I attended HCC linux day on Saturday the 21st of May in Bunnick, The Netherlands. I have always wanted to see how the local communities present themselves at events in the NL, since I mainly attend the international events. HCC is one of the largest, if not the largest, communities in the NL comprised of members that use a variety of different distros and projects that support development within the FOSS ecosystem. This event's focus was on Security and was hosted at the Postillion Hotel.
I first arrived at the event at 10:00 and was quite impressed with the venue for such a small event. It was easy to get to (by car at least) and the hotel was quite new, which provided a quaint, by specialized feel. The presentation rooms were new and fitted with new equipment which gave the event an added feeling of style and prestige. I decided to attend some presentations held by Jos Poortvliet, the community manager for openSUSE whom introduced the new initiatives (OBS, SUSEStudio, Tumbleweed, Evergreen) and the different desktops that are supported in openSUSE latest release 11.4 within the course of two separate presentations. I also got a chance to visit the openSUSE booth, which seemed to have quite a buzz going around it and Jos was nice enough to introduce me to his local team which consisted of some new members who looked very enthusiastic about the event and being involved in the openSUSE community. I also had a chance to speak to some of the local contributors, some from Ubuntu and others who were developers, gamers and just interested users. Many of the people attending this event had been users of FOSS for quite a while, either as a hobby or in their work. I had a feeling that actually most could be classified as users and not your hardcore developer types. I see absolutely no problem with this as these users help spread the message and play a part in keeping the ecosystem alive.
Overall, I really liked the event since I was able to speak to people who are not quite your "normal" FOSSies and saw aspects of our communities from a different point of view, which is always refreshing. In addition, this was quite a low key event, so it also carried a very relaxed feeling to it :-) There is still a need for these types of events, as there are for the events on other levels, since these events provide access points for people of all types to get involved in FOSS. Especially the locals, whom cannot or do not want to travel far to get their questions answered and to hang out with those that share the same interest ;-)
Thanks again HCC, I enjoyed the event and look forward to attending another event of yours. Also a great thanks to Jos and the local Lizards for the constructive discussions, openness, and engagement demonstrated by the openSUSE team.