Event Report – OSCON 2012

FOSS in Portland


OSCON always manages to change with the times without giving up the original vision of community and new ideas.

No matter what happens with the server space, the cloud space, the stock market, or the latest round of startup IPOs, once a year there is always OSCON – O’Reilly Media’s great US West Coast celebration of open source technologies. Engineers, programmers, system administrators, and other FOSS enthusiasts gathered in Portland, Oregon, USA, on July 16-20 for this year’s event.

OSCON has outlived competitors like the LinuxWorld conference because it has always mixed commercial necessity with a genuine understanding of the authentic open source experience. Extra flourishes, like a 5K run and free lunches for expo visitors, added to the holistic ambiance. Some of the mega-vendors, such as Oracle and IBM, who loomed the largest at shows like this a few years ago, were still present but seemed to have a smaller footprint, leaving a more balanced mix of mid-range and still large (though less ostentatious) vendors who told new stories about cloud computing, big data, and tools for mbracing the mobile space.