Open Source Bridge Conference – One of the Best

Posted by Scott on Jun 22nd, 2009

From June 17 – 19 I attended the Open Source Bridge Conference in Portland. This was a relatively small, all-volunteer run event that really impressed me. The event was created in response to O’Reilly moving a couple of high-profile conferences out of Portland this year, including OSCon and RailsConf.

Open Source Bridge (OSB) focused on the use and development of open source software in many contexts. I really liked that several of the talks were on the theme of using open source in government and business, including making a living from working with open source software. Portland Mayor Sam Adams gave a one of the keynote talks, and I sincerely believe he “gets it” or at the very least wants to get it, and recognizes Portland’s unique positioning as a center for open source software developers to live and work.

I’ve been to a number of conferences before, from tiny ad-hoc “unconferences” such as BarCamp to huge O’Reilly ones such as RailsConf. I have to say OSB was one of the best events I’ve ever been to, and definitely trumps all of the other ones in terms of value. They focused on hosting the conference at a quality venue (the Oregon Convention Center) and had an outstanding 24-hour hacker lounge on the 23rd floor of the downtown Hilton. But to lower costs, they didn’t spend oodles on things that don’t really matter at events, such as catered lunches.

I am deeply grateful for the work of OSB’s organizers and am absolutely certain I’ll be back next year. I attended interesting and relevant sessions, got to meet some great people, and did so without having to spend several hundred dollars.

Here’s a video from the hacker lounge taken on the first night of the conference:

2 Responses

  1. tending the garden › Kicking off Open Source Bridge planning Says:

    […] team was very structured. I like to think that we managed things well, and our attendees were pleased with the […]

  2. ZenLinux Blog » Blog Archive » Open Source Bridge Will Rock Your Socks Again This Year Says:

    […] a new first for Portland, OR – the birth of the Open Source Bridge technical conference. In a previous post I expressed a great deal of enthusiasm about how awesome last year’s event was. Those […]

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