Sunday, November 22, 2015


This week I attended FOSSETCON in Orlando, Florida. I had the opportunity to meet a number of free/open source software leaders, and they took the opportunity to make me feel very included. Overall I had a great time.

I was able to present twice at this conference, due to a comedy of errors around scheduling. I enjoyed giving both talks immensely and I will be talking again on these subjects I am sure.

On Friday I spoke on Tinc and Consul, a private mesh networking tool which we then overlaid with service discovery. Using these together is a pet project some personal friends and I have been working on for some time. I was able to focus mostly on the tinc components of our infrastructure. After the talk, I was mobbed by people wanting to use tinc to flatten a network somewhere in their infrastructure. I admit I had not even considered that application! Amusingly my talk made the "news" section of the tinc website. I want to especially thank Ben Kero for stepping up to give this talk and for writing the first draft of the slides. I did a live demo of tinc providing security for NFS, then played fullscreen video over NFS over the internet on conference wifi! I had an Awesome Audience!

My slides can be viewed at:
And the source to generate them can be found at:
And if you don't like speakerdeck the raw pdf is here:

On Saturday I spoke on OpenStack. This was a talk I inherited from Monty Taylor, who couldn't be there due to a scheduling conflict. I spoke on how OpenStack is a functioning platform and that the success of Infra project is evidence of that. I then talked about the rougher spots in OpenStack right now, particularly in abstractions that leak deployment details. I then introduced the OpenStack Client-Config and Shade efforts as a way to ameliorate that.

The source to generate my slides can be found at:
The cannonical version that Monty gave and I edited slightly is viewable at:
A video of Monty giving the talk about six months ago:

Of the talks I saw at FOSSETCON two stand out to me. The first was the introduction and demo of Oh My Vagrant by James (just James). In this talk, James took us through Vagrant (sneakily running through libvirt instead of virtualbox) into docker and then all the way to kubernetes. James did lose some people along this lightning ride but for those of us that kept up it was quite enjoyable and informative.

The second talk I enjoyed was Marina Zhurakhinskaya's talk on diversity at the closing keynote. She had some concrete advice and I took a couple key items away from her talk that I will be applying to the communities I have influence in. The most surprising tip to me (but not really once you think about it) was the need for there to be a room for new mothers at conferences. If we require (by law) for companies to provide this resource, it makes sense to make an effort to provide it at a conference with hundreds of attendees. The slides from Marina's talk can be found here.

Overall FOSSETCON was a great conf. I met so many new people, and I connected with people like Deb Nicholson that I had met before but never gotten to know well. I would definitely compare it to SeaGL on the west coast. It has the same low-budget, high-community, minimal-coporate feel that makes it ok to talk about free software without a direct application to business needs. At the conf I got turned on to SELF which I plan to apply to soon.

I strongly recommend you attend FOSSETCON 2016 if you are in the central Florida area next November.