I think this year marks the eighth OSCON I’ve attended. I’m not sure of that, but I am sure that every year I can meet up with a number of interesting people that I just don’t see elsewhere.
I used to get the conference pass so I could see the presentations, and while they tend to be of a very high quality, I often found myself spending most of my time outside of those rooms, either on the Expo floor or just sitting and talking, so this year I just got the Expo pass.
I have a love/hate relationship with OSCON. It seems to be skewed toward large companies, and this year was no exception.
I got to see the jugglers at Paypal:
(Note: Jason, who used to work with us at OpenNMS, is now at Paypal and so I get to hear about some of the stuff they are doing around open source it is pretty exciting).
and Microsoft was back with the photo booth:
and it was nice to run into Chris Aniszczyk, the open source guy at Twitter.
I had not talked to Chris since last year’s OSCON and it was cool to learn that he’s doing well.
One thing I’ve been looking at for OpenNMS is the best configuration platform with which to integrate. It is hard to choose between Puppet, Chef, Ansible and Salt (and we should probably do all four) but if the choice was solely based on the friendliest staff Chef would probably win.
I never did get the full story on what happened with their booth.
She was also at CLS and our paths crossed a lot, and I’m certain I’ll run into her in the future. Oh, and if you want her opinion, you’ll have to drag it out of her.
(Note: some of the above is not true)
It was also cool to see a booth for CDK Global. CDK was formed by merging Cobalt and ADP Dealer Services, and the latter uses OpenNMS. Sam (the guy in the middle) was also a Frontalot fan, so we got along well.
I spent most of my time off to the side of the Expo floor on a row I called the “Geek Ghetto”. These are booths that OSCON offers to open source projects and organizations. It was cool to see that it was almost always packed with people.
I got to talk to the team at the Linuxfest Northwest. This is one conference I have yet to attend but I’m going to make an effort to get there next year. I’m hoping to convince the Bad Voltage guys to come along and do a live show (they will be with us at the OUCE this September in Germany)
I believe in what the EFF is doing so it was nice to get to talk with them.
and it was nice to chat with them again. If you are in a Free Geek city, you should get involved.
It was good to see a large number of women in attendance, although it was still not reflective of the population as a whole. One group working to change that is Chicktech:
Note that my picture got photobombed by “Open Source Man”.
Now, I should probably explain my shirt.
Bryan Lunduke is one-fourth of the Bad Voltage team. While I have known Jono Bacon for some time, I didn’t get to meet Jeremy Garcia or Stuart Langridge until this year’s SCaLE conference. I never got to meet Bryan. To be honest, a lot of these “meetings” happened in bars and Bryan doesn’t drink, and I did try to get his attention on the show floor but he obviously didn’t hear me.
Then I was on the Bad Voltage podcast talking about OpenNMS. This was an episode where Bryan was ill, so outside of signing in to say he couldn’t do the show, I didn’t see much of him.
Finally, we are planning on having Bad Voltage come out to the OpenNMS User’s Conference this September. Bryan is expecting the arrival of his second child, so he had to beg off.
Now I just see these things as coincidences, but the guys in the office suggested the real reason is that Bryan hates me. Jessica, our graphic designer, took the bait and made up a graphic, and my friend Jason at Princredible printed a few really nice shirts.
I wanted to meet up with him in Portland, but he was only at CLS the second day (I was there the first). He was at OSCON on Wednesday. I wandered around the Expo floor trying to find him but we could never meet up.
It started to become amusing. People would stop me and say “Bryan was just here looking for you”. After awhile I thought it might be even funnier if we never met, just circled each other at the conference and to this day we still haven’t stood next to each other (he and Jono did call me later in the day, but I had already left).
Anyway, if you think Bryan Lunduke hates you too, you can get a nifty shirt just like mine. Jason will take orders until 10 August. These are high quality shirts that are actually printed – the image is dyed into the fabric and not screened on top were it is likely to crack and peel.
Speaking of Jono, he did an “Ask Me Anything” session and I was very eager to get some of the burning questions off my chest. Unfortunately, it was subtitled to limit the questions to things like “community management” and “leadership”. Mine were, to a fault, all obscenely biological.
I want to end this note with a picture of one of my favorite people, within or outside of open source, Stephen Walli.
I usually only see him at OSCON, and while in his sunset years he has quieted down a bit (grin), I always welcome the time I get to spend with him.
Hope to see everyone in Austin in 2016, if not sooner.