OS Bridge, What is it?

I’m headed down to Portland, Oregon today for OS Bridge. OS Bridge is a conference for the open source community, by the community. The conference is one of the premier events to learn how open source really works, learn from others, and meet people that are also learning about and involved in the open source community.

The OS Bridge Conference, like almost all of the conferences that I attend these days, is all volunteers. There are no major sponsors shoving some message or product down your throat. There is no overhanging air of elitism (even though I’ll admit, for newcomers it is sometimes intimidating, but don’t worry we don’t bite ;)). It is simply about the community and about the software that individuals of the open source community work together to create.

The tracks are organized in an interesting way for OS Bridge. The OS Bridge Tracks are split in a way to encourage cross-pollination and in depth discussion. The tracks as I know them are:

  • Business – This focus will be around open source as a business, how to work with and interact with open source entities, pick licensing models, and other related facets.
  • Chemistry – The chemistry of open source revolves around setting up environments, infrastructure, and assuring the systems we build are working the way we expect. This track embodies getting your fingers dirty with a good hands on chemistry set. 🙂
  • Cooking – Recipes are essential to cooking. Keeping well organized recipes for system administration, software development and deployment, and other courses is key to a good meal of software development.
  • Culture – Within the open source community are individuals of many alignments, but one thing that really connects people in the community is the culture of learning, building, and working together to create things that are greater than their individual parts.
  • Hacks – Experiments. Nuff’ Said. 😉

Why Am I Going?

Over the years I’ve written a ton of software. As anyone in this industry might relate with, some has been thrown away and some is used currently. I’ve saved companies thousands, hundreds, even millions of dollars. I’ve been saddened by some software I’ve built and euphoric with other projects of software I’ve built. The things I have been consistently throughout my career is that I love to learn and am proud of what I do.

Over the last few years, because I like to learn and am proud of what I do. I have wanted to improve my development practices. The more I work toward improving and using new and better ways to do development I keep working with the open source community. There are a number of reasons;

  • The open source community is focused on learning and creating.
  • Open source software does not close or hide information, knowledge, or actual software.
  • The community is often the first to try something, often first to market, and is almost always pushing new ways to develop things.
  • Open source software bridges all technology stacks, even the once resistant Microsoft Stack has active and ongoing contributions to open source software now.

There is also one other fact that really pulls everything together. Just as we breath air, software developers share ideas and information. Regardless of legal obfuscations or otherwise all software developers, in some way, are involved with learning and furthering our trade. In the end, to do that, we work with each other and freely share information all the time.

That’s just a few reasons why I’m going, I could go on. Over the next few days I hope to put a few more blog entries about my experiences. I hope my insights are useful, Enjoy!