August 18, 2018

Devconf 2018

Bangalore and Devconf!

Onwards to Bengaluru!

DevConf is a free annual conference where various developers, admins and fellow open source-ey people come together to celebrate open source software and other techy things.

Last Thursday, I found myself on a train with Kit ( a friend ), on my way to Bengaluru to attend DevConf India 2018 which was organized by Red Hat at Christ University this year.

After a 10 hour train ride, a 20 minute Uber ride and a 5 minute elevator ride, we finally made it to the hotel room.

DEVCONF DAY 1!

After looking at the schedule the previous day, I decided that we needed to get to the venue at 8am to be able to register in time and make it to the opening keynote. BUT SOMEBODY ( me 😅 ) decided to oversleep. We still made it in time though, so it was all going according to schedule.

The opening keynote to day 1 of Devconf was delivered by Ric Wheeler. He’s the senior director of engineering at Red Hat but he’s been in the tech industry for a very long time. He spoke about the old days of computers. Like, way back during the UNIX days. He proceeded to tell us about the conditions that led to the creation of the modern BSD and Linux kernels. It was a very informative keynote. After it ended, the MC went, “Sir, when you were working on UNIX, I was born then!”, which made the hall erupt in laughter.

Once the keynote ended, Kit and I made our way towards to the Ansible workshop that was taking place in the building behind the one we were in. Ansible, for those of you who don’t know, is an open source tool that’s used to automate software provisioning and configuration management, which is a fancy way of saying that it reads a list of tasks that need to be done, and does them automatically on a computer.

I couldn’t use my laptop at the workshop because I ran out of charge too quickly and there weren’t any convenient power points to plug it into. This wasn’t a real issue since it was a great experience just listening and interacting with the guys teaching us.

The workshop ended at lunch time, so we decided to walk around the campus aimlessly till the next event on our schedule. During this time, we came across the exhibition center where I found the Fedora booth.

I’ve been an active Fedora contributor for about a year now (*COUGH*), so it got me excited to see the booth there. I walked up and introduced myself and started helping out at the booth. :D

There were a lot of people curious about fedora and how they could contribute to it. ( HINT: https://whatcanidoforfedora.org )

After a lot of GNOME vs KDE talk ( standard discussion topics, I know 😄 ), we decided to take a picture.


So, behind us, you can see the Firefox booth and the Silverblue booth.

The Firefox guys were showing off WebXR which is their Web VR/AR framework. As a former VR Dev, that was pretty interesting. The Silverblue booth was showing off the new Fedora CoreOS and Fedora Atomic Workstation.

The Atomic Workstation is a pretty cool concept. I’d write about it here, but I think it deserves it’s own post. 😄

After nearly starting a riot ( tabs >>> spaces, amirite? 😉), I decided to call it a day and head back to the hotel.

DEVCONF DAY 2!

Today’s opening keynote was delivered by Christian Heimes. He’s a security engineer at Red Hat and he’s a core python developer from Germany.

After a few initial technical issues ( I blame GNOME, btw. 😛 ), he started his presentation about security and history and how they go hand in hand. He spoke about how during the dark days of German history, the government started collecting information about all their citizens and abusing that information while taking a playful jab at India’s Aadhar card system.

He said that the number one thing we could do to improve everyone’s security and privacy in the age of social media is to educate them about how their data is being mined.

After the keynote, I went up to him and asked him, “What happens when people refuse to be educated on these matters? Is the battle already lost at that point?”

He responded to the question by likening the process to herd immunization. “If they don’t want to be educated, then take the first step and just move to a safer platform yourself. The network has to begin somewhere right?” “Say, you want to move to a safer messaging platform, just do it. People who want to keep in touch with you will also start using that platform. Soon, people who want to keep in touch with them will start using it too.”

Although it’s a slow process, I’m convinced that it could work. But ultimately, I don’t think there’s a lot we can do if the general populus remains apathetic to all of it.

After talking with Christian, Kit and I made a bee-line to the Fedora booth again. Today, the exhibition area was packed full of people and there were events happening. The folks at the Openshift booth were having a quiz that everyone could participate in and win goodies.

Obligatory loot pic incoming! 😄


That pretty much sums up my DevConf 2018 experience. Of course, I left out a few parts where I attended some more workshops so that I don’t bore you guys.

Anyway, thanks for reading! See you in the next post!

© Abhiram K 2018