Simo's Blog


Talking to people

The new year started with a lot of talks at various conferences.

For the past few years I had slowed down on attending conferences, but this year started with my attendance to 2 conferences I like a lot.

The first is FOSDEM, probably the best Free Software conference and certainly the biggest one in the world.

I just love FOSDEM, I love Belgium for the Beers and Chocolate, so it is always a pleasure for me to go there. Plus I have friends in Brussels, where I have been multiple times in the past so it is always a pleasure to go back there for a full immerse week end.

This year I presented 2 talks at FOSDEM.

One in the main track about Identity Management on Linux and a second in the Legal Devroom about a Veteran's perspective on various legal matters surrounding Free and Open Source Software. I organized this talk as an open discussion between me and the public and I absolutely loved the conversation.

The IdM talk in contrast was a classic solo speech on a 30 kilometers high overview about the problem of building an IdM system on Linux and for Linux. It does have references to the FreeIPA project but does not go in deep technical details beyond explaining why we choose certain technologies.

This actually led to criticism after the talk: Not technical enough!

And it is a fair one, too bad that when I presented the initial abstract to FOSDEM I got the opposite reply: Too technical!, so I had to water down and broaden the initial proposal :-).

I guess you can never win this game, so my resolution is to oscillate between the two extremes ...

... which brings me to the other talk at This is a very nice conference, organized by Red Hat in Brno. is a developer conference so I presented a pretty technical talk on GSSAPI and privilege separation using Gss-Proxy which is the latest project I launched together with Nico and later the help of G√ľnther.

This time I got the: Too technical! red flag. Hopefully, though, it was still interesting enough for the audience.

All in all, I enjoyed these conferences very much, I won't list all the excellent talks I attended, there were too many. Most importantly I was able to finally meet face to face with some people I interact every day or I needed to have a more interactive discussion to hash out some problems an ideas. So fun and very productive time, what more can you ask for as a nerd type ?

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