Fosdem, CiviCamp Brussels and the sprint make a great mix!

2018-02-07 12:21
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Just arrived back home after spending a few days with the CiviCRM community in Brussels. And as always I really enjoyed myself and returned inspired and full of inspiration.

I started last Sunday, 4 feb 2018 at FOSDEM ( What an experience, I have never seen so many geeks in one spot! It was great to dive in, look at all the stands And I had a nice chat at the CiviCRM stand. Good that we (as in the CiviCRM community) had a stand there and we all took turns. Thanks Tim, Mathieu, Jaap, Klaas, Michael, Alain, Rose, Fabian, Björn and Phil. Quite enjoyed the dinner afterwards too :-)

Monday 5 feb 2018 was the first CiviCamp Brussels. A crowd of about 80, great location at Muntpunt and interesting sessions and roundtables. Quite a few showcases of users sharing what they do with CiviCRM. Really enjoyed that, and a big thanks to Ullrich from Viva Con Agua (, Marieke from Oxfam with the Trailwalker (, Nele from Amnesty International Vlaanderen ( and Xavier from WeMove ( for sharing their stories. The roundtable discussions on GDPR and integration of CiviCRM with accounting software worked pretty well. As did the beers afterwards.

Tuesday and Wednesday were sprint days for me. With a personal highlight: I now actually have buildkit working on my machine so my long term goal of actually updating unit tests when squashing some core bugs is achievable. Hurray! Buildkit is quite a complicted stack of tools and my knowledge of linux, apache etc is way to minimal to sort that all out. I did try to check if I could do with a more minimal set of tools but unfortunately that did not succeed. Lowering the treshold to be able to contribute unit tests would have been great. But thanks to help from Klaas and Tim I did get the toolset working and would recommend everyone who struggles with this to use StackExchange and MatterMost to raise their issues and encourage all knowledgeable CiviCRM gurus to help everyone get started with the buildkit toolset.

Family duty meant I had to leave today. With a group of about 15 at the sprint we were really able to do some good stuff and have some interesting discussions. It was great to feel part of the community again! Thanks to all for making me thoroughly enjoy my days in Brussels! On to the next CiviCRM Event....


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As always, a great opportunity to share our ideas and practice (and rants!), always a little sad to leave but looking forward to the next one...