Yesterday night I returned from Amsterdam where the first edition of the O’Reilly European Open Source Convention took place between 17 and 20 October. It was really a great event with exceptional organizers, well prepared speakers and lots of interesting discussions and, above all, a friendly and relaxed atmosphere.

I could arrive to Amsterdam only Tuesday morning, so I lost the two helpful tutorial sessions on Monday. However I didn’t want to skip classes on the first day of school. When I entered the main conference room Tim O’Reilly had just started his speech about the technologies on the “O’Reilly Radar” so I just sit down and listened, which is how I spent most of my time … Listening to great talks.

At the beginning of each day there were a couple of 15 minutes keynotes which almost everybody attended, then there were the 45 minutes sessions organized into 10 different tracks: Linux, Java, PHP, Python, Perl, databases, security, emerging topics, products & services and, last but not least business. Other than the Java track where I attended almost all sessions, on the other tracks I attended only a few or even none of the sessions. Other than the keynotes and sessions there were also several panels, many friendly discussions and MAKE’s fair.

The participants were pretty heterogeneous from students to businessmen and from open source gurus to unknown minor contributors (like me). At first I was pretty uncomfortable not being known by anybody there (other than Marc and Kathy) but socializing and making friends was easy. So easy that some of us we ended playing Werewolves and Seers (a.k.a. Mafia) in the lobby of Grand Hotel Krasnapolsky.

— to be continued —

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