August 26, 2015
I attended OSCON for the first time this year in Portland. This was a dream come true for me, I have wanted to attend for many years. Here are my impressions and some talk links. I can’t link you to most of the talks, because O’Reilly sells them for $1,000. Open Source indeed.
First, it is a very big conference. They had 1,200 talk proposals, 4,700 attendees, up to 13 talks running concurrently, and two competing mobile apps. Twice I walked into a random Portland bar, which turned out to be hosting an OSCON-related event. It’s that big.
Second, it is a strange mixture of open-source and commercialism. Sponsors above a certain level get a keynote. Tremendous efforts are expended to herd the attendees into the expo hall at every opportunity, towards the paying booths. And I can’t link you to the best talks, because as mentioned O’Reilly sells them. On the other hand all sorts of people I admire in the tech world were there, and I had some wonderful conversations with them, and at the booths in the open-source section. At OSCON, you get to be a peer of the people whose blogs and books you read, and that’s really special.
Bryan Cantrill, Leaping the chasm from proprietary to open – don’t let the title put you off, he’s a great speaker, worth watching for his rant about Oracle alone.
See you next year, in Austin!