My experience at GUADEC 2016

GUADEC, which stands for GNOME Users and Developers European Conference, is an annual conference for and by the members of GNOME community, and is held somewhere in Europe every year. This year’s GUADEC was held at Karlsruhe, Germany.

A big part of my trip to GUADEC was sponsored by the Ubuntu Community Fund. I sincerely thank each and every person that contributed in order to make this possible. All of you totally rock 🙂 😀

I just came back from Germany after attending the event, and I’m irrevocably humbled for being able to share this experience with everyone. If I have to describe the whole of last week in a nutshell, I would go with something like this.

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The Conference

The conference consisted of one day for workshops, 3 core days for talks, and then the extended days for hackathons and Bird of Feather sessions. I was only able to attend the first four days, so I’ll be talking about that only.

Day 0: Workshops

I took the Gstreamer workshop, and learnt a lot about building multimedia applications. Although I’m not proficient with C, the exercises were awesome, and very easy to understand.

Days 1-3 : Talks

There were a lot of talks during the core days. The keynotes were delivered by Bradley Kuhn and Werner Koch. There were a lot of talks with a lot of interesting stuff. To see the whole schedule, you can go here. All talks were live streamed and recorded, and you can see all recordings here. I also got to meet a lot of awesome people from the community, which was awesome.

I spoke about ‘Accessibility and the Free Desktop’. If you want to know more about my talk at GUADEC 2016, please visit this page.

My Experience

Traveling to a different country to attend a free software conference might sound nuts to some people, but to be honest, it is one of the best things about being in a community. You get to see people whom you only know by irc nicknames, or Google+ posts. As it turns out, behind the dry and emotionless medium of irc, all of these people are actual beings made of flesh and bone, and are super considerate, funny, witty, and awesome. Although I did not personally meet each and every one of them, I can say this about the ones I did. The other best thing about being in the same place with all these awesome people is that you get to see the awesome power of a community, which brings all of these people from different backgrounds together.

In my experience, GUADEC was not a normal conference, it was much more than that for me. It was a gathering of super awesome people who are passionate about what they do, and trust me, those are the best kind.

Photos

I clicked some pictures with some people. A gallery with some pictures is given below. You can also see the official Flickr group for more photos.

 

 

Published by

Gaurav

WordPress theme developer, GNU/Linux activist, Free Software vocalist, and self-proclaimed geek. I have run three failed startups and a moderately successfully design agency in the past. I worked at Digital Vidya to help create the next generation of e-learning services. I also worked at Winculum, building tools for industry research and benchmarking. Now I'm a Happiness Engineer at Automattic, helping people making the best of WordPress.com :D

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