OS Bridge 2012 :: Day #1 :: How I Got Here…

All OS Bridge Attendees
The bikes of OS Bridge Attendees, we’re cool like that… (Click for full size image)

Today was the kick off of OS Bridge 2012. I jumped aboard my trusty steed (bicycle) for the mighty 6 block ride to the conference. Yeah, I could have just walked, but I just felt like getting their the fastest way possible. After arriving I was immediately faced with two great greetings. The first one went like this.

The “Do you do .NET still” Introduction

Hey Adron, how are you?

I’m good, and you?

Doing well, hey…  so are you still doing that .NET stuff?

OS Bridge 2012
OS Bridge 2012

Funny how after all this time of using JavaScript, working with Node.js, Ruby, deploying with Sinatra and Rails and even tweaking around with Objective-C that I still get this question. I’ve branched out, I’m not a limited, mono-language, mort Microsoft programmer. Technically I never have been, I’ve always had a passion for things besides the Microsoft ‘just feed me’ stack. It just happened to pay my bills for a while. What is really happening here though, to paraphrase, is someone asking “so are you working with any interesting problems these days?

The sad fact that most programmers, even people who code with .NET everyday, feel and observe almost nothing interesting happening in the .NET stack these days. Generally almost no startups use it. The vast majority of scientists don’t. Overall there isn’t much of it in colleges either these days. All for a deluge of reasons.

Rest assured, I’ve observed this, and this is merely a single reason that I commonly use many other languages. This is the reason I never get mad when people ask me this. I understand the preloaded context, it’s ok. Microsoft & their communities did this to the .NET stack, it’s unfortunate.

The simple truth is that many companies trying to solve hard problems, do genomic research, figure out how to launch rockets, and other really exciting interesting problems use almost anything except Microsoft’s stack. So yes, I’m doing .NET stuff, but I do a ton of other things based on what the job requires. I’m a firm believer of using the right tool for the job, and sometimes that is indeed .NET. So what was my answer?

Yeah, still doing .NET. Along with Node.js with JavaScript, Ruby, working on learning some Scala, how to test better in Javascript and Ruby, and even trying to schedule myself some time to jump into Go!

Yup, I was more prepared for this question than I was in the past.

The next introduction that came at me was much simpler.

Hey Adron, how goes things?

Things go well

What is it you do these days? I know you’re working with Iron Foundry and blog with New Relic sometimes, but what do you actually do besides that?

I went on to explain my rather exhaustive range of work I do. Ranging from the coding to the organizational community things. All good stuff that led our conversation down different routes.

Both of these introductions went well and I dig both of them, albeit I need a pre-printed response to the .NET question. Breakfast muffins were great and then the several hundred people at the conference went to find seats in the main sanctuary room for the keynote.

The Keynote

A few key quotes from the keynote by Sumana Harihareswara (@brainwane), via Twitter.

@demew#osb12 is already off to a ridiculous start because of the KEYNOTE ORGANIST” Really?

to change open source girls have to be able to say about the local open source event “its okay mom, there will be other girls there”#osb12

“Help these kids fight their parents!” #osb12

The summary of the keynote is one that should resound loudly in America,

…being free is better than being safe…”

Session Notes

NGINX Talk w/ Cliff Wells

Nginx, Overview and Deployment

The first session I attended was the session on Nginx by Cliff Wells (@cliff_wells). A few notes from this session:

  • NGINX is the #2 web server.  (Really? I figured it was Apache and then… hmmm, maybe this IS true.)
  • Get a static file serving boost from NGINX, ala, don’t make Node.js serve your static files. (Yup, know this all too well now.)
  • NGINX cannot spawn processes and cannot block.  (This is not Node.js, which is a good thing, it does the other work.)

There were a few other bits, but those were the main takeaways. The main reason I jumped into this session was because I wanted a more context around what NGINX is exactly. I got some of this, which is handy to know since this server is used in so many projects I’ve been working recently. Specifically it is readily used in Cloud Foundry.

How We Went Remote

This talk seemed like a keen match to a lot of the work I do. I’m remote for about 90% or more of my work these days. I code remotely, work up blog entries, articles, media calls, and related communications all from locations that are remote from their point of presence.

…errr, well, I tried to attend this one. Some work coding priorities trumped the evening session so I had to jet out of the conference. I did, as I coded away, kept an eye on all the tweets coming from the conference. It sounded like a great session. I have, unto the topic, a whole lot more to add. So maybe I can just spawn this into a blog entry at some point.

With that, have no fear, I’ll be back tomorrow for day #2 & the respective coverage of the event!