GNOME.Asia Summit 2009 was a big success as one of the one of the very first Open Source conferences in South East Asia. The event took place on Nov 20 – 22, 2009 at Quang Trung Software Park in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. Quang Trung Software Park is a home of more than 200 tech-companies (including local start-ups, multi-nationals, and state-owned companies such as FDI).
The conference was organized by the GNOME.Asia community in cooperation with the organization team in Vietnam. The Ho Chi Minh City government supported the event through the Department of Information and Communications Technology.
Numbers and facts
* 1000+ attendees
* 79 speakers
* 138 volunteers
* 5 keynotes
* 109 presentations
* 25 lightning talks
* 17 workshops
Six tracks were organized in parallel during the 3-day conference. The focus was only on GNOME technologies and desktop deployments based on GNOME but also a variety of topics including:
* GNOME 3.0
* GNOME library and application development
* Localization & Internationalization
* Mobile platforms and thin clients
* Desktop deployments
* School software
In addition to the majority of software presentations, hardware talks such as ‘How to build an Open Source printer’ by Frederic Muller gathered a big interest.
A focus of the workshops were applications for thin clients, localization and translation for Asian users. In parallel, there was also Linux course for beginners, map party, installation fest, and Ubuntu release party which was organized by the Vietnamese Ubuntu user group.
Women in IT Panel
Unlike many tech-conferences around the world, more than 50% of GNOME.Asia 2009 participants were female. They were young, curious and enthusiastic. Therefore the “Women in IT” Panel was somewhat overwhelmed with tons of questions. Stormy Peters from the US, chair of GNOME.Asia, shared her inspired story of being a mother, a housewife, an employee, an active open source contributor and a chair of the GNOME Foundation.
Pockey Lam and Emily Chen, two founders of the Beijing linux users group explained how to start, grow and maintain a successful open source community.
Hong Phuc Dang, who brought the first open source conference to Vietnam spoke of how her open source journey was started and encouraged female audience to explore the beauty and value of sharing, openness and collaboration which can be found easily in an open source community.
Mini job fair
A mini job fair was organized at the conference site with 15 companies on board. Every year thousands of computer science fresh-graduates in Vietnam are seeking for job opportunities in the tech field. Less 20% is able to get a right job of his/her major. More than 80% is forced to start their career in a non-tech environment. The idea of the job fair is (1) to provide a platform where tech companies can announce their vacant positions, recruitment process, job requirements, expectation; (2) to organize a meeting place of employers and their potential employees; (3) to foster knowledge sharing community which aims to help students prepare themselves with skill sets that fit the current marketplace.
Vietnam – a great host country
Visitors from oversea could not be happier with the hospitality, warmness, and friendliness of their host country, Vietnam. Volunteers welcomed speakers/visitors at the airport, brought them to the hotel, provided them local SIM cards, showed them around city etc.
The event ended by a beautiful tour along the Mekong. It was an unforgettable experience for all of us.
Sponsors and Partners
We would like to thank our sponsors: Sun Microsystems, IBM, Google and Intel for their support of GNOME.Asia Summit and thank to our media partner PCWorld, DatVietNews, VietnamInvestmentNews for their coverage of the conference.
Bringing forward Asia’s Open Source Communities
The FOSSASIA team and volunteers will continue to grow the community across Asia and to support Open Technologies with the annual FOSSASIA Summit, regional meetups and developer programs.