Robert Berry February 08, 2017 Open source, Mapping, GIS, Technology, Conference

Home News FOSDEM 2017

8,000+ developers and collaborators descended into Brussels over the weekend to attend the annual FOSDEM conference. Our very own Rob Berry, Sam Griffiths, Ed Askew and Charlie Allatson joined them from our Systems, Software and Data (SSD) teams.

Spread over two days, the weekend at the Universite Libre de Bruxelles provided the opportunity for developers, engineers, scientists, and indeed anyone else who is interested, to come together and share their ideas on open source technologies and how they are being used in the Software Development industry.

Learning from others

Sam Griffiths, one of our SSD Analysts, attended the conference and commented, “It was very satisfying to spend time listening to people who are heavily involved with open source projects and to tap into some of their enthusiasm for free software. I also picked up ideas as to how we could use open source software ourselves.”

The conference covered a huge variety of topics including:

  • Geospatial
  • Big Data
  • Internet of Things
  • Automation
  • Backup and Disaster Recovery
  • Legal and Policy issues

Hot topics

Saturday was the busiest day at the conference with particularly interesting talks on how geospatial practices are requiring more use of big data structures, as the availability of open data increases exponentially.

Another firm favourite amongst the group was a talk describing how ‘cURL’ has managed to work its way onto billions of devices all over the world, partly because of its open source nature.

There were also several useful sessions about wider software development practices and legislation. One of the most inspiring talks of the conference revolved around promotion of diversity in the workplace and how to encourage children and families to bridge the age, race, gender and disability gaps in the world of technology.

Professional development is key

The software development team has a history of attending conferences of this ilk as the knowledge gained from these can be invaluable. More importantly, they bring together like minded people in a common setting who can share ideas and learn from each other to improve themselves and their practices.

FOSDEM provided the opportunity to step back from the workplace, and even from the Water industry itself, to see how different tools and methodologies were being applied to other sectors that could be useful to us at JBA.

For information on the on the conference, contact Robert Berry or Sam Griffiths on 01756 699500.