I had the pleasure of attending OSCON 2017 in Austin, TX this year. This was my second time visiting the conference and I had pretty high expectations. I was a bit skeptical about whether it would be as good as last year and was pleasantly surprised that it was better.
The Rogue Wave booth was positioned near the middle right half of the conference floor. To the left Huawei, in front the CoreOS team, and our immediate neighbor, MariaDB.
To my surprise, Monty Widenius – the original creator of the MySQL and the eventual founder of MariaDB – was at the show. It was both surreal and a pleasure to meet him. We had a conversation about how the perception of open source changed over the past five years. During our conversation, he mentioned that he had an issue with his laptop regarding a Suse distro of Linux. I suggested he meet Justin Reock (our lead architect and super guru) to help triage. Once they started speaking, I bowed out feeling exceptionally lucky – it’s not every day that you meet a legend. (You can read Justin’s recap here.)
Outside of meeting Monty, this year the conference felt a little different than last year. For starters, we had the opportunity to speak with double the number of people. A large portion of my conversations last year were with people who were hesitant to admit that open source was ubiquitous. However, this year there was a lot more curiosity about open source support and diligence than there was previously. The fact that companies like Microsoft, Huawei, and IBM have a solid presence probably compounded the effect.
The fact that these giants are not only recognizing but investing heavily in open source initiatives is a huge paradigm shift. It truly is a testament that open source has permeated through all facets of technology. While we might not be at a stage where open source is reigning supreme, I feel that I am witnessing history in the making – a swell of epic proportions – and I feel truly fortunate to be a part of it.