The good part about LinuxCon were the sessions I attended and the people I spoke with. The bad part was the sessions I did not manage to attend.
Distance makes the heart grow fonder, as they say, so at this juncture of the narrative I actually have some fond memories of my sojourn in Paris Island, North Carolina, where I learning various life affirming skills as US Marine recruit. Dark humor aside, I remember being instructed by one of the Drill Instructors about what happens when a Drill Instructor speaks. If you are curious, the answer is “The world stops” (some epithets were added to that, but I will leave their specific nature to your imagination 😉 ).
Not having become a Drill Instructor, the world around me keeps churning. Business travel is a bit of a mixed bag – being away from the office allows you to focus on the purpose of travel (though between my cell phone and WiFi access and IRC one could easily fail to notice the difference between being in the office and being on the road). Going to a local event (LinuxCon taking place in Boston and me taking place in Boston) does not get me far enough from the day to day to escape from it. So, I got in to LinuxCon Tuesday afternoon, was there on Wednesday (with some breaks to do dry runs of a webinar on Ubuntu Enterprise Cloud we ran today), and today I was back in the office, running the morning and afternoon sessions of the webinar.
So I certainly feel I did not manage to experience the full scope of the event. One of the themes I did “get” was Linux in the Enterprise – both by way of proliferation, as well as by what needs to happen for Linux and Open Source Software adoption to grow. An interesting piece of research was published on August 8th by Accenture, showing some interesting numbers around OSS adoption, as well as what is perceived to be the benefits (reliability, stability, speed of bug resolution and cost saving, though cost saving is not the number one reason) around OSS and what are the challenges (perceived lack of sufficient number of developers with skill around OSS and top management buy in).
I felt that the key note address give by Jeffrey Hammond from Forrester Research addressed what is going on with Linux and OSS adoption in the Enterprise and what the Linux world (distros, ISVs, developers – all who care about the topic) need to do to help adoption along.
Bill McQuaide from Black Duck Software gave a talk on distributed, multi-source development with OSS. Bill showed how, practically speaking, a large organization could manage its software writing and managing efforts in an environment where OSS is a component in the final product. I think that this particular vision could go a long way towards putting executives’ minds at ease about OSS – showing not only that its introduction into the enterprise will not cause harm, but actually how it can make an organization’s code better.