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OSS Security Sessions & FOSDEM Survival Guide

By January 24, 2024Blog
OSS Security Sessions & FOSDEM Survival Guide

By Cheuk Ting Ho, OpenSSF Community Manager

Are you going to FOSDEM –  the biggest open source event in Europe? It can be very overwhelming for anyone new to the event. If you are interested in open source security and policy, there are be some events and talks that you do not want to miss. Here is a survival guide that I made after consulting the community about what their recommendations are and here are some tips for you.

Adjacent Events

Before the real party begins, there will already be events that are happening in Brussels (or nearby cities). Here are a few that we recommended for folks who are interested in open source security and security-related policies:

EU Open Source Policy Summit 2024
Arduinkaai 7 1000, Brussels, Belgium
Check out the Panel: Security and Resilience at 11:50 – 12:30 CET with: 

  • Omkhar Arasaratnam, General Manager, OpenSSF
  • Lorena Boix Alonso, Director for Digital Society, Trust & Cybersecurity, DG CNECT, European Commission
  • Aeva Black, Open Source Security Lead, Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency, US Government
  • Fiona Krakenbürger, Co-founder, The Sovereign Tech Fund, Government of Germany
  • Juhan Lepassaar, Executive Director, The European Union Agency for Cybersecurity
  • Astor Nummelin Carlberg, Executive Director, OpenForum Europe

Visit Open Forum Europe website to request for onsite ticket or register for online participation

FOSS License and Security Compliance Tools
La Tricoterie – Fabrique de liens
Rue Théodore Verhaegen 158, 1060 Bruxelles, BE
2024-02-02, 8:30 AM – 5:00 PM (UTC+01:00); Registration is required and free.

State of Open Con
London, UK
2024-02-06 to 2024-02-07; Visit State of Open Con website to purchase tickets (£199)

OpenSSF Meetup – learn about PyPI, SBOM and Dependency Track
19-30 Alfred Place · London
2024-02-08, 5:30 PM – 8:30 PM (UTC+00:00); Registration is required and free.

How to Get to the Venue

Most of the people attending FOSDEM will be staying in the city centre. Despite there being public transportation between the venue – ULB Solbosch Campus, there will be thousands of folks commuting during the normally quiet weekend hours. It is very likely that the public transportation will be overwhelmed during the peak hours (e.g. 8am – 9am and 5pm – 6pm). There are a few options that you can overcome this:

  • Stay near the ULB Solbosch Campus
  • Avoid the rush hours
  • Cycle to the venue (confident cyclists only)

Talks & Sessions You Don’t Want To Miss

FOSDEM has so many dev rooms (59 of them!!) and most of them will only be 1 day or half-day events. Careful planning will be needed if you want to catch your favourite talks or meet your favourite speakers. Some talks may need to be there early (up to 30 mins) to queue up for a seat. Here are a few talks and dev rooms that you do not want to miss:

Where to Get Food & Attend Social Events

As we are all human beings, we all want food and socialise with other people. At FOSDEM there are food trucks serving different types of food dotted around. If you want to avoid the hungry crowd and the long queue, you can get lunch slighter earlier or later. You can also consider bringing your own lunch. If you want to go out of the campus for a restaurant or bistro, be prepared for a 15 to 20-minute talk.

Also, FOSDEM is such a huge event. It is quite hard to make new friends. I would suggest checking out our stand (at building K, level 2) with Linux Foundation EU and other LF projects to seek like-minded folks.

After a busy day, you can visit the city centre and enjoy a lot of nice restaurants there as well. Most FOSDEM attendees will be hanging out at the famous Delirium Café (look for the pink elephant signs) so you may be able to find some familiar faces there.

Thank You

Please be aware that the suggestions here are my own opinion and the suggestions we got from the community. Thank you to the following community members for their suggestions:

  • Dheeraj Joshi
  • Nigel Douglas
  • Jeff Mendoza
  • Georg Kunz