Masterzen's Blog

Journey in a software world…

FOSDEM and Config Management Camp 2014

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So I know this blog has been almost abandoned, but that’s not because I don’t have anything to say. At contrary, I’ve never dealt with so many different tools, technologies and programming languages than in the past, and that only could fuel a large number of posts. Unfortunately my spare time is close to nil, and my personal priorities are much more geared toward my private life than this blog :)

So why this new post?

Well, a bunch of very fine people leaded by @KrisBuytaert have decided to organize a conference about Configuration Management, alongside of the Configuration Management DevRoom of the FOSDEM.

This post is all about why you should attend and/or even submit a talk for those events.


If you live in Europe and never heard about the FOSDEM, you’re certainly not part of the Open Source movement, and it’s now the time to solve this issue!

The FOSDEM takes place every year in Brussels the first week-end of February at the Université Libre de Bruxelles. This year it’s the week-end of Feb 1st and 2nd.

This free (it’s usually a good practice to buy the T-shirt to support them) conference is certainly the largest Open Source event in Europe since more than 10 years. This conference is the gathering of about 5000 geeks from all the world, attending more than 400 talks in dozens of tracks ranging from databases (mysql, postgresql, nosql…) to languages (java, go…) through software practices (testing…) and system administration (configuration management, cloud and IAAS), and a lot more other subjects!

For 4 years now, there has been a Configuration Management DevRoom at the FOSDEM. I’m part of the people selecting the talks, and it looks like the program this year will be awesome!

And if that only is not compelling enough for you to attend the FOSDEM, here is a short list of why you should attend:

  • It’s close to almost everywhere in Europe by train or plane
  • It’s the occasion to meet a lot of Open Source stars, talk with your peers, meet people from communities you are part of
  • Belgium beers and food (do not forget the pre-FOSDEM crowded beer event usually at the Delirium Café)
  • Brussels is a very nice city (if you’re tired of computer geeks, you can visit the city – there used to be a spouse tour for non geeks relatives, but I don’t know if that still happens)

But wait, there’s more. While being in Brussels you’re pretty close to anywhere in this country by train. And since you’ll be there for this week-end, you can extend your trip by two days and attend the conference I’ll now talk about in the next paragraph :)

Config Management Camp

So, last year before FOSDEM we had a large two-days free PuppetCamp in Ghent (one of the nicest Belgium city at 30 minutes by train from Brussels). This was an awesome event.

This year, Kris et al had the crazy idea of doing a multi-tools conference. Last year camp was a success, so why not bring all the communities gravitating around the Configuration Management space in the same location and time and see what happens.

This new conference will happen on Monday and Tuesday February 3rd and 4th.

This current version of the Config Management Camp Ghent 2014 will have a main general track, and separated per-community tracks. We’ll be able to currently attend the following lectures:

So if you’re a user or a contributor to one of this tool, you’ll be able to attend two days of interesting talks.

The good news is that you might want to actually propose a talk for this conference. Fear not, the Call for Presentation deadline is December 15th for most of the community tracks.

I’ve heard from insiders that there will be some configuration management stars attending this conference (I don’t know at this stage if I can name those, but it appears most (if not all) above mentioned tools creator will be among us.)

Even though the exact schedule of the lectures is not yet known at this time, having those people on board will certainly sparkle some very interesting discussions!

The good news is that the free registration is open since Friday evening.

Go register. Now!

For some practical details now. You can go from Brussels to Ghent by a direct train departing from the Brussel Zuid station (Bruxelles Midi). This takes about 30 minutes with a lot of trains during the day, so it’s even possible to stay in Brussels and commute every day. But I wouldn’t advise that if you want to attend the Monday evening social event.

The conference takes place at the SchoonMeersen Campus of the University College Gent, which is about 5 minutes walk from the main Ghent station.

You can book an hotel/room/flat near the station (there are plenty nice hotels there), but you would miss the very nice no-car city center with all those monuments, churches and canals (and bars and restaurants too). My recommendation (actually @ripienaar’s one) would be to stay near the city center.

Of course I’ll be there, ready for some very interesting hallway discussions and socialization :)

See you all there! Do not forget to register!

Update: I think the organizers are still looking for Config Management Camp potential sponsors.