Written by Kent Vilhelmsen
Head of Development in Schibsted Norway Tech
Published September 7, 2015

The Open Source Convention (OSCON) 2015

OSCON is a convention where all of the pieces come together: developers, innovators, businesspeople, and investors. It’s about real-world practices and how to successfully implement open source in your workflow or projects. I was there and I’m happy to share with you my insights into this year’s events.

OSCON 2015

Every year O’Reilly arranges a conference in the US where people interested in free and open software meet to present and discuss the latest developments in the field. Initially, OSCON grew out of The Perl Conference, but the amount of Perl content has continued to decline over the years. There have been many notable events, such as the announcement of the OpenOffice.org project back in 2000 and OpenStack in 2010.

Of particular interest this year, and a very important step in the right direction, was undoubtedly the Open Container Initiative and the Cloud Native Foundation. These are the right fora for technology leaders to harmonise and standardise interfaces, APIs and requirement specifications.

This year, the convention was set in Portland, as it has been the last few years. Next year, however, the event will be moved to Austion. Not a bad alternative, I’d say.

The OSCON keynotes were really good this year! Short and interesting snippets of content that resonated and set the tone for the rest of the day. The keynotes were recorded and are already published on YouTube. The keynotes and speeches reflect the current trends in Open Source, so I also recommend you to have a look at the sessions overview, where you can find videos to most keynotes as well as presentation material.

In this, and a couple of following blogposts, I will highlight some of the most interesting technical bits and bytes from the conference.

Finding the Inner Source

It was interesting to hear a couple of keynotes mentioning Inner Source at the OSCON. First, Danese Cooper presented her work on this in her current organisation, PayPal. In her talk, she actually touched on parts of the philosophy we have at Schibsted Tech Polska, where source code is happily shared among the teams. Here’s a link to a presenting of her talk. Later that week, she was also interviewed particularly about the theme.

While Inner Source may seem like a way of thinking that’s more relevant for large corporations with hundreds or thousands of developers, there are some very interesting and relevant practices that will work great with smaller companies as well. One of the obvious benefits of organising development this way, is when the technologies and management practices of open source are used internally, moving the project into a public arena becomes much easier.

To try to summarise in a few catchphrases:

  • “pull requests are better than future requests”
  • “scratch your own itch”
  • “the journey is the reward”

Paypal has written quite a bit on inner source: http://paypal.github.io/InnerSourceCommons/

More resources:

There is a Youtube Channel with around 75 videos from the convention.



Written by Kent Vilhelmsen
Head of Development in Schibsted Norway Tech
Published September 7, 2015