Archive for the 'Dev Jam' Category

Dev-Jam 2014 Registration Now Open

Tuesday, March 18th, 2014

Hot on the heels of the OpenNMS Users Conference in April comes another one of my favorite events: DevJam!

DevJam was started in 2005 when I invited anyone who could to come visit us in lovely Pittsboro, North Carolina. You get here and I would feed you and give you a place to crash at my farmhouse and we’d just spend the week hacking on OpenNMS.

We had seven people at that first meeting, and we realized that there were some logistics issues to work out. We needed better bandwidth and the ability for people to set their own schedules.

So the next year we moved it to the University of Minnesota, since Mike Huot (OGP) happened to live there and arranged for us to get a nice conference room as well as access to the dorm so that people could come and go as they pleased. We’ve repeated that formula for the rest of the years except two. One year we went to Georgia Tech, and the DevJam in 2009 was canceled due to the fact that it was a very tight year for us in the beginning and we didn’t think we could afford it.

Now I don’t believe I could afford to miss it.

DevJam is aimed specifically at developers working on OpenNMS, or those that want to work on OpenNMS code. It’s not a users conference per se (although all the people that come naturally use OpenNMS), and it tends to be very technical. It is very much an ad hoc or “unconference” in that a lot of the agenda is made up as we go along, but everyone seems to have a great time, we all learn a lot, and a lot gets accomplished.

If you want to learn a little more about it, check out this audio documentary created during last year’s event.

Last year we also sold out the conference, with 31 people in attendance. I added a few more rooms this year, but if you are interested please either register or let us know so we can hold you a spot.

It should be another amazing week and I can’t wait until the first week of June.

Dev-Jam 2013: Day Five

Saturday, June 29th, 2013

The final day of Dev-Jam came all too soon. Several people headed out Friday morning, but we still had a nice crew of 20+ for a return trip to the Town Hall Brewery on Friday night.

I often joke that Dev-Jam is my favorite Holiday outside of Thanksgiving and Christmas, and it’s funny ’cause it’s true. I think the best way to sum it up is from Jeff Genender, Apache contributor and first time Dev-Jam attendee:

As an Apache stakeholder, I can honestly say you have a fantastic community and you guys exceed doing things “right”. Keep up the fantastic work and thank you sincerely for the fantastic hospitality and a great Dev Jam.

Until next year.

Dev-Jam 2013: Day Four

Friday, June 28th, 2013

Thursday was a pretty exciting day for me. We started seeing some changes to the codebase (capsd was deprecated in favor of provisiond, the ticketer plugins are now separate packages) and Markus N. and Matt R. demonstrated a new site built on Rails to manage community configuration contributions (and I got to practice my alliteration).

I spent the morning in downtown Minneapolis. I noticed that there was an extremely tall building called The Capella Tower. Capella University has been using OpenNMS since the 1.2 days, and while we’ve been working with them for many years I’ve never met them in person.

For some reason I thought they were headquartered in Chicago, but I think that was because they advertise on the subway trains there. Anyway, I dropped Will a note and asked if he was in the Capella Tower, and he invited me out.

It was cool to see their operation as well as the changes they’ve made to their instance of OpenNMS. OpenNMS is a platform, and it really starts to shine when it is customized, and Capella has done a great job with it.

I offered to take the team to lunch, and they suggested we hit the food trucks. All around downtown you can find some amazing food, especially on Marquette.

We hit one called “Get Sauced“. Now, being from North Carolina, we elevate the cooking of pork to near religious status, so I tend to be very critical of pork BBQ, but Get Sauced did not disappoint. It was easy to see why their BBQ sauce has won at the State Fair for three years in a row.

They also had something called “Mexican Corn”. It was grilled, fresh corn removed from the cob and seasoned. It was wonderful.

After I left Capella I took the opportunity to play a little Ingress and managed to level to Level 5. I haven’t been playing much (most of the people who started when I did are around L7) but I managed to gain about 50K AP this week without much effort due to the density of portals in the area.

We also took our group photo today. Unfortunately, Jeff Prime had to leave early due to a personal reason and missed the pic, but the rest of us made it. Thanks to Donald for taking the picture.

Thursday night was Twins night. Starting with last year we’ve taken everyone at Dev-Jam out to the ball game, and this year it was cool because we had a couple of Royals fans in the group as well (plus the Europeans who had absolutely no idea what was going on – which is how I feel about cricket).

We all wore our new polos, and so we made quite an impression next to the local marching band that was also in uniform.

And the blue and black made us easy to spot in the stands.

Like last year, we were appropriately in far right field, but we were also joined by this lovely young lady (posing here with Ulf).

She sang the national anthem before the game. I love the fact that the performance of The Star Spangled Banner is and of itself a sporting event, as it is extremely difficult to sing. She did a great job and nailed the high note at the end.

It was a lovely evening, although since both pitchers did a great job the game itself was less than exciting. The Twins pulled off the win, however.

I like to think we had a hand in that. (grin)

[Note: Ben posted a lot more of his pictures from the game here.]

Dev-Jam 2013: Day Three

Thursday, June 27th, 2013

We are now more than halfway through Dev-Jam and the energy level remains high.

Well, at least it looks like everyone is working, as a non-coder I’m not sure exactly what is going on but folks seem to be having a lot of fun. (grin)

I’ve been coming here for many years now, but I never managed to visit the Weisman Art Museum on campus. It is a very distinctive building.

Richard and I decided to go, and it is pretty cool. The building is designed to let in a lot of natural light without any of it directly hitting the pieces. They have lots of paintings, plus some photographs, sculptures and pottery. I especially liked this piece:

but I couldn’t help thinking “four elements surrounding a fifth … a Fifth Element”.

Wednesday is traditionally cookout day, but as we grow it is becoming a lot more work to man the grill.

Between the hamburgers, local sausages and leftover Brasa we had tons of food.

Last year Mike and DJ made homemade Jeni’s ice cream. Now, that was a lot of work, so this year we just outsourced it to Izzy’s, which, while not Jeni’s was still pretty awesome.

And what better way to end the evening than with a little Army of Darkness.

Dev-Jam 2013: Day Two

Wednesday, June 26th, 2013

One of the coolest things to come out of Day Two was an OpenNMS Chrome Extension.

Dominick and Saqib from Datavalet plan to submit this to the Chrome Store, but for now you can get the beta here.

One installed, you just need to add in your server credentials under the “Options” tab.

Then, disable and re-enable the plugin and you should start seeing pop-ups for alarms within your OpenNMS instance.

Pretty cool.

We also spent some time working on performance issues in the build. The best comment I heard about the modern OpenNMS was from Matt, who stated that if there was a Java library that wasn’t included in OpenNMS, that was an oversight.

But the funniest comment of the day came from Ben. I was talking about how fast we are growing and how we need to hire more people, and I was asked about what qualifications I was looking for in candidates. I went over a few of them, but I said the most important thing was “no sh*tty people”, as we have a great team and I don’t want to ruin it.

Ben replied, “I guess Rule Number One is: no number two”


For dinner, we once again had Brasa cater in, and once again it was amazing.

We’ll be eating leftovers for the rest of the week.