BSDCan 2013

I blogged my experience at MeetBSD 2012 a few months ago and recently attended BSDCan for the first time.  Since I blogged my experience at MeetBSD, I also wanted to blog my experience at BSDCan.

I attended BSDCan as an attendee and conference organizer.  I recently embarked on journey I never thought I would.  I am a co-chair for a conference.  vBSDcon is the first conference or large event that I’ve organized (apart from my wedding when I married the woman who continually encourages me to grow).  Therefore, my perspective of the conference covered multiple facets.

Conference Format

The conference covered two days and was preceded by 2 days of developer summit sessions, a vendor summit, and tutorials. The main conference consisted of 3 tracks (hacking, embedded, and system administration) meaning that there were 3 presenters at any one time during speaking sessions.

I’ll add that all conferences have an additional track which may or may not be planned…the social track. The social track consists of time spent in the halls between presentations discussing projects with others. It includes time spent at restaurants after the day’s conference activities. It includes time spent at the “big social event” many BSD-related conferences have.

One drawback of multiple tracks is that often there are multiple presentations occurring simultaneously one may wish to attend. This certainly was the case with me a time or two.

Tutorials

Tutorials are educational presentations designed to educate attendees on some of the nuts and bolts of a project and/or technology. They are typically 3 hours in length with an instructor/presenter who is considered an expert on the topic.

BSDCan 2013 had four tutorials scheduled. Of the four, I attended two:

DNSSEC: Theory, Troubleshooting, and Deployment With BIND

Presented by Michael W. Lucas, this tutorial encompassed operating DNSSEC in BIND. He covered the operational concepts of DNSSEC and followed up by describing BIND configurations to support DNSSEC. He introduced the various binaries used in troubleshooting various aspects of DNSSEC and BIND configurations and operations.

Making FreeBSD Ports

Presented by Gábor Páli, this tutorial covered creating a FreeBSD Port from scratch. Gábor included many details and explanations of various aspects of creating a Port including many common variables and macros to use in Makefiles. He also expanded on the content of other potential files that can be created and how to generate those files.

Vendor Summit

The vendor summit is an opportunity for FreeBSD committers and vendors to collaborate together on setting priorities for future projects. George Neville-Neil headed up the session focusing on userland space in FreeBSD. Many areas where vendors expressed needs included development and user related desktop projects, most of which seemed to circle back to the first item on the list…Java.

It was made clear that vendors are interested in having a cohesive and functional Java implementation available. By doing so, it will enable forward progress on the implementation of many other userland applications.

Conference Day 1

Presentations

Conference Day 2

Presentations

These are the presentations I attended on Day 2:

Impressions

Dan Langille, BSDCan organizer, did an excellent job of ensuring the conference went according to plan from the start of the Developer’s Summit through the tutorials and into the conference activities. The logistics of ensuring wi-fi access was available, providing power strips and power cables enabling users to take notes on laptops, and providing food, among the many other tasks he must attend to. It really is an impressive feat.

All speakers created well thought out presentations all the way from the tutorials through the closing session. The content was relevant and applicable to the track and current trends in the industry. Speakers sufficiently filled their allotted time slot w/ ample time for Q&A. I found several presentations very interesting and relevant to the work I perform.

Overall Experience

The overall experience at BSDCan 2013 was extremely positive. I was impressed with the execution of the various activities, including those in the unofficial “social track”. This conference provided excellent opportunities to absorb information, collaborate with others, and socialize and meet new people.

This conference was an excellent opportunity for me to gleam concepts and ideas for potential inclusion at vBSDcon hosted by Verisign in October 2013.

  1. No comments yet.
  1. June 11, 2013 at 11:19 AM

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 289 other followers

%d bloggers like this: