I went to the All Things Open (ATO) conference this year in Raleigh for the first time. I wanted to tap into the latest open source buzz and to meet up with old friends and make new ones. In its fifth year, the conference pulled in thousands of open source participants sharing their passion about their projects and latest tools. I expected the conference to be heavily Red Hat focused but found it, thankfully, to be warmly welcoming to the diverse open source community.
The conference mostly realized its clearly articulated values of promoting access, diversity, and providing world-class content and value. I had a chance to chat with the conference organizer Todd Lewis (@toddle) and appreciate his mission to build a space to gather, share and contribute. I learned about how volunteers are contributing to projects at Apache Software Foundation (ASF), Raspberry Pi and women tech non-profits. GitHub and CapitalOne’s DevExchange teams shared insights on popular collaborative tools used by their developer communities.
10 keynotes, 22 tracks of talks across 3 days included excellent presentations by Danese Cooper on Open Source Sustainability and Kelsey Hightower on Kubernetes. Fun lightning talks, facilitated by Jason Hibbets, featured 5 minute pitches on CSS, containers and even Lego projects.
While this year’s conference excelled in many areas, I would like to see more attention on some aspects next year. I’d like to see more women recruited to present and attend. I’d like see more diversity in the attendees. I’d like to see topics emphasizing the use of open source to connect the next billion users on mobile, web and cloud platforms. The conference could add build-your-own (BYO) workshops on Raspberry Pi and other platforms. Birds-of-a-feather (BoF) sessions, missing this year, would be another community favorite.
I’m looking forward to returning as an active participant at ATO next year. All Things Open was a great place to network and get a pulse of what’s inspiring the community at large.
Until next year.