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FOSSASIA Summit 2018 Wrap Up

The FOSSASIA Summit 2018 in Singapore was a successful event thanks to all our fabulous speakers, participants, volunteers and organization team. The support of our host the Lifelong Learning Institute was outstanding. Without all partners and and especially our lead sponsors Daimler & Google Cloud the event would not have been possible. Below are interesting numbers and a wrap up of event highlights from the 4-day conference.

1 Numbers and Facts

* 3,301 attendees over 4 days, 203 speakers and 99 volunteers.

* 5 keynotes, 235 scheduled sessions and more than 50 project showcases/exhibitors.

* 53 nationalities, 66.8% Singapore, followed by India, US, Vietnam, Malaysia, Indonesia, Germany etc.

* 54.7% software engineers, 7.7% Founders & Executive Level, 7.9% Manager & Senior Manager, 14.3% Academic Sector (CS students, lecturers and teachers)

* Talks are already available as videos. Hundreds of photos have been uploaded to social networks. Check out a short recap of the summit:

2. Conference Highlights

2.1 Opening Ceremony and Keynotes

Teo Ser Luck, Singapore Member of Parliament congratulated FOSSASIA on playing an important role as the melting pot for businesses software developers and government agencies to innovate ICT solutions. Mr. Teo emphasized that Open Source technology could benefit local businesses and workforce, “Only because the code is open we are able to talk about it. Open code is a wonderful present to the community.”

Mr Teo Ser Luck on Open Tech in Singapore

Jonas von Malottki, Senior Manager Finance at Daimler AG (Mercedes-Benz), introduced the Free and Open Source solutions being used within its products and explained how they thrived to support and collaborate with the Open Source community. According to Jonas, automakers were trying to become software companies, and just like in the tech industry Open Source was the way to move forward.

Kaz Sato, Staff Developer Advocate at Google Cloud team presented different examples of business model around the world where non-techies have adopted TensorFlow and Cloud ML to solve their real-world problems.

Kaz Sato, Real-world Machine Learning with TensorFlow and Cloud ML

A Panel on AI, Cloud, Blockchain and the Conversational Web brought technologists, developers and journalists together, discussed where the society is heading in the face of this rapid change as well as where opportunities and challenges awaited.  The panelists were Frank Karlitschek (Founder Nextcloud), Liang Moung (Head of Digital Technology Singapore Press Holdings), Ramji Venkateswaran (Global Head of Cloud Ecosystem Development & Head of Cloud Services Asia J.P. Morgan), Dr Graham Williams (Data Science Director, APAC – Microsoft). The panel was moderated by Mario Behling (Founder, Eventyay).

‘Ready for Future Mobility’ was another keynote emphasized the adaptation of open source in the automotive industry. Vlado Koljibabic (Head of CASE IT at Daimler AG) and his colleague Ronald Grasman (Lead Solution Architect eDrive@VANs) explained how Daimler sees Free Open Source Software as a solution that could support to master the challenge of convenient charging in the future. Check out an interview with Vlado to learn more about open source within Daimler. 

The opening session finished by a featured speech of Hong Phuc Dang (Founder of FOSSASIA) on How FOSSASIA Scales Up and What Comes Next.

Hong Phuc Dang, Founder of FOSSASIA

CodeHeat Award Ceremony

FOSSASIA self-run coding contest CodeHeat took place from September 2017 to February 2018. The aim of Codeheat is to encourage more developers to get involved in and to contribute to the FOSSASIA open source projects

650 developers had participated in this year’s contest and more than 2,000 pull requests had been made within the 6-month period. Three grand prize winners were invited to present their work at the FOSSASIA Open Tech Summit 2018.

2.2 Track Summary

Artificial Intelligence Track

AI track focused on topics around natural language processing, how to build skills and actions for voice assistants or how to create Open Source chatbots. It also gave an introduction to existing solutions SUSI.AI, Bot Framework, Tensorflow, Dataprep and more.

SUSI.AI Showcase by Michael Christen

During this first session in the Artificial Intelligence track, Michael Christen, Founder SUSI.AI delivered a talk to predict the future of search engines when the answers to all questions to be provided within the framework of conversational interfaces. Michael also suggested that free and open source implementations of digital assistants would be challenged by the complexity of the conversational web ecosphere of smart devices and the ability to create intelligent skills out of cloud services.

Markku Lepisto, Google Cloud Solutions Architect (APAC & Japan) showed the audience how to build IoT devices and solutions that engage their users in a natural manner with Machine Learning. He also used two Barbies and real device to assist his live demonstrations and provided code examples.

Markku and his Barbie friends

An advanced Deep Learning Workshop has been extended substantially since the last FOSSASIA Summit. This year, Martin Andrews continued to go through different “cutting-edge” topics in Deep Learning. Consequently, participants are able to install the working examples on their own machines, tweak and extend them for themselves.

