As the founder and program chair for the Open Source Business Conference, I know what a business conference looks like. And as a regular attendee of the excellent O'Reilly Open Source Convention (OSCON), I know what a great developer event looks like, too.
But this year's inaugural LinuxCon, put on by the business and developer-friendly Linux Foundation, is trying to bring the two worlds together this September in Portland.
I think it might succeed.
Linux and all open-source software has matured to a place where end-user involvement in the development process is no longer a nice-to-have, but a requirement, as I suggested earlier today. This collaboration is a critical piece of the development process for any open-source project or company, and it's something the Linux Foundation continues to demonstrate itself well-qualified to generate.
LinuxCon comes at an interesting time in the industry, one of economic uncertainty that Linux and open source are well-suited to overcome. Linux and open-source expertise translate across companies. Knowledge isn't necessarily specialized on one product; it is focused on technologies and a transparent development process where everyone learns by contributing. It's a really smart place to focus a career.
It's also a great place to grow one's understanding. Developers can learn the business issues driving Linux and open-source adoption, while business-minded folks can participate in developer sessions that should provide insight into optimal ways to profit from open source. It's the first time that the Linux Foundation will bring all of the Linux stakeholders into one place to work on the technology and business aspects of advancing the operating system. And, it's open to everyone. No invitation required.
So consider yourself invited.
The LinuxCon program is now public and includes some exceptional speakers, perhaps the biggest name being Linus Torvalds, creator of the Linux kernel. LinuxCon also includes Mark Shuttleworth (Canonical), Bob Sutor (IBM), James Bottomley (Novell), and others. I'm privileged to join the LinuxCon faculty, hosting a panel called "Beyond the Hype: The True Cost of Linux and Open Source."
I've become a huge fan of the Linux Foundation. I think it's doing great development work with Linux (including Moblin), but it's also doing a great job of growing and coalescing the Linux community. LinuxCon is a great example of this. I'm looking forward to it.
Follow me on Twitter @mjasay.