Fri 18 December 2020

Call for Papers: FOSDEM 2021 Dev Room Safety and Open Source Software

FOSDEM is coming, 6th and 7th of February 2021! In addition to attending the virtual event, this time Codethink engineers will be curating the Safety and Open Source Software Dev Room.

FOSDEM is one of the biggest and most celebrated events in the open source calendar. Every year the organisation manages a fantastic online and free event where software developers and FOSS contributors can share ideas and collaborate.

The Safety and Open Source Software Dev Room

The Safety and Open Source Software Dev Room is dedicated to everything related to using Open Source Software for safety-critical applications.

As never before, companies are choosing Free and Open Source Software in their projects given the numerous benefits it can offer. Despite the growing tendency of using FOSS, the world of safety is behind the curve. In most cases, software development for safety applications employs traditional development practices. Even if these practices are well-used, they are increasingly outdated and they often use closed code.

The vast majority of the FOSS available for safety software hasn't been developed following the safety standards from the beginning, which makes it extremely difficult to meet stringent safety regulations. Safety applications must have rigorous quality assurance practices applied during development, and this will only be possible knowing and understanding the open source safety practice from the start.

The Safety and Open Source Software Dev Room is looking for talks that showcase:

  • How can we use FOSS in safety applications, including overcoming obstacles faced
  • Legal issues for industry and contributors
  • And how we can advance state-of-the-art safety practices to allow the industry to benefit from the many advantages that FOSS provides.


The talks will be about 45 minutes long, including the discussion, although we'll consider variations (please include the talk length in your submission). Some topics we'd like to hear about (but not limited to this example list) are:

  • Pros and cons of using Open Source software in safety
  • Examples of Open Source Software is used in safety applications today
  • Legal and moral implications for contributors who have their code used in safety applications
  • Safety analysis techniques for complex software systems
  • Requirements elicitation, and verification and validation techniques (including creating argumentation to prove that software is safe enough to use)
  • What we need to do as FOSS creators to shift the industry mentality around the use of FOSS vs current safety standards
  • Open Source Development practices and how we can map these to practices such as the V-model which are needed for current industry safety standards (e.g. IEC 61508, ISO 26262 etc.)

Accepted talks

  • Presentations have to be pre-recorded and streamed before the event
  • Once your talk is accepted, we will assign you a deputy to help you to produce the pre-recorded content
  • The deputy will review the content and ensure it has the required quality. They are also responsible for ensuring that the content is ready to broadcast on the day
  • During the stream of your talk, you must be available online for the Q/A session

Submit a talk

Visit the FOSDEM 2021 Pentabarf website, and create an account if you don't have one already.

Create an "event" and click on "Show all" in the top right corner to display the full form.

Your submission must include the following information:

  • Your contact Email
  • The title and subtitle of your talk (please be descriptive, as titles will be listed with ~500 from other projects)
  • Select "Safety and Open Source" as the track.
  • A short abstract of one paragraph
  • A more extended description if you wish to do so
  • Links to related websites/blogs etc.

Submission deadline: 26th of December 2020


Please feel free to contact us if you have any questions:

  • Shaun Mooney:
  • Beth White:

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