgium is over, it's about time for a conclusion/summary. I've been to FOSDEM for about five times as both an attendee and speaker, but this year I was much more involved. On Saturday, I gave a lightning talk about "Why you should use Bazaar for maintaining your OSS project". On Sunday, I gave a talk about "MySQL High Availability Solutions" in the main conference track. Both went fairly well and there was good feedback from audience. I've uploaded the slides for both talks to the FOSDEM 2009 page on the MySQL Forge Wiki, video recordings of the sessions should be available on the FOSDEM Video Recordings page soon.
We had a project stand that we shared with the OpenSolaris project, and it was particularly nice to finally meet Roman Strobl in person - he is a former NetBeans evangelist, now OpenSolaris evangelist who blogs on The Observatory. We had quite a lot of visitors stopping by at the desk. I would like to thank Walter Heck and Santo Leto in particular for their outstanding support with manning the desk!
On Sunday, we had a MySQL Developer Room with a full schedule of talks. We had to make some last minute changes to the schedule, one speaker had to cancel his talk on short notice due to a family emergency and we decided to change to topic of Kaj's talk into an interactive Q&A session to address the recent developments that happened that week. The room was usually packed for every session (~70 people), and it seems like both the attendees and speakers had a great time. The slides are now available from the MySQL Forge Wiki.
On this page, you will also find links to related articles and blog postings about the MySQL activities as well as links to pictures - feel free to add other pointers that you are aware of! I would like to thank all speakers for their excellent contributions, especially our volunteers from the MySQL Community: Roland Bouman, Kris Buytaert, Vladimir Kolesnikov and Jurriaan Persyn. Keep up the great work!
In summary, I think the MySQL DevRoom and project desk were a great success and we should have one next year, too (and maybe on other conferences as well). However, there are several things that could be improved for next year. My lessons learned:
- Try to avoid last-minute changes to the schedule after the conference brochures have been printed
- Align the session times with the main conference sessions, to allow easier transition and avoid overlap
- Appoint a moderator that keeps track of the DevRoom schedule and takes care of the speakers and Q&A parts
- Hire/appoint someone to record the sessions on video
- Don't schedule yourself for booth duty, if you are also a main track speaker and DevRoom organizer
- Take some time to properly introduce and brief all volunteers about activities and people involved
- Make sure that volunteers that offered to help out with booth duty actually show up and are available, keep a printed copy of the booth schedule on the table
- Provide free drinks and snacks for the people on booth duty
- Set up a proper demo system for showcasing applications in advance, don't rely on Internet connectivity on site
- Have more MySQL-branded merchandise/schwag to hand out
- Have more info material/leaflets about the relevant offerings available, in the appropriate language