OpenFest 2015 Impressions

Posted by Alexander Todorov on Wed 11 November 2015

This past weekend I've attended OpenFest in Sofia. I have mixed feelings about this year's event. Although I was so tired that I slept through the entire Monday I find some of the presentations not so interesting.

Day One

On the first day I've tried to attend the talk about The Yocto Project by Leon Anavi and Radoslav Kolev. The room was full and I couldn't get in so I watched some of it outside using the live streaming. Next was Building Universal Applications with Angular 2 by Minko Gechev followed by Free And Open Source Software In European Public Administrations by Gijs Hillenius.

Overall impression from these talks was good. They were interesting to me and I liked the way they were presented.

Afterwards I've spend a good hour and more talking to Gijs, catching up on a long overdue email thread about FOSS usage in Bulgarian public administrations. It's always nice to put a face on the email address :). The outcome of this is that I'll have to forward him quite a lot of local contacts. Also my previous article 10 steps to migrate your closed software to open source is now available at OSOR's website.

Day Two

On day two I had quite a few people to talk to but managed to attend couple of presentations. In the main room First Lessons in Control Theory by Hiro Asari and at the end Collaboration In Open Source - How Does It Really Work? by Otto Kekäläinen. I am quite disappointed by both, the challenge level wasn't the one I've expected.

Hiro's subject is interesting but IMO he merely scratched the surface. The first half of the presentation was an introduction in the field and as far as I could tell most of the people left in the room didn't need it. The most interesting part was probably the last 5-10 minutes.

For Otto's presentation I had the expectation it would be interesting stories and failures from working with the community. Instead it was an introduction why and how open source communities work.

That said both presentations are suitable for inexperienced public, folks who are new to open source or IT in general. For folks like me, who have been working for 10 years in the open they weren't so interesting. I'm not against entry-level presentations but at least they have to be properly annotated as such.

The other presentation I've attended on day two was Education 3.0 by Ivan Gospodinov. This was a non-technical talk which conflicted with the lightning talks and I've missed mine. I liked this one though.


This year the event was held at a new venue which was a pleasant change. I've heard there were more people attending since previous years yet it seemed there is less seating capacity at the venue.

The after-party however was very good and just before leaving something amazing happened to me. A guy comes to me and asks if I'm atodorov. Obviously I am. Then he says he's my co-worker Vladimir Ralev from Red Hat. Mind you we've talked many times on IRC but not once seen in person.

tags: events

Comments !