Feeding a Conference’s Brain Power

If you have never run an event before, it may surprise you what the highest cost of running most events are. It’s not the venue, and (unless you are bringing in a lot of overseas speakers) it’s not the travel. No, for most conferences, it’s going to be one thing that most people will need and complain about the most: the food.

Food, or catering if you want to be all sophisticated about it, is typically the largest budget line item for any conference. This is why most events of any size either charge a large registration fee or, in lieu of a fee, let people fend for themselves.

(more…)

Community Event Success Lies with, Well, Community

The origin of DevConf is a lot like how many open source applications get started: something that starts as something one or a few people might find useful, but then growing into something much larger and widely known. But its humble origins belie the impact of the DevConf event: with three national-level events in the U.S, India, and original Czech Republic that thousands of participants from around the world attend every year.

Not bad for a conference that got started as an internal meeting. You know the kind: the semi-regular get-together where you sit through presentations on what everyone else in the office is doing at that moment. In 2008, the Red Hat Czech offices had about 25 developers who did not have a clear picture of what everyone else was working on. Except rather than being a mind-numbing exercise of status reports, the one-day event was a constructive enterprise of collaboration and cross-pollination across different projects.

(more…)

Building a Great FOSDEM Devroom

I remember the first time I rolled into the ULB Solbosch campus in Brussels. It was 2014, just after I first started with Red Hat. I was there to attend my first FOSDEM, the free software conference that holds a unique and prominent place in the technology world.

Even though I had been a writer and a community manager in the Linux and free software ecosystem for nearly 14 years, I had never had the opportunity to actually attend. (Pro tip: media companies are cheap.) So looking around that gray chilly day, I had to take a moment to take it all in.

(more…)

Celebrating 20 Years of the Apache Software Foundation

This past March, the Apache Software Foundation celebrated a significant milestone in its history: 20 years as a preeminent organization in the world of open source software.

Back in San Francisco in 1999, the original 21 founders, including members of the Apache Group (creators of the Apache HTTP Server) formed The Apache Software Foundation. The Apache HTTP Server project continues to be one of the best known of the ASF’s 350 projects, with 80 million Websites being served by this platform. (more…)

The View from KiwiPyCon – X

The New Zealand Python User Group ran the  tenth national Python conference in New Zealand last week.  Kiwi PyCon is aimed at promoting and educating people about the Python programming language.  Included as speakers and attendees are some big names from the global python and developer community who travel to New Zealand annually for the conference including Red Hat’s own Graham Dumpleton who delivered a talk on building interactive learning environments using Jupyterhub. (more…)

Licenses Are Not Business Models

Fedora shaded cupcakesThere has been a lot of discussion about the relationship between open source and business of late. The rise of “hybrid licenses” designed to prevent mega-users like cloud providers from mass distributing and supporting open source software, thus depriving the software’s stewarding vendors of potential revenue, has generated a lot of content.

A personal favorite of mine is my colleague Tom Callaway’s May 4 “cupcake” Twitter thread, where delicious confectioneries are used to explain how these new licenses are supposed to work and why the open source community at large are up in arms about these new approaches. (more…)