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Five of Monday’s ‘All Things Open’ Presentations We Wouldn’t Miss

Here’s what we’re planning on watching stream today on the online part of ATO, to maybe help you make your own choices.

Brad Topal signs books at ATO
Brad Topol signs books at ATO.

If you couldn’t make it to Raleigh, North Carolina to attend this year’s All Things Open, you’re in luck. You can go to the conference’s web site and register for the free online version of the event, which will include live streaming of all presentations happening at the event (including all keynotes), as well as a large number of prerecorded presentations that were put together specifically for the online audience.

That’s how we at FOSS Force are planning on attending this year, although downtown Raleigh is only a couple of hours away by car.

To help those of you who are maybe running a little behind, and who are just now getting around to looking at the schedule to decide what you want to see, we thought we’d point out five of the presentations for each of ATO’s two days, that we at FOSS Force are most interested in attending. That way, if after you’ve found all the presentations that fit your tech job, or that play into your interests, if you still have some openings on your schedule, you can take a little advice from us…

10:45 AM EST

Presentation: Open source contribution policies that don’t suck.
Presenter: Tobie Langel, founder of UnlockOpen

This one caught our attention because we hear from developers all the time that they won’t contribute to certain open source projects because of draconian requirements in the contributor’s agreement. We’re hoping that this presentation will provide some clarity, both for would be contributors, and for projects that are maybe discouraging contributions because of “policies that suck.”

Giving the talk will be Tobie Langel, the founder of UnlockOpen, a consulting firm that helps companies like Google, Microsoft, Intel, Mozilla, and others with their open source communities, so he should know what he’s talking about coming in the door.

1:00 PM EST

Presentation: It’s 2021. Why are we still rebooting for patches? A look at Live Patching.
Presenter: Igor Seletskiy, founder and CEO of CloudLinux

Igor Seletskiy had been around for quite a while, but until recently he flew beneath the radar and hadn’t really brought brand name recognition to himself within the open source community — at least not in our circles. That began to change last December when he announced that his company would spend up to $1 million a year to develop and maintain AlmaLinux as a replacement for CentOS Linux, which Red Hat is in the process of turning into a “nightly build” (their words, not ours) of Red Hat Enterprise Linux.

Although that started to get him noticed, what really got our attention as open source advocates is how thoroughly he’s been keeping his promise to not only not claim ownership of the project, but to set things up legally so that neither he nor CloudLinux has control over the project’s direction. We especially like that he has sought guidance from within the established open source community to make sure that things are being done in a proper “open source way” (as Red Hat used to say).

In other words, he’s not only talking the talk, he’s walking the walk.

Since we figure that this guy is on his way to becoming a top shelf open source mover and shaker (and we hope an honorable keeper of the open source flame), we figure he’s worth keeping an eye on — to make sure our assessment is correct, if for no other reason.

Presentation: Executive Panel: Where do Great Open Source Contributors, Maintainers, & Hires come from?
Panel: Jon Gottfried (Major League Hacking), Demetris Cheatham (GitHub), Pete Davies (Fidelity Investments), Matt Auerbach (AWS)

We included this one because we’re suckers for the panel discussion format, and this seems to be the first one up on this year’s ATO schedule.

Besides, knowing where “great open source” folks “come from” has got to be of interest, both to the folks who need to find them to put them to work, and for the great talent that’s looking for equally as great jobs.

2:00 PM EST

Presentation: Istio Foundation Workshop
Presenter: Lin Sun

Our interest in this workshop starts with Lin Sun, who’s been working directly on the Istio project since her days at IBM. She’s smart, she knows Istio from a microscopic level, and she’s full of common sense. These days she’s the director of open source at

Also, to our way of thinking, Istio has already won the service mesh wars on the “large and feature rich” side of the equation (just as Linkerd has won on the fast, svelte, and easy to use side of the fence.

Containers are here to stay, and you really can’t easily run containers at scale without service mesh — so this is a workshop to see.

3:00 PM EST

Presentation: Getting Past Diversity to Inclusion
Presenter: Nithya Ruff

We’re really looking forward to this presentation.

From our perspective attempts to diversify open source work spaces has failed miserably, despite a great deal of work by many dedicated people — and we think that the title of this presentation hits the nail right on the head. Open source is attracting and hiring people from diverse backgrounds, but once hired, their inclusion into the workplace is often a one-way street that fails to make allowances for diverse backgrounds.

Nithya Ruff is currently the head of Comcast’s open source program office, and holds an at-large seat on the Linux Foundation’s board, where she represents community interests.

This should be enough to get you started if you’re looking for something to do today. Tomorrow morning, we’ll give you our five picks for Tuesday.

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