This past saturday, I traveled up to Columbia, SC to POSSCON 2009. As the tagline on the site says, POSSCON is “South Carolina’s only Open Source Software Conference.”
The keynote speaker was the CIO of redhat, Lee Congdon. Lee spoke on “the state of Open Source today,” throwing in practical examples from his experiances at redhat, which I found to be very beneficial.
The day was split into two tracks: Developers and Business I.T. I ended up going to the business track, which I found out was fairly basic. The only interesting discussions / topics came up during the final sessions: The roundtable discussions with I.T. leaders from Time Warner, Blue-Cross/Blue-Shield, Fedora, etc. They got into discussing how they practically worked OSS into their companies. The other interesting session was the chief network artchitect from Blue-Cross/Blue-Shield describing their infrastructure switch to virtualized Linux on zSeries IBM Mainframes .
An extra session at the end of the day was on Hadoop, which I found very cool–I may be using this as part of my research for one of my GIAC Gold certs.
Finally, as always in these sorts of gatherings, you get the OSS Zealots–A few choice quotes from the ones on board:
“Another great reason to use open source software is because when they update the software, it doesn’t break things, like closed source software often does.” (I wanted to ask this guy if he had ever acutally used any sort of open source software! Off the top of my head, I can think of a few examples of open source software updates that have broken things!)
“Open source software is so much more better than closed source software, because they follow the standards closer–Like, they actually follow the RFCs, and closed source software usually don’t.” (Ok, so first, how does this guy think Linux and Windows can communicate via TCP/IP if they both don’t follow the relevant RFCs? Secondly, has he ever browsed an RFC? An RFC gives general guidance and principles, but does not always mandate specific implementations..)