As a metaphor for open source development itself.

Taking the bus to FOSDEM might very well be a metaphor for open source development itself. In rainy days, which is every year, a hundred-odd persons board the #71 bus to Campus Solbosch. Windows are either covered by ads or steamed up, so you can’t see a thing.

Software development is a bit like that. For a while, you travel in the dark, surrounded by like-minded people but who are either lost in their own thoughts or already clustered by axes you don’t really know about.

Then you leave the bus. You have no idea where to go, because you don’t have a map. Exactly like FLOSS development. You don’t know where to go, what to do, where’s the map to your future as a creator of cool open source stuff. So you follow the first guy that looks like he knows where he’s doing. Or, in our case, the guy with the yellow coat that says “FOSDEM volunteer”. You trust him, you follow him. Some people drop off and are lost, but you don’t care, because you are following the One Who Knows the One True Path.

But that’s the way to go. You eventually arrive, find lots of stands and great talks you can’t listen to because the room is overcrowded. But there’s free WiFi and space to sit. The metaphor is already broken, but you’re happy because you’ve arrived.