Most major open source projects host annual global conferences. Some projects also organize conferences on the continent (e.g. GNOME Asia Summit), mainly because there are many developers-users who can not afford to travel.

The conference program usually consists of two parts. The first of talks related to the implementation of new features by the community but also meetings for important decisions about the project. The second part is free and usually consists of meetings (hacking, BoFs) of sub-groups that aim at both the correction of errors and the development of new features, or even the production of texts to promote the work in the press and on social media. networking.

What do you gain from participating in such a conference?

In the first place NOT you will get a proof of participation (I guess it does not count in being hired in the public sector)! Proof of your participation is the activity you have in the project community or even your help as a volunteer in organizing the conference. Let's see what you will gain:

  • You will meet important people up close (people you may read on lists or blogs) and make new friends and acquaintances. You will see that they are not robots or snobs but they are simple, friendly in whatever you tell them.
  • The knowledge you will get from the presentations may be negligible but the knowledge you will gain in the second part of the conference will be a lot.
  • When you join a sub-group, the result you will present at the conference will be more than what a group presents during the semester (from version to version). This is because you will be next to people who can ask or discuss something directly. No need to wait in case you are in different time zones.
  • At most conferences, there are large companies in the field looking for minds like yours. In case you are not happy in Greece or you are unemployed, you have a chance to apply for a job and be accepted. One parameter that companies will look at is whether you are involved in the project, what your activities are in the community and not what degree you have (or do not have). Usually, the degrees that you may have from large companies in the field also count (those who deal with the subject, know which ones).

So if you are participating in communities on a voluntary basis, most projects have funding programs for your participation in conferences (both local and global). The GNOME Foundation is one of them, offering funding for members of the foundation.

On the website https://2017.guadec.org/ you can find suggestions for your accommodation (it will have a lot of visitors at that time, so keep that in mind) and information about your move to Manchester city. The start of registration for your participation in the conference will be announced soon, as well as the period when you can apply for financing your trip.