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All Things Open: Diversity Event Today – Big Top Goes Up Monday!

As ATO moves back to being an in-person event, it’s not forgetting those who still need to stay at home — by live streaming the entire event, along with many hours of additional content only available online.

All Things Open Shot on Twitter
Sunday’s registration at All Things Open captured on Twitter.

By now things are going full tilt boogie in downtown Raleigh, as the All Things Open conference is well into its “pre” day.

Keeping with the trend set by other conferences, All Things Open opens a day ahead of time, partially to stage free event’s that aren’t officially a part of the main show, but which offer attendees from out-of-town a reason to fly in a day early to settle in.

This is good for the travelling attendees, because they don’t spend the first day suffering for jet lag or other forms of travel fatigue, and good for the event, because it means that more people are in place to fill seats and attend presentations, beginning with the opening keynote.

Sunday’s Pre-Event

At ATO, the registration desks are open on Sunday from noon until 5:30 Eastern Time, and the pre-conference is a free Inclusion and Diversity Event that started at noon and will run until 5pm, emceed by Rikki Endsley, formally with Red Hat and now a community marketing manager at Amazon Web Services.

Tonight, after the diversity event there will be a couple of outdoor social events, all on the grounds of the Raleigh Convention Center where the conference is taking place, as well as a 7pm conversation between well known tech writer (and former NASA contractor) Steven Vaughan-Nichols and Adam Steltzner, leader and chief engineer of Mars 2020 Mission and Rover Perseverance.

Red Hat CTO Kicks Off ATO ’21

Tomorrow, when All Things Open 2021 will get going in earnest, Chris Wright, Red Hat’s Chief Technology Officer, will be on hand to kick things off at 9 am with the opening keynote, Open Source: To Infinity and Beyond, in which he’ll share “his thoughts on the present and future of open source.”

When we had a chance to talk with Wright last week, we asked him about open source’s past (we would’ve asked him about the present and future, but we didn’t want our conversation to be a spoiler for his keynote address).

Wright pointed out that unlike today, when open source is pretty much the enterprise’s development model of choice, open source was a hard sell well into the 21st century.

“The world was quite different in that time frame,” he said. “The enterprise software consumption model was built around consuming licensed proprietary software. Open source community development was aimed at building awesome technology, and I’d say in many ways that piece hasn’t changed.

“But, those early conversations with enterprises about open source software were a little bit about features, functionality, and that kind of thing, and a lot about questioning the notion that open source (developed by people that you don’t necessarily even know, people who are not employed by the vendor you’re talking to, but who are just this ragtag community of passionate developers) can even be trustworthy or be at the core in their businesses.”

To borrow the title of an old song by The Monkees, that was then and this is now.

“Today, with some exceptions, we really just don’t even have that conversation,” he said. “Open-source is mainstream, it’s an expected part of your overall enterprise software portfolio.”

[We’ll publish a deeper delve of this interview with Chris Wright on Wednesday afternoon here on FOSS Force — say tuned.]

Live Streaming and More for Those at Home

Like many of the open source conferences that are returning to being in-person events, All Things Open is keeping an eye out on the folks who who can’t or don’t feel comfortable traveling while Coronavirus remains problematic by offering free live streams of each and every presentation, beginning with Monday morning’s keynotes.

Those watching from home will also have no reason to feel like second class citizens, for although they might be missing some of the fun (and other advantages) of actually being at the event, they’ll also have more content available to them, since there will be 30 to 40 presentations each day that have been specifically prerecorded for ATO 2021 and will only be available online.

For example, on Monday, in addition to all of the live presentations happening in Raleigh, at home viewers will have access to MySQL’s Dave Stokes’ Database Basics for New-ish Developers, Comcast’s Nithya Ruff’s Getting Past Diversity to Inclusion, the Istio Technical Oversight Committee’s Lin Sun’s Istio Foundation Workshop, Salesforce’s Jim Jagielski’s Open Source Licensing 101 and more — and all in addition access to all of the events taking place live at the Raleigh Convention Center.

Note that Sunday’s conversation between Steltzner and Vaughan-Nichols won’t be streamed, but those watching the event at home will be able to see Steltzner’s keynote address, Into the Unknown: How Leadership, Ingenuity, and Perseverance Put a Rover on Mars, on Monday at 10 am Eastern Time.

[For those at home who might be new to the conference scene and are confused about what to watch, we at FOSS Force will be publishing our suggestions on Monday morning.]

Those attending All Things Open in person shouldn’t feel left out. They’ll be able to access the prerecorded content too, either from their hotel rooms during the event, or from the comfort of home after the event is over.

Access to the online version of All Things Open is free but requires registration.

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