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‘All Things Open’ Conference Offers Enterprise & More

When IT-oLogy opens the doors to the All Things Open conference in Raleigh on October 23, the focus will be on open source in the enterprise. That’s only fitting, given the fact that Raleigh is Red Hat’s playground–and Red Hat practically wrote the book on enterprise level open source.

Every hour during the two day conference there will be six lectures or workshops with at least four of them tailored especially for the business IT crowd. There’ll be tech-centric workshops on Python, databases, big data, Github, PHP and more. Not being a developer or admin type, I can only imagine what all of this might mean to the serious IT department types as they peruse the All Things Open schedule.

So where does that leave the rest of us who work with FOSS everyday without getting our knuckles dirty writing code, building and tweaking networks or figuring out new and better ways to make big bucks with computer technology? Is there anything at All Things Open for those of us who think the word “code” must always be preceded by “morse” or that “enterprise” refers to a Federation star ship laden with photon torpedoes?

Yup, there is–and in abundance. Just take a look at the list of presentations I plan to attend when I cover the All Things Open conference for FOSS Force:

All Things Open

HTML5 for the mobile web – Firefox OS

Wednesday, 10:15 AM
Jason Weathersby

Jason Weathersby, Technical Evangelist for Mozilla/Firefox OS
Jason Weathersby, Technical Evangelist for Mozilla/Firefox OS
Like many folks in open source, Jason Weathersby wears a lot of hats. This presentation will feature him in his role as a Technical Evangelist for Mozilla–specifically an evangelist for Firefox OS. He should prove to be a good choice for explaining HTML5’s implementation in Mozilla’s mobile operating system from a FOSS perspective, since he’s a vocal supporter of HTML5, the open web and open source.

He brings other credentials to the table that will be of interest to the enterprise crowd. He’s an expert on the open source Business Intelligence and Reporting Tools (BIRT) Project at the Eclipse Foundation. With Tom Bondur and Iana Chatalbasheva he co-authored the book Integrating and Extending BIRT. A regular contributor to the Mozilla Hacks blog, he has over 20 years experience in software development.

I’m looking forward to soaking up as much as I can about both HTML5, which remains something of a mystery to me, and Firefox OS, Google’s first real competitor in open source mobile.

Christopher Clark speaker at All Things Open
Christopher Clark, Director of Information Technology, SparkFun Electronics
Open Source Hardware

Wednesday, 11:15 AM
Christopher Clark

A regular speaker at the OSCON conference, Mr. Clark has risen from the ranks as the only IT person at online retailer SparkFun Electronics to his position today as the company’s Director of Information Technology, managing a staff of thirteen. In addition, he spent time as an image processor for NASA’s Cassini mission to Saturn. Cool, huh?

Last Wednesday, Red Hat’s published an interview with Mr. Clark that may offer a glimpse of what we can expect from his presentation at All Things Open:

“Open source hardware holds the same promise as open source software: solve the most critical and common problems in the open where that solution can be shared and refined, freeing up cycles to focus on the more nuanced problems—until those become so common, widespread, and elegantly solved in the open that they become commoditized too. Rinse and repeat over years and generations and, overall, the quantities and qualities of new electronic devices are elevated.”

Bringing open source ideas to hardware development has been gaining a lot of traction in recent years, with many hardware companies jumping on the open source bandwagon. Indeed, bringing open standards to computer hardware may just be what the GNU/Linux doctor ordered.

We the People: Open Source, Open Data

Leigh Heyman
Wednesday, 2:30 PM

Leigh Heyman, speaker at All Things Open
Leigh Heyman, Director of New Media Technologies, the White House
Sometimes called “Obama’s Tech Guru,” Leigh Heyman holds the official title of Director of New Media Technologies at the White House. As such, he’s responsible for overseeing the development and operations of, We The People, and all of the White House’s Drupal-based websites and applications.

Certainly, the work he’s done in Washington has advanced the open source cause. The open source We The People petition software project is now being used by numerous U.S. cities and countries to meet their own petitioning needs.


For the 4:30 slot on Wednesday I’m unable to decide what direction to take. On the one hand, Jim Jagielski will be presenting a talk on “Open Source Licensing,” a subject that’s certainly of interest to me. Mr.Jagielski is President of the Outercurve Foundation, a nonprofit founded by Microsoft to “enable the exchange of code and understanding among software companies and open source communities.” In addition, he’s the 2012 recipient of the O’Reilly Open Source Award.

On the other hand, at the same time there will be a discussion on “Creative Commons/OS Music” led by Professor Kliq, a music producer and artist who releases his work under the Creative Commons license. As a writer and publisher I’m, of course, very interested in the Creative Commons licenses–so my conflict should be obvious.

In this case I think I’ll let Joshua Kricker, the other member of our All Things Open coverage team, decide which he wants to cover and I’ll take the other. Joshua has a legal background, so I’m pretty certain both of these will be of interest to him as well.


