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A dream come true....FOSDEM

Posted by priyanka nag on 11:28 AM in , ,
Since the day I had been involved with Open Source and known about FOSDEM, it was my dream to be able to attend at least one FOSDEM before I die ;)
I never knew the dream would come true so soon, that too, it was a dream come true++ scenario for me. I was not only invited to FOSDEM, I was invited to give a talk on the platform of FOSDEM.
I still remember the exact feeling when I had received that email which read "Your talk proposal for the Mozilla DevRoom at FOSDEM 2014 has been accepted!". I was on cloud nine....too happy to be able to share the news with even the people sitting next to me in office (I was in my workplace at that time).
From the day of receiving the invitation to the day of travel...things moved a bit too fast and even before I had realized, I was already in the flight for Brussels.

Day 0 in Brussels

Brussels welcomed us with an awesome climate. The temperature was 0'C when we landed. I was warm in my jacket but I remember not being able to feel my hands after being out for sometime. The hotel was at a great location....so centrally located that we had seen most of Brussels just by taking a walk around our hotel on the first day itself. It was in the evening that I met the rest of the Mozillians over dinner. I was literally the youngest one in the team and I bet was the one most scared (for the talk) among them all. Later that night, we had the FOSDEM bear party where I had the chance of meeting some of the awesomest minds of the Open Source world. I wish I could stay back longer at the party that night, but my unfinished slides didn't allow me to do so. I left early and rushed back to my room to complete my slides and run through them, just to be prepared for the big day.

Day 1 in Brussels

The bus we took to the venue was jam-packed and I was astonished to know that most of them (about 95%) were actually travelling to the same place as I was. Someone had mockingly said in the bus-'if we could hijack this bus now, we could build the Operating System of our dreams. This bus has some of the best brains of the world'.
As soon as I entered ULB Campus, I was thrilled! I had never expected such a crowd in an Open Source event.
It was only at 5pm when my blood pressure started rising...my talk was the next one in line. I was scared like hell but somehow the moment I got on the stage and held that mike and few familiar faces wished me luck, I got an unknown strength to address a crowd of 280+ people. This was my first ever talk in a platform like FOSDEM, addressing a crowd this huge!


Me...in action at FOSDEM


In the next 30 minutes I just lived my dream. I knew this was the moment I had dreamt about all my life.
I can't be a good judge of my own performance, but the tweets I had received during and after the talk were really encouraging.


Day 2 in Brussels

The next was more of enjoying and less of responsibility. I went around all the buildings, visiting all the booths, talking to people, building contacts (and of-course collecting swags). I met some awesome people that day...some whom if I describe as 'genius' it would probably be an understatement. I also got to meet a few people whom I had previously interacted with,online, but never met before.




Meeting Quim Gil at FOSDEM 2014

The most amazing part of this day was when I was told that someone had come at the Mozilla booth, looking for me. When I reached the booth, there was a man who was waiting to interview me and know my journey in the FOSS world. He said that my story could encourage other girls to get involved with Open Source development.
Trust me when I say that there is no feeling better than knowing that your story could make a difference to someone else's life.
I wished FOSDEM was held for longer than 2 days :P

This FOSDEM was a real big event of my life and I hope I get an invitation for the next one as well ;)

My slide can be found here :
http://www.slideshare.net/priynag/women-and-technology-31005551

The recording of my talk can be found here:
Video Link

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