My first FOSS4G experience
I embarked on a journey to attend the esteemed geospatial conference, FOSS4G 2023, held in Prizren. As I reflect, it was an event that left a profound impact on me, and I want to treasure these memories forever.
Just a couple of months ago, I had my doubts about attending FOSS4G, as I had never traveled to a foreign country before and the host country was not very well known. The logistics to get visa and planning the round-trip seemed daunting, and I wasn’t sure if it would be worth the investment and energy. However, to my delight, I discovered that there were other indians planning their travel too, making the planning process much smoother.
So, there I was, hopping on the plane to Pristina, Kosovo, and thinking to myself, “Did I really make the right call by shelling out a ton of money for this conference?” But, looking back now, I have to say, it was totally worth it! All the energy and effort I put into being a part of this event, it paid off big time. I’m filled with a sense of contentment right now.
During my time at foss4g, I got to hang out with the cool, nerdy core developers, authors, organizers, professors, and users of geospatial technology. I made some awesome new friends and dove headfirst into the wild nightlife of that stunning city. The experience was overwhelming, and it demanded an extra surge of energy.
With dense knowledge delivered within every conference room, I had to decide to let go one talk over another. Thankfully the talks are recorded, and will be shared freely and openly, adhering the spirit of foss4g!
Not only was this my first foss4g, but also the first time I presented my work. I was thrilled to receive positive feedback after my talk and to connect with individuals who shared my passion and interests. It was like finding my tribe!
These ten days in Kosovo were one of the most remarkable days of my life. The local people I met, both from Kosovo and Albania, made me feel right at home and added to the incredible experience. I’m back home, with a fresh perspective on life, a bunch of goals to accomplish, and a trove of memories that I will cherish forever.
Little did I know, a “mere” conference could dive deep into technical know-how, forge bonds for a lifetime, question my views on status quo, understand cultural differences, and also make me feel blessed to be part of this community!
I cannot fathom the sheer knowledge I gained during these 10 days! From learning about state of the art innovation in geospatial, to learning life lessons to think beyond technology! I hope to have the opportunity to attend again next year and reunite with the friends I made along the way.
Thank you foss4g community, the people of Kosovo and to the organizers who made this extraordinary event possible!
Fingers crossed, hope to meet again next year in Brazil!
PS: This post is a glimpse of what transpired during the conference! Highly encourage everybody to attend this event and experience it yourself!