Introduction

Day one of the Open Source Summit in North America started out with a bang! After the scheduled morning meditation and breakfast, a series of Keynotes kicked off which truly set the pace for the rest of this very active convention. Jim Zemlin started us off with the opening remarks, Christine Corbett Moran took over and addressed the social and political impact of Open Source, Alan Clark brought us a lightning talk on Human Enablement, finally a fire side chat with Linus Torvalds, and the ultimate closer with the one and only Jono Bacon on “The Impact of the Ecosystem”.

After the keynotes, crowds made their way to the sponsored showroom where industry leaders showcased their latest tech and offered plenty of swag! Here is a list of all those who participated in the showcase hall:

IBM. Intel, Microsoft, Cisco, Google Cloud, Red Hat, SUSE, Cloud Native, Composure.ai (debuting their company), Core OS, {code}, Vmware, Wipro, Arm, Bitnami, BLACKDUCK, DATADOG, Diamanti, Docker, Flexera, JFrog, Linode, Linux Academy, Outlayer, Packet, Portworx, RogueWave Software - Open Source Support, Sysdig, Adobe, Alteeve Linbit, Anchore, CENGN, Code fresh, Containership, Covalent, Future Architect, Cloudify, GitLab, Igalia, Navops, NetApp, OpenEBS, Platform9, Silicon Mechanics, TIBC, VeeAM, ADMIN Network and Security, Bit - Blacks in Technology, CIO Applications, CIO Review, Container World, DoT, Datanami, Enterprise IoT Insights, Enterprise Tech, Enterprise Services Outlook, HPC Wire, Linux Pro Magazine, Linux.com, Linux Questions.org, No starch press, ODBMS.org, Sdx Central, >SU, theCUBE, The New Stack, Virtual Strategy Magazine, VMBlog.com

96Boards Arrival

I arrived to the event on Sunday (Sept 10th) to meet, help set up the booth and plan out logistics with the folks from Red Hat. After badge pick up and an early afternoon meet & greet we all found our way to the booth and began assessing our location, and cataloging inventory. The booth was not only centrally located (+1), but it was highly visible (+1) and laced with attractive activities(+1) that would surely entice spectators to stop in and start a conversation. Coffee and Comics, on site recruiting, a plethora of Red Hat swag, and of course 96Boards hardware…There was no shortage of things to do or people to talk with from all walks of the Red Hat community/enterprise. After the preliminary booth setup, the Red Hat crew were kind enough to invite me for some snacks while we discussed day one’s agenda and booth staffing. It was clear at this point, this conference was going to be a lot of fun! I was excited for this partnership between Red Hat and 96Boards, and couldn’t wait to begin meeting people.

Coffee and Comics

Grab some coffee and take a seat, it’s time to take an operating system journey with the folks from Red Hat… What kind of journey you may ask? This is your story, your journey through the operating systems of a lifetime. Reach back into the depths of your memories to recall the first OS you ever booted, what was the first thing you did when those pixels lit up and your fingers hit the keys. No matter how old or young, everyone has taken the operating system journey, and Red Hat wanted to hear your story. This was only half of the fun. While a seasoned Red Hatter asked you fun questions about your past OSs, a cartoon artist drew you into an exciting comic book cover! The 10-15 minute experience was not only fun, but also rewarding as you walked away with your very own silly comic portrait. The booth’s artist and interviewers kept quite busy as the days went on, anyone at the conference was welcome to participate in this fun, interactive activity.

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Day 1

Bright and early Monday morning. As mentioned in the introduction, the day started off with meditation, breakfast and a series of amazing keynotes. My story starts on the sponsored showcase floor, at the Red Hat booth. A generous invitation on behalf of Red Hat, and there I was setting up a bunch of 96Boards at their booth. The showcase included a bolted down plexiglass display case with several Consumer Edition 96Boards and some popular Mezzanines. Of course, the display was accompanied by 96Boards and Linaro stickers! :)

The goal of this showcase was to both make people aware of the 96Boards/Linaro and Red Hat partnership, but to also flaunt the new 64-bit Fedora images that are currently in the works. Throughout the day, hundreds of people came by to see the showcase, have a small chat about 96Boards/Linaro, and move on to questions about Fedora and Red Hat. The experience was great and the amount of people who showed interest in the 96Boards hardware was truly unexpected, it was a hit. Day one closed out with

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Day 2

Tuesday started off with a 5K run (I did not participate), breakfast and of course another set of interesting keynotes. One in particular comes to mind, that of Joseph Gordon-Levitt. His keynote titled, “The Difference Between a Crowd and a Community” really struck a chord with me, I wanted to know more, and more importantly hear him speak. Now while I won’t dive into his talk (see video here), I will say it was very applicable to almost everything open source. As the 96Boards Community Manager, it was nice to see so many great ideas articulated so well during this keynote. If you have a spare 30-35 minutes, I would definitely recommend taking the time to watch the video.

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Off to the showroom! Booth duty kicked off at 10:00a PST and I was ready to go. With the coffee and comics already in full swing, Red Hat swag sprawled out across the table and the 96Boards showcase latched to the booth, we were all ready to take on questions from the crowds of open source enthusiasts. Sure enough it was another very busy day of fun conversation and intense networking.

At about 11:00a we surprise attendees a with two-day long 96Boards raffle, sponsored by Qualcomm and hosted by Red Hat. Social media lights up with announcements of hourly DragonBoard 410c giveaways and people start dropping their business cards into the specially positioned Red Hat (hat) on the table. After every hour a new winner is announced until finally seven DragonBoard 410c’s are raffled off. This was very exciting and rewarding to see so many awesome people win DragonBoards. A special thank you to everyone who participated, there are always more chances to get you hands on 96Boards gear (tune into OpenHours, weekly for more information).

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Of course, in between each raffle and the hustle and bustle of booth duty, I had the chance to roam around and take time to visit almost every booth. Jacked on up coffee and adrenaline, I wanted to see it all, speak with everyone, and learn as much as possible… Unfortunately, there were not enough hours in the day. The showroom eventually closed down, crowds shuffled out, group formed and nighttime festivities began. I walked away with a bunch of new friends and a backpack full of swag!

Day 3

Wednesday marked the last day of the Open Source Summit, but the first day of Linux Plumbers Conference… As OSSummit was winding down, Plumbers was winding up and a whole new set a faces started to take over the conference hall. For those who are not familiar with Linux Plumbers Conference, I would suggest clicking on the link above and taking a moment to read more. The best and the brightest in Linux / Open Source all together in one place, couldn’t get more awesome… Intense! It was a half day on the showroom floor, that means the Red Hat booth (along with all the others) would close at around 12:30p.

Conclusion

This conference was amazing, so much fun, and so beneficial for 96Boards. Thanks to Red Hat for inviting me to their booth, I had the opportunity to meet with so many influential people. Over the course of the three day conference I met hundreds of people, learned about so many new open source initiatives, and even managed to win a drone from the Linux Academy.

Special Thanks

I would like to extend a special thanks to our partner, Red Hat, for sponsoring my badge and allowing me to showcase 96Boards and Linaro at their booth during the entire conference. It was a pleasure to get to know all of you who organized and ran the booth! So many smart and dedicated people, all dedicated to making the open source world and the community we all work in a better place. Cheers to all the Red Hatters, I was so fortunate to meet you all!

I would also like to thank Qualcomm and Arrow for donating the 10 DragonBoard 410c’s which were raffled throughout the course of the conference.

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