FOSDEM is Europe's biggest open source conference. It's organised entirely by the community and in addition to being about all things being free as in freedom, it's also free as in beer, i.e. there are no entrance fees (although donations are welcome). For over 10 years now, literally thousands of geeks from all over Europe assemble in Brussels on the first weekend in February every year
I'll be attending FOSDEM again this year (Feb 2+3). I will also be giving a short presentation: a 15 minute lightning talk in the Testing and Automation devroom. The title is "What's our Status?" and this is what I submitted as the talk's summary:
The red/green metaphor to indicate failed/successful jobs may seem obvious but it doesn't scale when trying to visualise the state of a complex system.
After discussing the shortcomings of the current approach, we look at ideas for alternative visualisations and start defining requirements. This talk does not claim to have all the answers; It is a call for action, to seek help from the community.
Explicitly asking for feedback may not be the best approach for a lightning talk, where there usually is no time to take questions or have a discussion (a lightning talk is more like a TED talk in this regard). But then again, this is a topic that I've been discussing with quite a few people over the last two years or so and it seems there are no easy or obvious solutions. So I don't expect anyone in the audience to have an epiphany and solve the problem once and for all right there. I'll have to think of some sort of online medium to move the discussion to.
This is also my first public talk since the release of my ebook Presenting for Geeks, so there is of course a little bit of pressure to deliver a good presentation :)
If you are at FOSDEM, come by and say "Hi" (the presentation is on Saturday at 5:15pm). I'll be around all weekend, though not necessarily in the devroom all the time (find me on Twitter). And if you are interested in the topic of automating software builds and software tests, have a look at the devroom's schedule - quite a few interesting talks there.
P.S. The slides for the talk are up on Slideshare: What's our Status?.
Please email me for details.