So what does OSCON 2012 mean for developers? by Carlos Andreu
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OSCON) is an annual convention for the discussion of free and open source software. It is organized by the publisher O'Reilly Media and is held each summer in the United States. This year the conference was held July 16-20 in Portland, Oregon. It has everything from free beer, food and even trading cards with our favorite open source software to amazing speakers showcasing the latest and greatest technologies.
There's a YouTube channel with a few of the keynotes given by prominent members of the community, such as Tim O'Reilly and Mark Shuttleworth. You can also get a glimpse of the conference via their Flickr gallery.
According to Tim O'Reilly we are going to start seeing more and more companies leverage free and open source software to build incredible products. He notes that an economy is an ecosystem, and if you take more out than what you put in, it will eventually fail. During the conference we saw how many of those companies are supporting free and open source software, such as: Blue Host, Dell, HP, VMWare, Red Hat, Google, Facebook, Linode and of course IBM among many others.
There are few topics that stood out throughout the conference: Big Data, Cloud, Mobile and DIY (Do It Yourself) Hardware projects. There were many talks and people showing their solutions to these hard and interesting problems.
Starting with Big Data we saw plenty of NoSQL solutions, essentially these are solutions created to manage large volumes of data and do not necessarily follow a fixed schema like Relational Databases. Some open source solutions covered at the conference were CouchDB, Cassandra and Hadoop. MongoDB for example currently powers many high traffic websites such as Craiglist (Archiving), MTV (Content Management), Disney (Gaming), Intuit (Real-time Analytics) and Foursquare (Social Networking). Hortonworks has built something called Hortonworks Data Platform, which is 100% open source data management software powered by Hadoop. Akiban Tecnologies is working on a hybrid, typical SQL structure but behind the scene they store data more like a NoSQL databases. (As an aside, IBM is also a Hadoop vendor with the Big Insights product line.)
Cloud seems to be taking over. A lot of companies seem to be outsourcing their infrastructure to the cloud. Mark Shuttleworth showed us how an open source project called Juju may help us make System Administration on the cloud easy. Juju provides Charms that let you deploy whatever services you want in Juju, from a simple Wordpress blog to a Node.js application backed by a MongoDB or MySQL database.
Back to the original question from the title, what does all of that mean for us developers?
It means we may be taking care of huge amounts of data with highly scalable solutions and deploying and managing very complex system just by typing a few lines in the terminal/console. Finally we'll probably see the lines between what's a: PC (Personal Computer), a Server, a Mobile Device and devices like the Arduino, BeagleBoard and Raspberry Pi become very, very blurry.
Start watching some of the keynotes from the conference and playing around with the technologies discussed, let us know what your thoughts are in the comment section below and feel free to tweet this!
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