Part I: History and planning
The third-annual Developer Conference took place February 17 and 18, 2012 at Masaryk University in Brno, Czech Republic. This conference, organized by Red Hat Czech Republic, JBoss.org, and Fedora.cz, hosted important and interesting talks about topics including security, kernel, desktop, cloud, and middleware. This report will also highlight other event activities--such as hackfests and networking--and provide information about the organization and purpose of the event, and the plans for the event in the past and in the future.
How it all began
The Developer Conference started in 2009 and followed the Fedora User and Developer Conference (FUDCon) Brno 2008. FUDCon is a very good event with a great audience, but it is a traveling event and we wanted to establish something local that would gather the Czech open source community. We also wanted an event purely focused on open source developers.
The conference has grown every year, with a larger foreign attendance--and not only in terms of speakers, but also listeners. Visitors come from various companies that either deploy or develop their products on open source technologies or who directly participate on open source development of some project. And of course, a large portion of the audience always consists of students and open source fans.
2012 was a great year
Developer Conference 2012 was a truly open conference. There were no commercial topics, no entrance fees, and the focus was on learning new stuff and hearing about projects and technologies through presentations, workshops, and hackfests. Most of the presentations were prepared by people representing certain community projects but also employed by Red Hat. The list included a lot of people from Czech Republic, but also a large number of well-known open source developers from various other countries. The conference was open to everyone and anyone could propose a talk. The only condition was that they had to be development-focused.
We were surprised by the number of proposed talks. We trimmed the proposals to the best 60. 95% of them were in English and we had 25 foreign speakers.
2012 is the year the Developer Conference became a fully international event. The number of visitors doubled from last year. During Friday, attendance peaked at approximately 600 people, and Saturday was much the same. Because we don't have an official registration process, the guess was based on the number of handouts given, and the capacity of the lecture rooms.
We also had to increase the number of presentation slots this year, choosing to go to three parallel tracks instead of two. We reduced breaks to a minimum to encourage reasonably long time slots. Breaks were only five minutes and the lunch break took up only 15 minutes. Talks started at 9 a.m. and ended slightly before 6 p.m., which allowed us to offer as many of the interesting proposed talks as possible.
Photos taken by Václav Tunka and Tomáš Bžatek.