January 19, 2017
This October and November I was given the chance to attend three FreeBSD-related conferences and meetups, thanks to The FreeBSD Foundation and Google.
Every year, Google hosts a Summer of Code Mentor Summit in the Bay Area, and this year I was lucky enough to be able to attend. The Mentor Summit is a place where mentors and organization administrators from many different projects can get together and discuss all aspects of Google Summer of Code, Google Code-in, and open source in general. Spanning two days, lots of discussions took place including: attracting more students and attracting students from under-represented countries into GSoC; ideas for improving the Summer of Code program; and Google covering their future directions for GSoC. Overall, it was a very useful meeting, and being able to contribute our experiences of GSoC into the process will hopefully prove to be beneficial to both FreeBSD and GSoC in the long run.
I was also able to attend the FreeBSD Developer and Vendor Summit and MeetBSD, both held at the University of California, Berkeley. The Developer/Vendor Summit is a good opportunity to discuss with downstream users of FreeBSD how they are making use of the technology, as well as gaining more of an understanding about any issues they have. I assisted with the process by taking minutes of some of the sessions. I also had chance to discuss some projects I am currently working on with other FreeBSD developers.
Immediately following the Summit was the two-day MeetBSD conference. There were a number of very interesting talks on FreeBSD and related topics, including an excellent talk by Michael Dexter on bhyve, the FreeBSD hypervisor, and Kylie Liang presenting on the work Microsoft has done supporting FreeBSD on Hyper-V. There were talks on TrueOS (formerly PC-BSD) and FreeNAS, as well as an excellent talk by Rod Grimes on the early days of FreeBSD opening day two. I also took the opportunity to further talk with FreeBSD developers on aspects of my current FreeBSD work, including having the chance to talk with Adrian Chadd about the 802.11 network stack and work I am doing with several WiFi drivers. Finally, I had a chance to spend time with the FreeBSD Cluster Administration Team and discuss several current and future areas of work there.
Overall, the experience was very valuable for both myself and hopefully FreeBSD, and I am very grateful to the FreeBSD Foundation for providing me the ability to attend these conferences.