Large Scale Deep Neural Network Training by Chris Auld gave another interesting angle into the topic of AI & ML

Large Scale Deep Neural Network Training by Chris Auld

Cloud, Container, DevOps Track

There were several discussions on how to save business resources and how to be more efficient by deploying solutions such as Kubernetes, Serverless Architecture, Microservices, Docker Kompose, Omnibus, OpenStack, Virtual Kubelet, and Continuous Integration.

Chris Aniszczyk – CTO of Cloud Native Computing Foundation shared lessons learned from Internet scale companies like Google and others on using containers to manage applications  over a decade. Matthew Treinish presented his experience on building a small compute cloud from scratch and gave an introduction to OpenStack. Among the highlights were several talks and workshops on the use of Kubernetes and Machine Learning with Tensorflow conducted by Google developer advocate team. Check out more sessions on FOSSASIA videos. 

Blockchain Track

The Blockchain track included talks on the Bitcoin and Ethereum networks, and the use of blockchain technology in the fields of finance and education, and in applications such as Internet of Things (IoT) and smart contracts. Besides, a hands-on workshop using real Bitcoin mining hardware was conducted.

The track also spotlighted a panel on ‘Solving World Problems with Blockchain and Open Source’, where panelist discussed real-life application cases of Blockchain apart from the hype.  The question about energy consumption to generate blockchains and its impact on the society was raised at this panel.

Solving World Problems with Blockchain and Open Source

Cybersecurity Track

Cybersecurity track covered sessions on Encryption with PGP, SELinux, Secrets Management, Backups, QubesOS, Securing Web and Javascript apps. Some of the highlights were:

* A Security State of Mind: Compliance and Vulnerability Audits for Containers by Chris Van Tuin (Chief Technologist, Red Hat) – discussed the top security risks in a container environment including container images, builds, registry, CI/CD, and host.

* Codifying Security and Modern Secrets Management by Seth Vargo (Developer Advocate, Google) –  discussed the principles of modern security and how a free and open source tool embodies and enforces the principles of modern security

* BareOS – 100% open source backups by Maik Außendorf

Web & Mobile Track

Web & Mobile track highlighted technologies used for the Conversational Web. A wide range of topics were covered with talks and workshops about JS frameworks, PWA, Android, Web VR and AR. Highlights include:

* Kotlin Native workshop by Stepan Goncharov (Engineering Manager, Grab)- demonstrated the implementation of simple client-server app using Kotlin Native.

* Automating Processes Using TagUI Tool by Ken Soh (Open-source RPA Evangelist, AI Singapore) – discussed about TagUI, an open-source Robotic Process Automation.

* Angular Framework in Susper by Harshit Prasad (FOSSASIA developer ) – Susper is a decentralized search engine that uses the peer to peer system YaCy and Apache Solr to crawl and index search results. Github:

Hardware, Science, Design and Local Production Track

This mixed track covered topics from design to hardware and local production. Lionsforge, with their open source laser cutters, set the movement of bringing production back to Singapore.

The Pocket Science Lab – an open hardware device (open in all layers) was on the spotlight. This tiny pocket lab provides an array of sensors for doing science and engineering experiments. It comes with functions of numerous measurement devices including an oscilloscope, a waveform generator, a frequency counter, a programmable voltage, current source and as a data logger.

FOSSASIA Pocket Science Lab

Open Data, Internet Society, Community

More and more governments, companies and citizens share data for the benefit of the society. This track brought up questions around use cases for Open data, possibilities of a truly free society, in the times of tracking devices, supervision technologies, how to keep communities engaged in Free and Open Source development.

There was a featured session by Douglas Gray, senior vice president at Indeed on ‘How to Overcome Obstacles and Take Control of Your Career in Tech’. During his talk, Douglas shared many tips and useful strategies that could help developers to tackle challenges, competition and proceed their way to a dream job in tech field.

Douglas Gray, Senior Vice President, Engineering at

Database Track

Developers of PostgreSQL, MySQL, Apache Spark, MariaDB and NoSQL projects conducted sessions about Scaling TB of data, Real-time data masking, Replication Features, Performance Schema, BigQuery, and Immutable Key-Value Stores. The main focus was how to save business money with Open Source database solutions.

Joe Conway on Statistical Analysis in PostgreSQL with PL/R

Kernel and Platform Track

The Kernel & Platform track covered topics from the Linux Kernel to BSD and desktop systems such as Meilix or applications like VLC, learning about BSD network servers, hacking with x86 Windows Tablets, asynchronous integration of GPU computing with HPX many task processing, Unikernelized Linux, Open Build Service in Debian, and learning C from the trenches. Check out kernel talks on FOSSASIA videos. 

