OpenSolaris Developer Summit Wrapup

Posted on October 15, 2007

And so the Developer Summit has come and gone. Sun put a lot of effort, time, and money into making the event totally smooth. A big thanks goes out to Ian, Jesse, Sara, and UC Santa Cruz for making the event so awesome.

As with any gathering, no matter how smooth the event, good the food, or coordinated things are, its all about the attendees and that was the key focus of the weekend. On Friday night there was an informal reception at the hotel which allowed most of us to get introduced in a comfortable setting. (Big thanks to Brendan and Claire Gregg for coming down!)

On Saturday morning we got down to work with various update talks about components of Indiana. Throughout the day people drifted in and out, mostly staying in a single large auditorium. When people drifted out they’d congregate together in the courtyard and conversations would pop up on any variety of topics. There were no clicks or such, it was a totally open environment, anyone could drop into any conversation at any time. It was great.

The Saturday evening reception was great. Guinness was provided (thanks Sara!!!).

On Sunday we were back to work, but I was initially worried… we pushed the politics onto day 2, so I commonly joked “Saturday we love each other, Sunday we remember how much we hate everyone and go home like we came.” But not so! For all the disagreements we see on the mailing lists everyone was fairly like minded. The OGB was straight forward and frustrated (only Alan, Glynn, and Steve were present representing the OGB) open to ideas and discussing the future.

The most powerful event of the summit, for me, was when Shawn Walker, a really great guy, soft voiced and humble, gave an account of his experiences actually contributing code to ON… it wasn’t good, I was aware of some bits of it but hearing the story from end-to-end from his mouth illustrated just where we’re failing. I’ve made the point before, many of us rubber stamped the constitution for the specific purpose of moving beyond it to work on the contribution model which is significantly more important… but we haven’t gotten that done yet. There are reasons, such as the SCM transition isn’t complete yet (we got an update from Dr. Hahn regarding that as well). Shawn was not bitter or angry but just wants to see the situation improve over time and he’s grateful to those who have helped him; and I’m proud to see such a great contributer being so rational. I had the honor of buying him dinner Sunday night and chatting about a great many things.

What shocking was that there were no fights, no big arguments! It was like a big family reuinion, you didn’t know people but there was a sense of connection and respect despite it. Huge and sometimes intimidating figures in our community like Joerg Schilling were surprisingly kind and soft spoken people and I think seeing each other for who we are away from our digital persona’s was extremely useful and will be something we carry forward. For all our disagreements we’re all on the same team and we really do just want to do whats best.

I think its commonly agreed that the most important goals of this first event were social. We’ll be doing another one in 6 months which will be more technically focused as we’ll have Indiana bits to poke, prod, and discuss.

These events are key to our growth, when the next one hits you need to be there. There were several notable people missing from the event and I know that at least I took it as a sign… for example, of the 7 members of our OGB, only 3 were present, my opinion of the other 4 has diminished significantly.

Thanks to everyone involved in putting the Summit together, to the attendees who took the time to go, and for the powers that be at Sun who gave the green light to make the event such a success!