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GUADEC 2015, part 1: the conference

This article is part one of four, each focusing on a different aspect of my trip to Gothenburg, Sweden, for the 2015 edition of the GUADEC conference. I wouldn’t have been able to attend without the sponsorship from the GNOME Foundation, and I’m very thankful for this opportunity.

Sponsored by the GNOME Foundation

This one is about the conference itself. Part 2 is about the talks that were given there. Part 3 is about the BoF sessions we had after that. Part 4 is about my touristic experience in the country.

The local organization team did an awesome job and they deserve beverages. The event ran smoothly and everyone seemed happy to be there. Both venues (Folkets hus for the core days and IT university for the BOF days) were really nice. The former cost us quite a bit, but the rooms (downstairs and upstairs) looked great and had a perfectly working PA system. I’m a bit bitter though that at that price we had to solve the dead battery issues on our own.

We had many volunteers showing up and it’s always good to see people from the community are willing to give a hand to make sure the event happens in the best conditions. Special thanks to Pascal who spent most of his time behind the info desk, sharing his experience with the others, and to Patrick who wrote the registration system and made sure every issue we had with it got fixed as soon as we met them. The system will hopefully be even better by next year, we already have plans to improve it.

I also enjoyed the social events in the evenings. Being welcomed by the early birds at the Bishop’s arms (or one of them, as I learned there are at least three bars with that name in Gothenburg) felt good. Seeing all those familiar faces again is always heartwarming. The picnic was way better than the one I organized last year: no mosquitoes, volunteer-hand made sandwiches, and the sunset is way later in Sweden than in France so we had light till we decided to leave. Some of us went to Pelagicore on the evening of the 11th to meet local FLOSS people and present a few quick talks about stuff we do in GNOME. It was a bit disappointing to see so few of them surrounded by GNOME folks, but we still had a great time.

All of this was fun but the main attraction of GUADEC is the talks and this is what I’ll be writing about in the next part.