Tag Archives: cposc

My Thoughts on the Central PA Open Source Conference

I love this new movement of small regional open source conferences that seem to be springing up everywhere. Democratizing the conference space by making it local and affordable is a wonderful thing. When I was at Ohio Linux Fest last year, I got told I should really check out what the folks in Harrisburg were doing with the Central PA Open Source Conference. Given that a trip to Harrisburg would also mean a good chance to visit friends in York as well, I submitted once their call for papers opened up. Having just gotten back from CPOSC, I can tell you they are doing some really great awesomeness there.

First off, the quality of the people at CPOSC is just really amazing. Every random conversation I ended up in was really compelling, and made me wish there was more time between sessions to have even more of those. I learned some very interesting things about mobile web development when I didn’t know, I learned quite a few interesting Drupal tricks that are invaluable, and I found a really vibrant and welcoming open source community in Central PA.

The facilities were brilliant. We were in the Technology Building for Harrisburg University, on the 12, 13, 14th floors, which were truly state of the art. Touch screen controls for all the rooms, power wired to all the desks, really good chairs… just all around brilliant. The flat screen displays in the hallway we even flipping through Linus quotes all day, which while a little detail, really helped set the atmosphere.

The organization was really tight, which I always appreciate as a speaker. The speaking blocks were 50 minutes, with 10 minutes in between. The organizers ensured every session started on time, and ended on time, giving 10, 5, and 1 minute warning cards. The graphics on these included Veloceraptors and Wolves, which I didn’t even realize until after my talk. A well run event is one that seems like no one is running it but, mysteriously, everything is just where it needs to be when it needs to be there. That’s was CPOSC to a T. To everyone that made CPOSC happen behind the scenes, I applaud you greatly.

The schedule at CPOSC was great. The speakers and content were top notch. I’ve now learned that on the presentation win scale there is something even better than a perfectly in context xkcd comic to make your point: using video from Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom to explain software architecture. My only regret on the speaker front is that by consuming one of the slots with my own talk, I inevitably collided with a talk I actually really wanted to see.  Oh well, thems the breaks.

Finally, my audience was great. I had somewhere between 50 – 60 people in my talk, all were very engaged, and really focused on what I was saying. I felt really good about how the presentation went (though I’ve of course got my mental list of things I’d change afterwards, it’s never a good talk without that), but I did feel that I was on my game. I got a number of great questions at the end of the talk, and people coming up to me later in the day asking more questions and just striking up conversations that followed from there (see point 1 about the quality of the people being excellent).

I can’t wait until CPOSC 2011, and will definitely do my darnedest to get down to it. Knowing how good the speaker pool is now, I’m going to have to make sure I keep my game up to play there.

Upcoming Talks

Things are going to be quiet here for a few days as I prep for 2 upcoming talks, both which are about aspects of Where is Io.  The first of which is this Saturday at the Central PA Open Source Conference, which I’m about 2/3 of the way through creating that presentation.  Here is the title slide:

The CPOSC presentation is about Android development, using Where is Io as a roadmap through some of the interesting parts of Android.

The second is coming up a week from today at the Mid Hudson Astronomical Association at SUNY New Paltz.  It’s called “Tracking the Movement of the Heavens” and is about the math and astronomy behind Where is Io.  There will be a little bit of content sharing between the two, but they’ll be quite different in many ways.

I’m really looking forward to both talks, especially now that I’ve got quite a bit of material and narrative for the first one nailed down, and a decent set of notes for the second one.

Central PA Open Source Conference open for registration

CPOSC is now open for registration.  It’s in Harrisburg PA on October 16th (a Saturday), which makes it about a 4 hour drive from here in Poughkeepsie, NY.  This will be my first year there, but based on the list of talks they’ve got posted I’m sure it’s going to be great, and not just because I’ll be talking ;).

If you are in the mid Atlantic area, and are interested in Linux and Open Source, you should check it out.

Speaking at Central PA Open Source Conference

The full agenda for the Central PA Open Source Conference is now out there, and I’m on the agenda:

Sean Dague: Solar System in your Pocket – Developing Android Applications

It started with a simple discussion after a local astronomy meeting trying to figure out which moons of Saturn we were looking at. This seemed like the perfect first Android application, building an astronomy simulator that would let me answer that question wherever I was. Little did I know that trying to do this would take me on a Journey through most of the major subsystems and interfaces in the Android SDK.

This talk will take you along on that journey of writing your first Android application. It will touch most of the major concepts involved in mobile development for Android, and many of the interfaces you’ll need to write you first application. Most importantly it will give you a list of things *not* to do when developing for the mobile space.

Sean Dague has been an open source software engineer in the IBM Linux Technology Center for the last 10 years. His spare time is split between the outdoors, amateur astronomy, and random bits of open source hacking.

I’ve been looking through all the talks listed, and I’m quite impressed.  I want to attend at least 2/3 of them, which is going to be a problem unless I can clone myself, as it’s a 3 track conference.  From an interest density level this looks like it’s going to be a really great conference, so I’m very excited to be going down for it.

This will also add some impetus to getting the 2.0 of Where is Io out there, which I’ve been hung up on building a custom view.  Once I get that one custom view finished, I should be back cranking out more regular releases.