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ATO’s ‘Open Source Charlotte’ to Hold Inaugural Event January 26

All Things Open’s expansion into North Carolina’s largest city will begin with a free Meetup by podcast host Mike Bifulco, and will be followed in March by this year’s Open Source 101.

Dubois-Center at UNC-Charlotte where the Open Source Charlotte Meetup will be held.
Dubois-Center at UNC-Charlotte where the Open Source Charlotte Meetup will be held. SOURCE: UNC-Charlotte

Open Source Charlotte, the newest addition to the All Things Open network, will host its first one-day event on January 26 at 6:30 pm EST, a Meetup that will feature a talk by Charlotte resident Mike Bifulco, who will give a talk titled “Unlocking The Power of Open Source to Launch Your Startup and Career.” The free event will take place at the Dubois Center on the UNC Charlotte Center City campus.

Bifulco most recently worked for Google, where he spent 1 1/2 years as manager and tech lead for the advocacy team behind Google Assistant, and at Stripe, where he was a developer advocate. He also heads Craftwork, a general contracting startup that uses technology to simplify repair and renovation projects for homeowners. In addition, he’s co-founder and co-host of the APIs You Won’t Hate podcast, and is also a host on the Software Engineering Daily podcast.

All Things Open’s Event Network

ATO started life as the organization behind the All Things Open conference, a three-day event that’s held each year at the Raleigh Convention Center, just blocks from Red Hat’s world headquarters in Raleigh, North Carolina.

Like many conferences, it’s currently emerging from pandemic restrictions that caused its attendance to shrink. In 2020, the in-person event was cancelled, although it went on as a virtual event. In 2021 the event ran as a hybrid event but with Covid restrictions that greatly reduced in-person attendance.

In October, ATO ran again as a hybrid event, but with far fewer Covid restrictions than the previous year. While this greatly increased in-person attendance to 3,667 registered attendees (with an additional 1,816 watching the event online), that was still a far cry from 2019 when 4,985 attended, which was about on-par with previous years.

“I do believe we’ll get back to those numbers this year,” Todd Lewis, ATO’s CEO, told FOSS Force in an email.

For at least five years now, the organization has extended its reach to include single-day events under its Meetup and Open Source 101 banners. These events are free to the public and funded by corporate sponsors.

The Meetups are single-speaker events, while its Open Source 101 events are mini-conferences with multiple speakers and presentations, tailored for students and others who are in the beginning stages of career paths into open source. Unlike ATO’s annual flagship conference which is international in scope and draws attendees from across the globe, Open Source 101 and the Meetups are primarily aimed at local and regional communities.

Both the Open Source 101 events and the Meetups were initially offered exclusively in the Triangle, the metro area that includes Raleigh, Durham, and Chapel Hill in Central North Carolina. A couple of years ago, ATO expanded its reach to include events in Columbia, South Carolina. The expansion into Columbia made sense: CEO Todd Lewis lives there, and the All Things Open conference initially grew out of the now defunct Palmetto Open Source Software Conference in Columbia that was presented by IT-oLogy, which was ATO’s original owner.

Open Source Charlotte logo

On January 10, ATO announced that it was further expanding it’s network into Charlotte, North Carolina’s largest city, under the banner Open Source Charlotte, and has scheduled two events there, the upcoming Meetup with Bifulco (ATO’s Meetup’s are typically held monthly, so watch our Event’s Calendar for news of more) and this year’s Open Source 101, which will be held March 23, also at UNC-Charlotte’s Dubois Center.

“We’ve been asked to do this for years – 2023 is the right time,” the organization said in an email announcing the Meetup.

The Charlotte Meetup

In his abstract for his upcoming talk at the Open Source Charlotte Meetup, Bifulco said:

This talk will explore the tools and strategies I’ve used to build my career and several startups with open source technology and the community that surrounds it.

We will discuss the advantages of open building and using source software for startups, and how to be a great Open Source community member by contributing to projects and groups that matter to you most. We will also discuss how Open Source can be used to develop and market your product, and how to leverage it to build a successful career.

Again, the event will take place on Thursday, January 26 in the second floor lecture hall at the Dubois Center UNC Charlotte Center City; 320 E. 9th Street; Charlotte, NC 28202. Doors open at 5:30 pm for networking, and live programming begins at 6:30 pm EST. Open Source Charlotte says the event should wrap-up by 8 pm EST, and that food and beverages will be served.

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