May 31, 2016
4 min read time

Open Source is more than code: People, Pajamas, Github and OSCON

OSCON was a blast! I can't compare it to other conventions since it's my first, but the organization was a very well-oiled machine and it really allowed everyone - exhibitors and visitors alike - to really focus on the heart of this event: Open Source. Being invited by GitHub (thanks Jono, Brian and the whole team), we were located in a pretty central booth at the Open Source Alley, where we had to handle a lot of traffic (but that's cool, we're Varnish, we know how to handle that).

This allowed for quite a few interesting chats, and most of them fell into two categories.

The first type of conversation with people who didn't know Varnish (or web infrastructure in general) really put in perspective how central and specific our role is in infrastuctures and how versatile we have to be to cater to all types of environments, while being as invisible as possible.

The second type was with people already knowing Varnish and loving it (it's nice, even when you can't take all the credit), explaining their particular setups and how the VCL and the various tools provided actually helped them, sometimes in weird and unexpected ways. It's in those moments that you realize the VCL is truly a brilliant idea in that it leaves the policy to you, the user..

It was interesting to realize that both groups of people are genuinely curious about HTTP2 (it's coming, I promise!) without necessarily realizing all the implementations of this protocol (clearly, I didn't either and learned a few things during OSCON, that was nice).

We also managed to go to a few keynotes and presentations, and I was very pleasantly surprised by the nice mix of technical topics (eg. Nick Shadrin on H/2) and inspiring talks (e.g., Dana Lewis on OSS and healthcare), which made OSCON just not about software but about people, too.

And the goodies were awesome, look at my pajama pants (so nice we put them in the title picture)!

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