Impressions From NYCBSDCon 2010

2010-11-14 13:33:04 by jdixon

I was invited to give another talk at this year's NYCBSDCon. Motivated by Adam Jacob's Choose Your Own Adventure presentation at Velocity, I tried to include together a series of smaller talks into one session. Unfortunately, I funny thing happened on the way to the forum. A week before the event, I fat-fingered some commands on my laptop and blew away the slides. The recreated version was quite a bit different than originally advertised, but I think it went pretty well. Comments went from "your best talk ever" to "good, but the pacing on BSD is Dying was better".

Worried that the main presentation would be too short, I threw in a bonus CYOA-style web story. This went over better than expected, so I've put it online if you want to see it for yourself.

Will Backman (of BSDTalk fame) was kind enough to provide me with the audio from my talk already. I'm going to start syncing it up with the slides this week and then perhaps later on with the video taken by Patrick (awesome A/V guy at the event).

My initial impressions from the event:

  • Nice building, so-so location. Cooper Union is hard to find at first (Google Maps has no idea) but it's an attractive facility. Complicating matters is that it isn't near a subway station, so I had to take a taxi from Penn Station. And apparently the stations that are close were closed due to construction.
  • Good social. They had a room reserved at the B Bar, which seems to be a hopping place. It got pretty loud inside once the native crowds rolled in, so quite a few of us rolled outside and had a very interesting discussion on the future of BSD innovation. My only complant would be the lack of quality beer offerings. The choice of craft beers in your typical Maryland/DC establishment blows away what I saw in a couple places in New York.
  • Great turnout. I think George mentioned that they broke 200 registrations this year. That's a big jump up from the 130-or-so from 2008. Glad to see the conference growing, especially with the bi-annual scheduling.
  • Good talks, nothing mind-blowing. One of the themes I'd really like to hear more about is where BSD might be going with regards to virtualization and scalability. It's nice to hear about finished or ongoing development efforts, but I'd also like to hear what sort of roadmap the BSDs are working on (if it exists at all). Many BSD developers readily dismiss The Cloud as marketing buzz-speak, but the fact is that virtualization, scalability challenges and resource oversubscription are here to stay. I'm very happy to see FreeBSD adopt DTrace and ZFS from OpenSolaris (which start to get us there), but there's so much more to do.

As mentioned in my presentation, I fully expect this year's talk will be my last. Consider it the last chapter of my "BSD trilogy", as it were. I'm glad that so many people came out to hear me talk and seemed to enjoy themselves. I look forward to being just another attendee next year, waiting to see where the BSD movement takes us.