Open source projects have no geolocation, of course, however, communities that develop around these different projects do spring up in a multitude of different spots. Boston, MA, my backyard, has a massive Python community of 5,356 pythonistas as of this past week. Portland, home of OSCON for many of the last 17 years has a 1,330 member strong meetup PDX Tech4Good. Raleigh, NC boasts the All Things Open conference that had over 1,100 attendees in 2014. Outside of the US, FOSDEM, started in 2000, brings over 5,000 open source developers together on the ULB Solbosch campus each year. Austin, TX, has a CoFounders by The Tech^Map meet up with 3,040 co-founders, software developers, architects and UX experts. You’ll note that the common threads here are open source, community, and number of developers (a lot). And, oh, one more thing, they are all over the globe. These represent just a few the bigger groups in metropolitan areas. Smaller meetups, discussions, get togethers, and hackathons happen in just about every town or city.
Events like OSCON are one way to bring these different communities together to exchange ideas, learn from experts, and gain insight from training courses and tutorials. In the US, larger tech events mostly take place on the two coasts.
Portland has been an amazing partner for OSCON and open source. I count myself among the lucky for having spent as much time there as I have had the opportunity to in the past few years. Its people are giving, smart, and fun and they create great software, successful companies, and diverse communities. Portland is home to OS Bridge, an amazing not-for-profit, volunteer-run conference on all things open source, companies like Puppet who provide tools for devops engineers, and OSU’s Open Source Lab which now hosts over 160 open source projects. We are excited to spread this culture that they’ve helped to craft. It’s time to share OSCON with others!
Knowing that open source communities are everywhere and after reviewing the many years’ worth of OSCON demographic data, we’re excited to announce OSCON 2016 is moving to Austin, Texas May 16-20, 2016. Austin is home to many software communities from Austin’s All Girl Hack Night to their very own Google Development Group (GDG). Several major tech companies make their home in Texas as well, just to name a few: Rackspace, Dell, SoftLayer, Continuum, and OpenStack. In addition to amazing software engineers and developers, Austin is a very vibrant city much like Portland. As with OSCON in Amsterdam (October 26-28, 2015) we want to explore these communities and offer those software engineers and architects the OSCON experience.
As Eric S. Raymond wrote in his essay The Cathedral and the Bazaar, open source software creation should take on the form of a bazaar filled with “differing agendas and approaches.” Taking OSCON to Austin and Amsterdam is one way in which we are ensuring that a wider range of open source voices are heard. We’re excited about these new locations for OSCON, and as always, we welcome your thoughts!
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