We're excited to announce the Perl and Raku stand at [FOSDEM 2020 conference](https://fosdem.org/2020/) in Brussels on Saturday 1st and Sunday 2nd February.
This is a great opportunity to share Perl and Raku with one of the largest meeting of developers and technologists. It also brings us together as a community and helps us engage with thousands of others, sharing the values of Perl and Raku.
We are one of just 70 organisations to be awarded a stand this year - they cannot be bought, but are awarded on merit and relevance. We did not secure a dev room this year, but we do hope to bring that back in 2021.
The last year has seen lots of change for TPF and we intend to move towards stronger relations with our European community, support of the FOSDEM activities being one example.
If you are already part of the Perl or Raku communities, or interested to know more, we’d love you see you at FOSDEM.
FOSDEM is not a sales event where companies pitch their products or tell you how technology is going to change the future, it is where the people working on the digital tech today share what it is they are doing or have done.
I have been a regular visitor to FOSDEM for some years and find it the best place to understand trends, challenges and where the effort is being made - it is very informative and the best place to find out what is happening right now across the global technical communities.
Although predominantly highly technical, FOSDEM is friendly and welcoming to all (some bring the whole family) and can help anyone get a flavour of the communities who make free and open source work.
This is why it is important for Perl and Raku to have a presence - Perl is a core part of programming and Raku is designed for the future. Our stand gives us the chance to share this with the 8000+ visitors, welcome people to our community and help them know how Perl and Raku may be relevant to them.
FOSDEM is a great time to get to know others in our communities - we all have people we have never met in person. Although I have been involved with Perl since the '90s, I have remained in the background and there are many of you that I don't yet know so look forward to meeting you.
TPF invite you to dinner on the Saturday evening. The team at the stand can provide more details of the venue and time, and these will also be posted on social media nearer the time. If you would like to come along, please get in touch with the organisers so we can count you in and make sure you have a place to sit!
If you want to get involved and support us by giving time to helping out on the stand – perhaps just an hour here or there, please get in touch with Jeff Goff or myself.
You can also write blogs on what you learn at FOSDEM, take and share pictures and let your colleagues and boss at work know what you learned and why it matters.
Please engage on social media with these #hashtags and @contacts:
The usual Perl FOSDEM team (Wendy, Liz and co) needed a break this year so following [Andrew Shitov's initiative](https://andrewshitov.com/2019/11/23/the-raku-stand-at-fosdem-2020/) to secure the stand, TPF are supporting arrangements and I will be there to help. Jeff Goff is leading the co-ordination and at the time of writing, there are around 10 others on board.
## The stand
Come and find us in the ‘Programming Environment’ Stand 1 in K (Level 1), Group C (https://fosdem.org/2020/stands/).
For those who know FOSDEM, this is where the FSFE stand has been in previous years.
We hope to have a representative of both Perl and Raku on the stand through both days. I will be around and welcome your questions on The Perl Foundation and other general topics.
## Can't make it this time?
We will try to share as much of the highlights of our activities throughout the event as we can. FOSDEM provide recordings of talks and there is usually lots of #FOSDEM social media activity.
Please share news through your social media and encourage others to get involved - you never know who you may inspire!
FOSDEM is always on the first weekend of February, so put this in to your calendar for 2021 right away. There is no other event like it and we encourage all from the Perl and Raku communities to visit, get involved, help organise and be a part of it.
Stuart J Mackintosh
President - The Perl Foundation