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Cisco Employee
Cisco Employee


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FOSDEM is a truly unique experience and arguably the best open source conference of the year. It is a weekend event (February 1-2 this year) organized by open source enthusiasts to promote the widespread use of free and open source software. Each year, during the semester break at Université libre de Bruxelles, thousands of developers from all over the world gather to share ideas and collaborate on open source software.


FOSDEM is unlike any other conference I have ever attended. It is free and open to everyone. Registration is not necessary, nor is it possible. I had my first FOSDEM experience in 2016 and have attended every year since then. Each year, I increase my involvement in the event. After all, FOSDEM is what us volunteers/attendees make it, so jump in and help us make it the best ever.

Software Defined Networking devroom

This year, I am one of the organizers of the Software Define Networking (SDN) devroom. We have a packed agenda of great talks by experts from many different organizations. Topics include Kubernetes, DPDK, VPP and, XDP, eBPF, and OPNFV. Too many acronyms? Don’t worry, you will be familiar with all of them by the end of the day, and we will of course include topics such as network device drivers and filters, flow tables, virtual switching, and much more. You are welcome to drop in for just a few sessions or stay with us the entire day.



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Lightning Talks

With so many great sessions in so many different places, time will be at a premium. Lightning talks provide a great way to learn and connect on topics of interest with only a small time commitment. This year I am honored to have the opportunity to deliver a talk on two passions of mine, open source and standards. It is titled, Open Source - Killing standards organizations or saving them, and is part of a full lineup of quick hitters on Sunday.


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Something for Everyone

The SDN devroom is just one of  50+ devrooms accepted for FOSDEM this year, not to mention the keynotes and main conference tracks and the lightning talks, each providing a taste of a topic and something new to discuss at the bar over a Belgian ale that evening.


With so many great topics and tracks, the unavoidable dilemma is how to allocate your time. Here is a tip, all sessions are recorded and available online within a few weeks. Don’t waste time running all over campus trying to get to every talk on your bucket list. Rather, focus on a few topics, take advantage of the opportunity to make personal connections, and have fun. Reach me at or @eckelcu if you have questions or want to connect.

Helpful Resources

  • The main FOSDEM page has the complete and up to date info on the conference.
  • The DevNet Open Source Dev Center highlights open source projects that benefit from significant contributions by Cisco employees and are used in our products and solutions in ways that are relevant to developers.
  • Code Exchange helps you discover, learn, build, and collaborate on curated GitHub projects to jumpstart your work with Cisco platforms, products, APIs, and SDKs. Your contributions are welcome, and we encourage you to submit your open source repos today.
  • Join DevNet. It is free and easy using this link ( created for FOSDEM.
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