Charles Engelke's Blog

July 23, 2008

First OSCON Afternoon

Filed under: OSCON 2008 — Charles Engelke @ 7:49 pm
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I had a conference call I had to make during the lunch break, but it ended early so I was able to eat.  The food was okay, but the dessert was a berry tart that was great.

But I’m here to learn and be inspired (and not about food) so the rest of the day was mostly attending sessions.  I attended a talk on Code Reviews for Fun and ProfitAlex Martelli of Google was interesting and full of advice.  I think we’re just at the right point to get the most value from his pointers, and we’re going to implement some of them pretty soon if I can convince a few folks.  His slides are available for download; get them and browse them.  He’s got pointers to even more good resources on code reviews.  He even told us that the best book he knows on the subject is available for free from  I’ve ordered it (it really is free) and I’ll post about it when I get it.

During the short gap between sessions I moved downstairs for the talk about Hypertable.  This is an open source project to create a tool similar to Google’s bigtable, and is almost complete (it’s in alpha right now).  There’s a lot of interest in this; more than OSCON expected.  Every chair was taken, and I heard that there were at least 30 people left in the hall that wanted to attend.  The talk was interesting, but I certainly didn’t absorb anywhere near all the material.  Instead, I’ll be researching this further online.  The performance test results they’re getting are amazing.

We had a longer break to give us time to visit the exhibit hall and get some snacks.  The hall was pretty big and there were lots of t-shirt giveaways, just like at RailsConf.  I still view this as a tech economy indicator.  For at least open source related efforts, it’s booming.

Now I’m learning about Google’s open source efforts.  There’s a lot going on there and we’re all reaping the benefits.  After this I’m going to head downstairs again for my final session of the day, an “Illustrated History of Failure.”  And then I’ll try to integrate all the stuff I’ve been exposed to today.  This has been a diverse and very good program so far.


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