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LinuxCon 2016 Review

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DateSunday, October 16, 2016
AuthorConor Shields

LinuxCon 2016 Review Reporter Conor Shields Shares His Highlights  of LinuxCon 2016 in the Germany's Capital City Berlin


161016_IrishDev_LinuxCon_Colin_McNamara_Dimension_Data.jpgSome of the biggest names in software development and technology descended upon the Intercontinental Hotel in the centre of Berlin last week for LinuxCon / ContainerCon 2016, prepared for a full week on all things open source.

The Linux Foundation, the nonprofit who's mission is in advancing professional open source management for mass collaboration, held their annual think-tank in association with a plethora of sponsors such as Huawei, Hewlett Packard Enterprise, Intel, Oracle, Fujitsu, Docker and many more.

The event saw a variety of keynote speeches, breakout sessions, discussions, showcases and interactive training sessions take place within the venue.




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Keynotes were delivered by key players in the open source industry such as Solomun Hykes (CTO, chief architect and founder of Docker), Steven Tan (Chief architect) and Cameron Bahar (SVP and Global CTO) of Huawei, Jilayne Lovejoy (Principal Open Source Counsel, ARM) and Graham Whaley (Senior software engineer, Intel), Brian Behlendorf (Executive director, Hyperledger), Wolfgang Ries (CMO, Fujitsu), Colin McNamara (DevOps expert), Brandon Philips (CTO and Founder, CoreOS), Mark Atwood (Director of Open Source, Hewlett Packard Enterprise), Stormy Peters (Open Source Expert) and Danny Phillips (Director and Product Marketing Netscaler, Citrix).

Topics touched on during these keynotes were constructed and delivered well with a range of interesting technologies in the opensource eco-system presented. Although there was plenty to take in during these talks, a few stood out amongst the rest in terms of innovation and interest.


Following opening remarks from the executive director of The Linux Foundation, Jim Zemlin, welcoming all guests to LinuxCon 2016, the first keynote was delivered on Tuesday by Brian Behlendorf (@BrianBehlendorf) who gave an eye-opening talk on the Hyperledger Project (@HyperLedger), of which he is the executive director. Hyperledger is an open-source collaborative project created with the purpose of advancing blockchain technology by highlighting important features for an industry standard for distributing ledgers, according to their official website.

Behlendorf used his time onstage to highlight the important uses that blockchain technology, more importantly Hyperledger, can have in the future. In his speech, he used the online tracking of diamond sales as an example, explaining how this tech can help reduce the sale and distribution of blood diamonds as the technology can help keep a detailed sales record of each diamond sold.

Next up was Colin McNamara (@ColinMcNamara), Director of the Dev Ops Practise for Dimension Data Americas (@DimensionData) who gave an insightful talk on the real effect that sleep deprivation has on DevOps and Agile development teams. McNamara based his talk on a real life experience that his team encountered last winter in which he forced his team to “stand-down” for 72 hours rest in order to locate a bug in which they had spent six weeks trying to fix. In his speech, McNamara highlighted how “staying up late to put out code is destructive”.

McNamara’s talk stood out for me as it highlighted a serious issue that can easily affect any project and can lead to similar difficulties that was described by McNamara himself.

Finally, this last one wasn’t a keynote but a talk held by Shane Coughlan (@OpenDawn), who is the VP for Global Business Development at Insignary (@Insignary), in which he discussed the issue of security issues in open source technology. Although hosting his talk in a overly large room in comparison to his audience, Coughlan commanded the attention of his audience and delivered his talk with clear aura of charisma and experience.

It wasn’t all work and no play for the hundreds of eager attendees. Throughout the week, tonnes of fantastic networking opportunities were offered to guests to give those from different industries a chance to learn from their peers in some of the nicest venues Berlin has to offer.

Tuesday night saw attendees whisked off to House of Weekend, a rooftop bar which stands an impressive 80ft high which allowed the lucky guests to look out over the Berlin skyline and take in the breathtaking views in comfort and style.

However, this was only a nice warm-up for what had been planned for the Wednesday evening. Following a long day of talks and showcases, we were loaded onto buses only to be taken to stunningly beautiful Charlottenburg Palace for food and a well deserved drink.

Putting this much effort into providing an enjoyable atmosphere for attendees made for a fuller experience and certainly topped off the experience for me. Also not to mention the generous amount of free goodies to be found scattered about the different booths!

For me, LinuxCon was purely an opportunity to learn more about the world of open source technology from some of the biggest names in the industry. Although I was most pleased with LinuxCon Europe, I was curious to see how others felt and I was interested to talk to other guests about what LinuxCon meant to them and what their reasons for attending were.


Travelling from Australia, Corné Grobbelaar (@cornegrobbelaar), co-founder of Sisa-Tech who were showcasing their technology, had this to say…“First thing, it’s a seriously long trip for us to get here, from Australia to Berlin, so we’re here for a reason. The first is our first unveiling of it ( The code is still wet, we were even coding on the plane. We obviously needed to have something to drive us to actually get stuff out there, otherwise we could just continuing coding for another six months. LinuxCon was our drive to get it finished”, said Mr. Grobbelaar.

Matthias Schmitz, a senior Dev-Ops engineer at Endocode, which is a software engineering company based in Berlin, got straight to the point about his reasons for attending. “From a personal perspective, I get to listen to very interesting talks from the leaders in kernel development, for example. This time I’m working here so it’s different, I’m here mainly to help the guys from Google answer technical questions but it’s still such an enjoyable experience”, explained Mr. Schmitz.

Overall, there was an exciting amount to explore, learn and indulge in during my time at LinuxCon Europe 2016 and all within one of the most spectacular cities in mainland Europe.

Until we meet again in LinuxCon 2017, auf wiedersehen!




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