Attended the OSI days Bangalore. One of the places where it makes sense to host a conference where you can find a large numbers of people on any technology under the sun. Open source unifies the birds working on different tech stacks .NET , JAVA , ROR, PHP, LAMP,MEAN folks [ how mean or cheap can you get 🙂 with open source ] etc. Scripting all shades and Mobile App developers worth their app.
It was organized by EFY the magazine company primarily with other Open source vendors / sponsors with their stalls.Microsoft had a big stall along with Oracle and HP all out there hustling and trading their wares enticing developers to get hooked on their bandwagon. Microsoft had a dev camp where a set of exercises were loaded onto PCs which was open to developers to type , program the exercises and get a real world feel of how quick or easy it is to get your app moment. There were applications ranging from test programs to play around with Mongo DB, windows HTML mobile applications. Nice way to get developers to at least take a peek at your offerings.
And there were goodies like T-shirts, portable chargers and like to make it worth somebody’s time to try them.
It is not about who makes the box anymore.
HP Helium was out their doing their social marketing around the Helium Open Stack cloud. They have a strong private cloud offering with Open Stack as the standard and a lot of evangelizing around that was there to see.Tweet to get early bird prizes,quizzes,selfies randomly picked and prizes ranged from HP tablets to laptops in some cases. Over all it was a big change to see traditional companies playing the social game well , getting public attention on social media. With game changing and disruptive technologies all around HP has thrown their hat in the cloud arena with the Helium offering. As it is now “It is no longer about who makes the box”.The infrastructure game has changed forever with cloud adoption. Nobody wants the CAPEX with an expensive box in their premises unless it has a strong rational these days.The only way HP can push their Hardware capability into the markets is for people to go the private cloud way and then push their servers where it has a business use case. Overall a lot of action happening on the front with HP having partnered with Cloud foundry to make it happen among other key cloud initiatives Good to see large companies stepping up their game or risk being outpaced. Microsoft adopting the cloud game with Office 365 was spot on and help them stay in the game. Sure HP played their social media strategy well here and more so get developers to talk about you and the market will follow suit.
Notable misses from an Open Source conference were Redhat,Google,Python community but nevertheless it was a good representation overall. May be it is all that you can squeeze into a two day program with back to back parallel sessions.
Some random takeaways
1. Companies of all sizes and shapes are adopting open source. Some large companies now have an open source practice, Wipro had a stall there.
2. People choose the technology stack based on what they are comfortable while building products and not necessarily the best out there for a given problem. It is difficult for one to know what is good with rapid technology changes.
3. The shelf life of any product built with Open Stack is only a few months to a year. Then on they either get upgraded or move to something better.
4.Mostly backend business logic is still written in good old C,C++,Python,Java,COBOL and people do not tamper with them although new technology intrusion is always enticing.
5. GoLang preferred against Python where concurrency was an issue.Although Python measured up against GoLang with no CPU latency being there.
6. A lot of product ideas being thrown around and some folks detailed what their journey was like. Good comment was when someone said you adopted SMART technologies to get here, the response was it took us several years to get SMART. So it was never a overnight thing.
7.Stackoverflow and user forums for the Open Source technologies apart from Google GOD solved people steer clear of roadblocks and bottlenecks during their open source journey.
8. Although getting people to adopt open source is hard with no support but once the team adopts to the stack it works great and an unmatched ROI. Else your TCO is eaten away by the hardware/software vendors whom you are depended on. One mention here is a tool called sendy which costs around 60$ but once configured and setup you can send mail blasts to your email list for a lifetime with that initial cost.
9. You need to be generous to allow people to use your stuff for free and this promotes your to leverage on the collective strengths of an intelligent community whom you can bank on for updates , fixes , issues etc.
10. Leveraging Open Source is a two way street it always works with both the parties being benefited Once you have an enhancement that serves the larger community you contribute back into the pool. Opportunity here is a two way street.
People pay for the shiny stuff large user base gets you marketing
You need to be generous to allow a large percentage of people to use and benefit from your goodies. Evernote , all the cloud storage option providers ( gmail, one drive, dropbox) all of these fall into this category. They get their revenues based on the premium few users and good ad strategy for them to allow people to use their stuff. This is more popular as the freemium model, keep a large part of it free but for the shiny wares on your stack charge a premium. You need to give to get back. It works the other way also as you can almost crowd source efforts on your development if the open source takes off. You do not have to employ the services of people by employing people to take care of enhancements , future releases, bug fixes. This is a good advertising strategy for people who do not have ad revenues. Keep your product free , get people to comment on it crib and better still have them validate it for you free and then decide which of the features of the product you want people to pay for it. Quite disruptive coming to think of it , if its well executed.