Impressions of FrOSCon 12

FrOSConThis year, I wanted to participate as a speaker at an event and did send in my first CfP for the PHP track at FrOSCon. Because I wanted to visit this year's FrOSCon during my vacation time anyway, this was a good chance to learn new things, improve myself as a speaker and share some of my knowledge with others. In the end, I got accepted and my journey to Bonn was written in stone. FrOSCon, the Free and Open Source Software Conference, is every year in August at the University of Applied Sciences Bonn-Rhein-Sieg and brings all people together, who are interested in coding, computer science and more.

The first overview


This was not my first time at FrOSCon and I had a good impression of this year's event after I arrived. It was pretty well organized, answers were given fast and I never had the feeling something was forgotten during this eventful weekend. Especially the PHP track was in good hands and brought the community well together. There were also a lot of booths by different companies and projects again, where the visitors could get more information about a product or the company itself. From Gaming up to VR and Machine Learning, there were a lot of different topics in the main hall to cover the visitors' interests. Later, at the first FrOSCon day, a job wall was built up where people could find a new career opportunity for themselves.
Especially children got a special place for playing and learning, while the younger ones got their own huge bouncer castle and ball pit, that made a lot of adults jealous. :-)

The Talks


There were a variety of topics like Machine Learning, becoming a Cyborg (sounds funny, but it's a valid issue) and about personal data in many parallel running time slots. Sometimes it was hard to decide which ones I should listen to or if I should wait until the videos and slides are released. The PHP track didn't get any records, so if there was a PHP talk I wanted to participate, PHP mostly won the battle of decisions. At this point, I also want to thank all the people who joined me on my time slot, where I explained ICU and the API of the Intl-Extension classes. One of my personal favourites was Cyborgs Unite! by Karen Sandler, even though I missed the first part of it.

The Community


As I mentioned before, everyone of the staff must have put a lot of effort into FrOSCon 12 to offer the community a great weekend, including a goody bag with a voucher for a free coffee in a free FrOSCon cup. I especially looked forward to meet a lot of people from the PHP community I don't see frequently, because of the distances and sharing stories and informations with them. It was also a good chance to meet new people and their ideas or solutions for technical problems. Although participating talks can teach you new things, socializing between the talks can increase your perspectives much more. Last but not least, it's advisable to take a peek at other areas and not just in what you're usually doing, because some solutions might come in handy for you in the future.

I had a lot of fun at the FrOSCon weekend, learned new stuff, refreshed old knowledge and had interesting discussions with familiar faces and friends. I'll share something in form of a few code snippets soon and hope I'll be also able to visit FrOSCon in the next year. Maybe you will join us too and share some of your experiences with us.


About Claudio Zizza
I'm working as a software developer for more than 15 years and used many coding languages and frameworks during that time, like PHP (of course), ASP, .NET, Javascript, Symfony, Zend Framework and more. I also contribute to the open source communities and am a part of the PHP Usergroup in Karlsruhe, Germany.
Follow me on Twitter (@SenseException)