2014 Dev Jam – Day 0

It’s time once again for the OpenNMS Developer Jamboree, Dev Jam, conference. This is an event I look forward to every year, and this year marks our ninth gathering in ten years.

The first Dev Jam was held in 2005 at my house, and we soon moved to the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities campus. UMN allows us to rent rooms in the Yudof Hall dormitory, as well as the “Club Room” in the basement. The Club Room is a large, rectangular room with couches and a TV on one end and a kitchen on the other. In the middle we set up tables for laptops. There is excellent bandwidth and a nice view of the Mississippi off the deck. Since the rooms are in the same building, people can come and go as they please and we are free to spend the week working together to make OpenNMS the de facto management platform of choice.

Even though technology makes managing distributed teams a lot easier, nothing beats some serious face to face time.

I came up on Saturday, and I hate traveling on Saturdays. It seems like it is amateur hour at the airport, and this trip was no exception. The lady in front of me at the TSA pre-check line seemed amazed that the agent might ask for ID, and she felt free to take her time digging it out of her purse and putting it back (as the line grew behind her). A number of people seemed to view the moving walkways as “rides”, although I can’t see the appeal. Finally, there was a woman in front of me in the plane who seemed determined to find the owners of every bag in the overhead bin (the plane was full and so people in the back had stored their belongings in the front so it looked like they may have been forgotten).

Yeah, I know, #firstworldproblems, but if I can’t vent on this blog I’d probably go postal.

The rest of the day went smoothly. Mike had laid in with provisions, completely filling his car.

It included 14.7 pounds of M&Ms (mainly peanut). We are the OpenM&Ms project after all.

I brought along two cases of Cheerwine, which is a locally made soft drink that a lot of the team likes. My friend Donnie was convinced that after the delicate handling by the airline staff my box would arrive as a pink, soggy mess, but it managed to get there only slightly molested by the TSA. I guess shipping 44 pounds of soda by air was unusual enough to warrant extra inspection.

In addition to the facilities at UMN, the area offers a lot of dining choices. This trip Mike took us to Republic, a gastropub across the river. It was nice, and I enjoyed it enough to suggest we return on Friday with the whole team. I had the Left Hand Nitro Milk Stout, which was tasty and reminded me of Guinness.

Most of the gang arrives on Sunday, but things seem poised for another great conference.