As soon as you walk into the doors of the Columbia Convention Center…you can feel the energy. It is more than hustle and bustle, it is more than meeting new people, it is even more than learning about open source software…it is about the community. There was even a special Gowalla spot created for the event…pretty cool!
I spent some time talking to speakers from the conference, that had lots to say. “POSSCON is a great event, lovely convention center, fabulous event, spectacular speakers,if you at all are interested in open source or that technology community wrap around…this is a place to be,” says Phil Yanov who is the founder of GSATC.
So what is POSSCON…well, let’s take a second to figure that out. POSSCON is the Palmetto Open Source Software Conference hosted in Columbia, SC. It is a community of conversation around the idea of how open source software can provide solutions for businesses, educators, healthcare, developers, and the list goes on. So you ask, what is open source software?
“Open source is more than cost reductions and savings, it is also about creating effective, productive, high performance production shops and there is a real connection between the empowerment that open source gives developers and their ability to put together solutions that really matter for their end users,” says Jeffery Hammond, Principal Analyst for Forrestor Research.
Wikipedia defines open source software (OSS) as computer software that is available in source code form for which the source code and certain other rights normally reserved for copyright holders are provided under a software license that permits users to study, change, improve and at times also to distribute the software.
WOW, what does that mean? Well, it is software that openly allows users to use, alter, and integrate to fit their needs. Think of a piece of software you have recently purchased and thought, man if I could change it to fit my needs. Well, open source provides that opportunity.
POSSCON is a conference that is surrounded with professionals, educators, students, executives who find value in learning and collaborating to find and build software solutions to meet their needs…outside of proprietary software. Everywhere you look, there are leaders inside the walls of the convention center; teaching, educating, and providing best practices surrounding how they are using open source software to solve problems.
Leslie Hawthorn, Open Source Outreach Manager at Oregan State University said it best, “It is also great to see so many people from the business community here, breaking out of those traditional ‘hackers’ ‘suits’ silos.”
POSSCON is more that just software…it is a community. A community of people connecting, engaging, and problem solving. This open source community is a place to freely exchange ideas, connect, solve a problem, and learn something new. “There area lot of people here and they are engaged!” Jim Jagielski, President Apache Software Foundation/Redhat goes on to say, “As you are talking, people are typing and listening…they are engaged! There is a wide variety of people here…we have students, we have CIO’s, CTO’s, we have guys in jeans, people in suites and ties.”
I think William Hurley, better known as Whurley and CTO of Chaotic Moon Studios, summed up the conference rather nicely, “At the end of the day, you want to go somewhere where you are surrounded by like minded people, who have some similar goals and objectives, who are totally willing to share very honestly, very openly…everything they know…and this is the a great environment for that. POSSCON is a little bit more about active participation.”
Enough said…check out POSSCON!