All Things Open 2016

So I had the privilege of going to All Things Open this year.

It was awesome.

It was local, here in Raleigh. So I didn’t have to pay for flights/hotels etc.

They had world class speakers from companies ranging from Microsoft to PayPal to RedHat, Facebook and GitHub.

ProcessMaker was also present. We sponsored the event and so we were able to talk to a lot of people and show them how ProcessMaker can simplify their workflow needs and help them automate their core business processes.

So, I just wanted to share some of the interesting tools and concepts that I learned about during the conference.

Day 1

The Concept of Serverless

As we know, The Cloud is becoming more and more prevalent with every passing day. But people are still using the concept of the server. You spin up an EC2 instance in AWS, which is a server. You create a VPS in DigitalOcean or other cloud providers.

Adrian Pomilio from Mapp Digital gave a good walkthrough of understanding how with AWS Lambda and API Gateway, you no longer think about your application in terms of server-client concepts, because it eliminates the need to spin up and maintain servers. You just write code, deploy it to AWS Lambda, and it takes care of all of it for you.

Pretty awesome stuff.

Avoiding Vendor Lock In

This leads me into the next session I attended – how to avoid the pitfalls of falling into vendor lock in by Kire Filipovski from Walmart Labs.

Walmart decided to completely revamp their online services a few years back. They had the incredible advantage of not actually having many online services. This meant that they could essentially write it all from scratch, with the latest and greatest web technologies without the problems normally associated with legacy systems.

Therefore, they thought about how to architect the new online services platform very carefully, so as to avoid having the legacy system problem in the future, as well as avoid any type of business risk associated with locking into specific systems/vendors.

One of these problems are, of course, vendor lock in. Yeah, Amazon has all these truly incredible added value services. Yeah, big companies like Netflix, Slack, MLB, airbnb, Dropbox, Adobe and many many others run on AWS.

But, for a company the size of Walmart, which has more than 5k stores just in the U.S. and with revenue of almost 500 BILLION dollars, they could not take the risk of AWS, for whatever reason, falling or going insolvent (however unlikely and unprobable that reality would be).

Therefore, they decided to create a hybrid cloud that runs on their own datacenter which uses OpenStack (which is open source, awesome), AWS, Azure, Google and Rackspace.

In order to be able to do this, they acquired a company called oneops.com. This allows them to create and maintain servers and infrastructure in any datacenter and with any vendor while avoiding the pitfalls of vendor lock in.

The biggest drawback with this approach is you don’t get the great stuff that each individual vendor provides on top of their infrastructure, like AWS Lambda and many others.

But for a company the size of Walmart, they couldn’t take the business risk associated with being lock into 1 vendor.

I thought that this was a particularly interesting talk.

NativeScript & Angular2

Jen Looper from Telerik gave a great talk about using Angular2 in NativeScript and showed a really sweet app built in NativeScript that allowed you to create a light show that is based on a design you draw and a song you choose.

Jen was pretty funny and had an awesome slidedeck with fun giphys and made the talk really engaging! Definitely would go to another talk of hers again.

MySQL Data Encryption At Rest

I learned about the new data encryption capabilities that MySQL and MariaDB are now offering from Valarie Parham-Thompson from Pythian.

With these new functionalities offered by both these databases, you will be able to now encrypt data at rest without the normal performance hits that you usually get by using the usual methods.

Hansible

I managed to stop by a couple of the vendors while hustling from one talk to the next.

Hansible had a presence and I talked to them about their product. It’s essentially RedHat’s version of Chef and Puppet. These tools enable developers and sysadmins to write infrastructure as code. You can write scripts that create servers and environments. Whether these servers are being created in vmware on a local server rack in your company’s datacenter or in AWS or Azure. It doesn’t matter, you just write the script and it can take care of everything with the click of a button.

12 Factors To Cloud Success

The last talk of day 1 that I went to was give by Rafael Benevides who is the Director of Developer Experience at RedHat.

Rafael gave a talk about the 12 factors to cloud success which talked about all the great advantages of companies moving to the cloud and how to use the cloud in an effective way, more conceptual than practical.

For example, Rafael talked more about concepts and best practices and why to use cloud technology, as opposed to which tools and vendors to use.

And Rafael gave some free shirts, books and stickers at the end! Yay, free stuff!

Day 2

Microsoft Stand Up Comedy

By far, the best session of the conference was during the keynote. Scott Hanselman from Microsoft was probably the funniest tech talk I have ever heard. He combined useful information and knowledge about the web and where the web is going with some of the best geek humor I’ve ever heard. It even including some serious Microsoft knocks!

Apache Cordova Mobile Performance

Dorris Chen from Microsoft talked about how to achieve better performance when writing cross-browser Cordova mobile applications.

Dorris talked about best practices and do’s and don’ts.

Open Source @ Netflix

Andrew Spyker from Netflix talked about how Netflix builds and distributes their open source software (OSS).

Netflix has to date:

  • 86.7 M members
  • A few thousand employees
  • More than 500 microservices
  • Tens of thousands of virtual machines

Netflix does open source for a number of reasons – easy to find talent, access to many programs that already solved the problem they have, helping the industry align with open source to open source content and studios and hollywood.

There are actually entire companies that have taken the Netflix OSS and created entire offerings on top of it.

You can find some of the companies that use the Netflix OSS here: http://netflix.github.io/powered-by-netflix-oss.html

Andrew also talked about some of the challenges they face when creating OSS and how they overcome these challenges on a daily basis.

Lightening Talks

Opensource.org had some lightening talks during lunch.

Fostering Open Source Communities @ Facebook

Christine Abernathy from Facebook talked about how Facebook is working to help foster open source communities.

The Evolution of the Modern Web

Rachel Andrew from edgeofmyseat.com talked to us about her experience over the past 20 years as the web has evolved from tape-like hard drives to where we are today.

Enterprise Data Search in the Cloud

Sameer Maggon from Measured Search talked about how the future of enterprise apps is all about open source and cloud computing.

Containerization @ Netflix

I enjoyed Andrew’s talk so much about what Netflix is doing in the open source world that I decided to go hear him talk about how Netflix works with containers, Titus.

They spin up over 65k containers per day. PER DAY.

Summary

To summarize, All Things Open was absolutely awesome. Tons of open source and new emerging technologies. I had the pleasure of meeting a lot of interesting people.

I will absolutely come back again next year!

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