July 26, 2018

 I am proud I was among the 280 people who attended BSDCan2018. This wouldn’t have been possible without the support of the FreeBSD Foundation and those who accepted my travel grant. For this, I would like to thank the FreeBSD Foundation.

I am relatively new to BSD, (I don’t have a programming background) but I was interested in learning about BSD. I found the community to be the most welcoming for new users and the closest to my heart.

I started my journey in Dublin,  I arrived Monday evening in Ottawa and got myself comfortable in the room booked in U90.

The next day I joined the BSD crowd in Royal Oak pub where the Goat BOF, the first event on the schedule, kicked off BSDCan. For the first time, I met a group larger than 5 people who would talk about *BSD. I was able to meet, shake  hands, and talk to people who I  knew only from BSDNow or YouTube.

I was lucky to be invited as guest to DevSummit. Deb’s Goodkin’s introduction to the FreeBSD Foundation,  the current Core team’s achievements and Marius Strobl’s presentation about the Release Engineering Team’s role comprised the first half of the DevSummit for the 6th of June. The second half of the day I joined Benedict Reuschling’s tutorial on how to Manage BSD Systems with Ansible, an easy to follow guide and achievable setup which I plan to put to practice.

My third day at BSDCan started with another tutorial, this time from Peter Hansteen. PF and networking with OpenBSD tutorial comprised of an introduction to PF and PF networking labs.

Later that evening, I went to Registration at the Red Lion Pub where I collected my badge, T-shirt and made new connections.

June 8th marked the start of submitted talks. I joined Bob Beck’s talk about forthcoming “pledge” and “unveil” in OpenBSD. I was impressed how much effort is directed at TrueOS, the BSD desktop. Project Trident and the collaboration between TrueOS and GhostBSD look promising for the desktop BSD world. Michael Lucas’s tutorial about SSH Key Management was familiar as I am using it at work.

Kirk McKusick’s talk about The Evolution of FreeBSD Governance and the Dan Langille’s Closing Session marked the end of BSDCan 2018.

Before the conference, *BSD  was more of a light and passive hobby for me. Not any more: BSDCan2018 was the kick and catalyst I needed to become serious and dedicated to learn and use *BSD.

Seeing how many people contribute to *BSD projects made me want this too. I decided to help, and Warren Block took his time to set up my laptop and so that I now should be able to contribute to documentation.

Since it was my first *BSD conference, I felt shy during the conference, but I really hope to become a regular.

Tutorials are really helpful starting points for discovering BSD, and they include hands-on labs. At the next BSD conference, I plan to join as many tutorials as possible.

Since returning home I have shared my extraordinary experience with friends and people who might be interesting in joining BSD.

I got one of Michael Lucas’s books in the auction and I am looking forward to bringing it back for BSDCan 2019’s auction.

Thank you to the FreeBSD Foundation for this event

–  Contributed by Constantin Stan