This year again I had the honor of being able to attend Many thanks to Red Hat (My employer) for sending me to the conference (it also allowed me to attend some work meetings after the conference).

The trip out to Brno was much as it has been for me in the past, except this time it was even longer since the Portland to Amsterdam flight I used to take is no longer offered, so I had to go from Portland to Seattle and then Amsterdam. Due to various scheduling issues I also went to Vienna this time instead of Prague. No particular problems on the trip, just a long haul. The train in Vienna was nice and clean and fast and comfortable. runs over 3 days (friday/saturday/sunday) and is jam packed with talks and people to talk to. A number of talks I wanted to attend this year were full and I couldn’t get in. 🙁 Tickets also “sold” out really fast this year (in days) after they were available. I was amazed in the opening session how many people raised their hands that they were attending for the first time (seemed like >50%?). Thats really a great sign for the health of open source to have that many new people coming in and so many in general.

Friday opened with a keynote about Open Source SRE (Site reliability Engineering) in several Red Hat OpenShift teams. They did a good job explaining how they divided things up and how they tried to find issues before their customers even knew about them.

I then took the hallway track for a few sessions. So many people I work with over IRC/email there to talk to face to face. Lots of new folks as well.

The next session I hit was “Ansible by pull request: a gitops story”. Some good practical story of using git and ansible and ansible tower to manage and deploy things. A good introductory talk on the concept of ‘gitops’ (using git for operations settings.

I then ran out for a lovely lunch at a local pizza place. Was a great chance to catch up with teammates. Unfortunately it took a while and I missed the talk on Rawhide gating that I was hoping to go to. I hear it went really well however. 🙂

More sessions and hallway meetings and then off to a lovely team dinner. Had a great time there and then some of us went out for more beers after dinner and had an even more amusing time.

Saturday I missed the keynote talking to various people, then off to a talk by Ben Cotton: “We won. Now what?”. He talked about things going on in the open source movement these days and what they might mean or not for the future. I had actually heard of all these events, but hadn’t really thought much about what they might mean, so it was some good thought provoking fodder.

I managed to miss the coffee lovers meetup sadly, but then did manage to get into the packit talk. Great stuff there: automating your package builds and tests in Fedora from upstream projects. Lots of nice questions too, which they actually had answers for! 🙂

Tim Burke, long time Red Hatter gave a very fun talk called “Teamwork lessions learned in 3500km hiking” about his hiking the Appalachian Trail. There were really a lot of great things in this talk, I recommend watching the video of it. Some highlights: Try and do some random act of ‘trail magic’ kindness each week. Don’t worry about things away, just live in the moment. Lots of great life advice.

Then it was time for slideshow karioke. Always a ton of laughs. The premise: You get a set of random, advancing slides and you have to come up with some coherent talk using them. I think people are learning that it’s best to come with some idea what you want to talk about, tie it into the first slide and then try and let the audience figure out how the other slides fit in. Some of them were pretty well done this time.

This year there was a group of us that wasn’t too interested in the devconf party, so we just went for a nice quiet dinner and more relaxing evening.

Sunday I once again missed most of the keynote by getting stopped talking with folks and getting coffee, etc. But I managed to make the “Alternatives to modularity” talk. This was basically the same proposals as were floated on the devel list, with more detail. There unfortunately wasn’t much Q&A time and the time that they did have seemed pretty harsh feedback to me. I personally think the hardest part of their alternative is getting packages to be parallel installable, sometimes thats really really not easy. Aside from that though, I think their proposal would work and be much more simple. I do hope they try and persue the approach and convince module maintainers to switch. If we see after a while there’s no one using modules they will have won.

All in all another fun time at devconf. Lots of people, great talks, great area/venue. I recommend it. Of course get your tickets as soon as they go on sale as I am sure 2021 will sell out as quick as this year did. The number of new people really encouraged me, open source is contuing off to the next generation, really great to see!