Who are you?
I am Marco Minghini and I am currently studying for a PhD in Environmental and Infrastructures Engineering at the Politecnico di Milano, Italy. As it was my second FOSS4G after the one in Denver (2011), I was sure it would have been a great experience but I have to say it turned out to be even better. First of all I must describe the conference organization: everything was in place, everything well-scheduled and everything went fine. An applause for the LOC is more than deserved!
What really stood out at the event?
Presentations at FOSS4G 2013 were all very good and choosing the best one(s) would mean somehow depreciating the others. What I can do is to list the ones that stuck in my memory for teaching me something.
- First presentation of the list is Paul Ramsey’s closing plenary. I will always remember his motto “be an open source citizen” and his impressive and exciting talk! Inspirational.
- The second presentation I would like to mention is the one given by Tim Sutton during the plenary session on Friday, September 20th, where he presented the new QGIS 2.0. I was astonished, not just because a new version of a software package I regularly use is available, but because I just didn’t expect it to be announced at the conference. This will be a great memory for me.
- Third presentation is “Open Data for Real” given by Arnulf Christl, who is first of all a great person and communicator – a real FOSS4G hero!
FOSS4G 2013 taught me a lot.
- it updates my knowledge about the state of the art software/libraries and provides insight to their development path. It also allows me to find out about new packages or ones that I have not considered using for a while.
- It provides tips and hints on how to get the most out of software. Having core developers on hand is amazing to help you exploit advanced functionality
- I learnt once again, that one of the key factors for the success of FOSS4G is its community. FOSS4G projects continue to grow, both in terms of quantity and quality and that means more people working together for a common goal.
- I also have to say that FOSS4G people are incredibly funny! This conference has been unique in terms of the entertainment one can experience just listening to the presentations. Just to remember one of them, the Robin Hood-based welcome session was amazing!
- And the last thing I learnt at FOSS4G was that… well, Nottingham beer was delicious!!
What do you intend to do after FOSS4G?
Now that I’m back, I pledge to do at least three things. First, to be (even more) part of the community, for instance by finding some time to spend helping some projects – “why not translate QGIS2.0 into my native language?”. Then, starting from what I heard during presentations and what I can find on the new OSGeo Live, I pledge to expand my FOSS4G knowledge by learning to use some more software, maybe the newest ones. Last but not least, I pledge to maintain and grow the friendships with the people I met, and to look forward for future collaborations with them. This is the way FOSS4G community grows!