Sunday, 3 December 2017

Open Source Summit NA 2017

The Linux foundation holds a lot of events where companies can reach the maintainers and developers across all the important open source software projects in enterprise, networking, embedded, IoT and cloud infrastructure.

Open Source Summit is the premier open source technical conference in North America, gathering 2,000+ developers, operators and community leadership professionals to collaborate, share information and learn about the latest in open technologies, including Linux, containers, cloud computing and more. This time they also organised a Diversity Summit.

I was really lucky and excited to be a part of the OSS NA 2017. I had sent a proposal earlier in May for delivering a talk based on my Outreachy internship with Linux Kernel from December 2016 - March 2017, which was accepted. The best part was connecting with my mentor Matthew Wilcox as well as a fellow intern who was also my co-speaker for the talk, Sandhya Bankar, though we all missed having Rik Van Riel, also my mentor for the Outreachy internship, and Julia Lawall, who manages and mentors the outreachy internships and has been really encouraging throughout.

With my mentor Matthew Wilcox

With Greg kroah-hartman
Coming to the conference, I had never experienced such a diverse collection of talks, people and organisations as in OSS NA 17. Even the backdrop of Los Angeles, its amazing food and places and wonderful networking opportunities truly made the experience enriching and magical.

With Sandhya Bankar at the partner reception at The Rooftop at The Standard.
At the evening event at Paramount Studios
At the Walt Disney Concert Hall with Jaminy Prabha
I couldn't understand the talks from CloudOpen and ContainerCon tracks much, but going around the sponsor showcase, I got a lot of background on what these very popular and upcoming technologies are about and got inspired to explore them when I go back. I had some very interesting discussions there. I attended many LinuxCon and Diversity track talks as well as keynotes which I found most interesting and took a lot home from them.

At the sponsor showcase with this amazing web representation of all the technologies there.
The opening keynote by Jim Zemlin really set up the excitement about open source and the next 4 days.

Next I really liked knowing about the CHAOSS Project and found it relevant to my research area at college. CHAOSS is a new Linux Foundation project aimed at producing integrated, open source software for analyzing software development, together with defining implementation-agnostic metrics for measuring community activity, contributions, and health.

Another highlight of the first day was the Women in Open Source Lunch sponsored by Intel. The kind of positivity, support, ideas and inspiration in that room was really one of its kind.

Being one of the few students at the summit, I found the talk, "Increasing student participation in open source" very interesting. Similarly the career fair was fun, getting to talk to engineers in popular companies and the job profiles that they are seeking. 

All the keynotes over the rest of the conference were really interesting, but the afternoon talks sometimes required too much attention to really get them and I was jet-lagged.

I particularly enjoyed the keynote by Tanmay Bakshi as well as meeting him and his family later. He talked about how he’s using cognitive and cloud computing to change the world, through his open-source initiatives, for instance, “The Cognitive Story”, meant to augment and amplify human capabilities; and “AskTanmay”, the world’s first Web-Based NLQA System, built using IBM Watson’s Cognitive Capabilities. It was inspiring to learn how passionate he is about technology at such a young age.

A highlight from the third day was my mentor's talk on Replacing the Radix Tree which was a follow-up thread to my outreachy internship and inspired me to contribute to the new XArray API and test suite.

I am grateful to all from the Linux community and all those who support the outreachy internships, and Marina Zhurakhinskaya and Sarah Sharp. I'm also really grateful to The Linux foundation and Outreachy programme for sponsoring my trip.

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