Recap of SCaLE 14x and the Overall Winner is...


Spoiler Alert! The Community rocked SCaLE 14x!

Far and away the biggest winner at the show was the community. Dozens of Community Managers and Developer Relations roles were at the show. Jono Bacon (GitHub Community Manager, and author of “The Art of Community”) was on hand, along with Bryan Lunduke (Community Manager at SuSE), and dozens of others. Thursday and Friday had a huge number of talks on or about the community and how we’re working together to grow open source.

Capping off the community presence was Bad Voltage Live. Run by a group of community managers, Bad Voltage is a funny and irreverent look at tech and open source. They excelled again this year, showcasing tech like the Mycroft (an open source Amazon Echo device).
Ok so the Ubuntu Phone is not hitting on all cylinders, but expect me to get and review a phone in the near future though. Ubuntu’s work in the cloud is actually quite interesting, and might make some of our predictions wrong. The barrier to entry with OpenStack has been twofold. One, it’s exceedingly fragile. Two, it’s exceedingly difficult to get working in the first place.

Ubuntu has been doing some serious work there, and according to founder Mark Shuttleworth 70% of the open cloud is running on Ubuntu. That’s a pretty astounding stat. They achieved this with technologies like Ubuntu MaaS (Metal as a Service). Metal as a Service automates deployment of a linux OS image onto bare metal, which is the prerequisite to putting OpenStack on top with OpenStack Autopilot. This is a huge time and complication saver.
So you have a cloud, now what? Ubuntu JuJu allows the definition of services called Charms running Ubuntu Core, and the assembly of these services into applications with the push of a button. What really makes JuJu interesting is the ability to use other people’s Charms to democratize DevOps.

What's Iffy?

There are literally dozens of Unikernel projects and startups, and most were at SCaLE 14x. The implementation of the various Unikernel projects is iffy, often requiring an obscure programming language, or other headache to properly implement.

Ubuntu Core, CoreOS and similar projects are likely to be the way forward. The ecosystem is larger, and there isn’t a large enough detriment to using a bit more space to justify Unikernel at this point.

For those that don’t know, PostgreSQL is an SQL database. There was a huge PostgreSQL presence at SCaLE. PostgreSQL had a 2 day talk track, and at least one booth on the show floor. There’s a huge “but”. PostgreSQL has always had a huge presence at Open Source Conventions, a huge fan following, but minimal market penetration. I talked with quite a few architects, and operations engineers, and few had more than one PostgreSQL instance in their environment. Generally speaking it was a backend to an ITSM tool, and they never touched it.

Show Floor Standout!

Facebook had a large presence at SCaLE. They were recruiting engineers, showing off custom hardware used to run Facebook, and doing primers on their various software inventions that makes their social media platform tick. Facebook’s candor was profoundly impressive for a company of that side. Their community managers engaged in a lengthy and quite candid discussion as to how Facebook manages the world’s largest online community. It’s not easy, and Facebook is still having difficulties figuring out how to discern the difference between abuse and diverse opinion. It’s even harder in an election year, and I’m sure they can’t wait for November to be over.

SCaLE 15x is around the corner along with a few other great shows. I’m planning to attend GalaxZ ‘16, SELF, OSCON, and LISA this year, join me!

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