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OSU Open Source Lab

A Recap of OSCON 2014

by Rachel Turner on Thu, Jul 31 2014

The OSL made a strong showing at the O’Reilly Open Source Conference (OSCON) this year with the majority of the student employees attending along with all of the full time staff. The conference was held in Portland, OR, and fell on July 20-24.

The Lab always places a special emphasis on education, and the conference was certainly an educational experience. The expo hall held dozens of booths filled with information and demonstrations about open source projects and the companies that support them.

The expo hall was student developer Evan Tschuy’s favorite part of the conference. “I liked wandering around the expo hall because there were so many booths. It was like ‘I’ve heard of that company! Them too! I’ve never heard of them, what are they about?’”

In between shifts at the OSL booth, staff that attended the conference were given the opportunity to go to a variety of informational sessions including A Glimpse of Git’s future, Data Structures and Netflix API: Top 10 Lessons Learned.

The OSL’s Lucy Wyman attended sessions on graph theory and data structures. “They were both given by the same guy, Tim Berglund, and he was amazing. When someone asked a question, he always knew the answer. It’s nice that he knew more than just his talk; he knew the subject really well.”

Presenting a session can be just as educational as attending a session, and OSL director Lance Albertson and student Emily Dunham ran a session on DevOps for University Students, discussing DevOps Bootcamp.

Another important benefit to OSCON is the opportunity for the OSL students to network within the open source community. Student systems administrator Daniel Takamori says, “I really enjoyed networking with people and seeing how they use different open source tools.”

In addition to attending sessions, OSL students were also given the opportunity to attend the various social events held during OSCON. The Lab hosted a lunch at Rock Bottom Brewery on Wednesday, with industry partners, alumni and hosted FOSS projects attending. The OSL and its guests shared good conversation over a delicious meal.

Wyman states, “The parties were really awesome, not because of the party aspect, but because that’s really what it’s like to be in the tech industry. It was nice to meet professionals and talk to people who were as interested in computers as I am.”

Whether it was gathering information at the booths, attending an informational session or simply networking with open source professionals, OSCON proved to be a valuable educational experience for the Open Source Lab. We look forward to next year!