Science Tech and Education Track

This track revolved around the benefits of integrating open technology into different aspects of life, particularly how it could surpass traditional education. In addition, it offered solutions to making technology accessible and engaging to a wider public. Sessions also introduced available tools which might give citizens more chances to become scientists or simply to encourage the participation in science.

Building a Sustainable Open Tech Community through Coding Programs, Contests and Hackathons
Open Source Education

Open Event Solution – Eventyay

The FOSSASIA Summit was managed by an entirely Free and Open Source solution Eventyay (an alternative of eventbrite). This project is developed and maintained by FOSSASIA developer network.

In this track, the core developers of Eventyay (or Open-Event), namely Saptak Sengupta, Shubham Padia, Aayush Arora, Harshit Dwivedi, Dilpreet Singh, Sumedh Nimkarde and Abhinav Khare delivered several intensive sessions to address different aspects of Eventyay including setting up Open Event Front-end and Open Event Server locally, switching from Java to Kotlin on Open Event Android, Data Handling with EmberJS, Open Event and JSON API, and Decoupling and Demystifying Open Event Server.

Watch this video to understand Eventyay back-end and infrastructure.

UNESCO Open Science and Open Data Hackathon

FOSSASIA partnered up with UNESCO organizing the Open Science and Open Data Hackathon. With 92 participants in 14 teams, the jury had managed to select three winning teams (from India, Singapore & Vietnam) whose projects were assessed on the extent to which they could leverage Open data and knowledge in response to current pressing environmental issues, climate change, sustainable developments and gender equality.

UNESCO Open Science and Open Data Hackathon

Project Submissions in details:

Hackathon Winners

20th Birthday Anniversary of The Open Source Initiative OSI

Italo Vignoli, Director of Open Source Initiative (OSI) had a presentation on the history of Open Source Initiative and called for a celebration of the 20th Anniversary of OSI. Through his talk, Italo summarized the evolution of open source licenses and the Open Source Definition (OSD) across two decades. He also explained why the concept of free open source software has grown both in relevance and popularity and explored trends for the third decade of Open Source.

Italo Vignoli, Director of Open Source Initiative (OSI)

Exhibition and Networking Space

There was a interesting mix of over 50 distinguished showcases from corporations to high profile start-ups and many leading open source projects

This open space enabled discussions and networking besides the main conference program. Participants could explore career opportunities offered by FOSSASIA partners, learn the latest technologies and projects development. In addition, a dev lounge, a relaxing space and an espresso coffee station created an excellent vibe.

Daimler Team
VLC Team
MySQL Team
AutoDesk Team
12Geeks Singapore
Coffee Station
VISEO Team Team
JPMorgan Team
Microsoft Workshop Team
Espace Team
Women Who Code
Hardware by Dunman High and Tampines High

3 Social Events, Non-Conference Activities

Pre-FOSSASIA Summit Meet & Greet

A pre-event “Meet & Greet” is an annual activity for overseas visitors. Impact Hub was the host of 2018. At this meeting speakers and attendees from around the world had a chance to mingle and get to know more about each other. A  session on Singapore Tech scene and how to do business in the local context was conducted to give some insights to FOSSASIA guests. A guided cultural walk around the island was organized and followed by a dinner at the famous Lau Pa Sat.

Pre-event Meet & Greet, FOSSASIA Summit 2018


A get-together Pub Crawl is a tradition of every FOSSASIA Summit. At the end of the first day, speakers and participants met up at Chinatown and started a fun evening by strolling around different pubs to taste local beverages and specialties.

FOSSASIA get-together Pub Crawl

Social Event

The Saturday social event was a major highlight of the event. A wide range of activities, consisting of a live music band, traditional Indian dance, performance of local artists, a mentalist show, Karaoke stage, a photo booth, a football table, an outdoor lounge, a lovely buffet with local cuisine and FOSSASIA’s signature homemade cocktails.

Traditional Indian dance performance
Magic show
Football table
Karaoke Station



FOSSASIA on Twitter:



FOSSASIA Calendar:

Share/add your FOSSASIA photos here: FOSSASIA Photo Pool

Posts on the Web

UNESCO Bangkok – Innovative app for farmers to increase agricultural outputs among winners at UNESCO Open Data and Science Hackathon at FOSSASIA Summit 

Saptak Sengupta – FOSSASIA 2018: Conference Report 

Edris Dzulkifli – Cryptocurrencies Part 1: Introduction to cryptocurrencies 

Suraj Narwade – FOSSASIA Summit 2018: Event Report 

Kenji Shinono – My impression of participating in FOSSASIA 2018, Singapore 

Abhijith PA – FOSSASIA Experience 

Balasankar C – FOSSASIA 2018: Singapore

Share your write-ups about FOSSASIA Summit by making a tweet @fossasia @fossasiasg

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