Microsoft & Open Source

Ross Gardler
Thursday, 10:30 AM

Ross Gardler, speaker at All Things Open Conference
Ross Gardler, Microsoft Open Technologies, Inc.
I wouldn’t miss this one for the world and I promise to go in with an open mind. Mr. Garnler will be speaking as a Senior Technology Evangelist for Microsoft Open Technologies, Inc. He brings to the table some serious open source credentials. For one, he’s President of the Apache Software Foundation. From 2007 until 2010, he led the UK based FOSS advisory service OSS Watch and is a co-founder, with Steve Lee, of OpenDirective, which he left to join Microsoft in February of this year. His recruitment by Redmond was noted by Simon Pipps in his article for InfoWorld, Has Microsoft Finally Embraced Open Source?

Open Source All the Cities

Jason Hibbets
Thursday, 11:30 AM

Jason Hibbets, speaker at All Things Open
Jason Hibbets, Project Manager,
Jason Hibbets lives in Raleigh. He’s a graduate of N.C. State and has worked at Red Hat since 2003. Currently he’s the lead administrator, content curator and community manager for He’s also the author of The Foundation for an Open Source City, which says pretty much what a lot of us have been saying for years: the free and open source concept is universal and can be applied to just about anything–especially government and politics.

Mr. Hibbets uses All Things Open’s host city of Raleigh as an example and offers-up five characteristics to an open source city. If you believe that free and open doesn’t just apply to the software installed on your computer, you’ll probably want to catch this lecture.

John Mertic, speaker at All Things Open
John Mertic, Solutions Architect, SugarCRM
Open Source Communities in a For Profit World

John Mertic
Thursday, 1:30 PM

A Solutions Architect and Community Manager for SugarCRM, John Mertic brings to the table his experience with PHP web applications and open source communities. The author of the books The Definitive Guide to SugarCRM: Better Business Applications’ and Building on SugarCRM: Creating Applications the Easy Way, he’s also the creator and maintainer of the PHP Windows Installer for the PHP project.

On the website Open Source Bridge, Mr. Mertic offers a preview of what his presentation at All Things Open will offer:

“Since open source has hit the mainstream, people have been trying to grep the idea of what an open source business model would be. In intermixing a for-profit organization with the freedom loving principles of the FLOSS movement, there inevitably is a struggle point between the two. Several models of business have emerged to attempt to rectify this, but each tends to come with it’s own baggage along the way, and communities tend to struggle with this.

“In this talk, I’ll explore the business models out there that attempt to work with Open Source communities to help grow a healthy business. We’ll also debate and discuss what the future holds here, and how better these business models bridge between the corporate and communtity needs.”

Matt Dugan, speaker at All Things Open
Matt Dugan, Middleware Solutions Architect, Shadow-Soft
In Defense of Vendor Mistrust – The Importance of Selecting Open Source Solutions for your Business Needs

Matt Dugan
Thursday, 2:30 PM

As a Middleware Solutions Architect for Shadow-Soft, a company that specializes in open source system integration, Matt Dugan has plenty of open source cred. I’m guessing that at his All Things Open presentation we’ll hear a lot about vendor lock-in, the constant and costly upgrade cycle with proprietary software, the costs and inconvenience of software audits and all the rest. I’m also guessing he’ll give system admins even more ammunition to use when trying to convince the suits in the top office to start making the move to FOSS. This is definitely a presentation I’m anticipating.

Is a $14.4 *Trillion* Dollar Opportunity of Interest to Your Company?

Bryant Patten
Thursday, 3:30 PM

Heck, here at FOSS Force even a $14 opportunity catches our interest. The trillion dollar figure undoubtedly refers to a study that was reported upon by John Chambers on the Cisco Blog in February:

“Our analysis indicates that there is as much as $14.4 trillion of potential economic “value at stake” for global private-sector businesses over the next decade, as a result of the emergence of the Internet of Everything.”

Bryant Patten, speaker at All Things Open
Bryant Patten, Enterprise Software Executive, Motorola Solutions
14 trillion is a lot of bucks by anybody’s measure. It will be interesting to see what Mr. Patten has to say about using open source to harvest a chunk of that pie.

Mr. Patten was the Founder and Executive Director of the National Center for Open Source and Education (NCOSE)–a nonprofit organization advocating Open Source adoption in K-12 schools. Currently he’s at at Motorola Solutions working on enterprise mobility using the open source RhoMobile platform.


As you can see, I’ll have more than a full plate at the All Things Open conference. Of course, I might have to make a few changes to my schedule. Event organizers tell me that scheduling of some presentations is still subject to change and there are several slots still waiting to be filled. I can’t wait to see what goes in the empty slots.

One Comment

  1. Jason Hibbets Jason Hibbets September 24, 2013

    Rocking post…and not just because I’m featured. But really because it’s about everything I talk about all the time. The concepts of open source software development: transparency, collaboration, rapid prototyping, meritocracy, failing faster, etc. can be applied to so many other disciplines outside of technology. These stories are amazing and they’ll all be here in Raleigh this October. What an great opportunity to for such an affordable conference. Hope to see you there!

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