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Signing Back On: Highlights from Open Source Summit North America 2020

And just like that, Open Source Summit North America has come and gone. Every year, this event—presented by The Linux Foundation—provides a unique opportunity for cross-collaboration within the open source community, and this year was no different…except that there was no sprinting between breakout sessions or sneaking in the back after a session started, as this year’s event was all virtual. Programmers, developers and like-minded peers enjoyed insightful keynotes, informational breakout sessions and more, all from the comfort of their own homes. 

As a Gold Sponsor of Open Source Summit 2020, VMware and several of our experts shared best practices and insights, as well as presentations of their open source work. If you happened to miss any VMware sessions, fear not – you can register for the event for free and gain access to all of the sessions on demand! Once you’ve registered, click on the images below to navigate to each session. Check out some highlights from our team’s presentations. 

Keynote Presentation 1 – Dirk Hohndel & Linus Torvalds

Linus Torvalds, Creator of Linux and Git, and VMware’s Vice President and Chief Open Source Officer Dirk Hohndel, kicked off Open Source Summit with Monday’s keynote moderator discussion. Torvalds shared his annual glimpse into the kernel development process and RC 3.8 and the two discussed diversity in their respective open source communities. 

Dirk and Linus also discussed the generational gaps in the Linux community. While most Linux leaders are in their 50s and 60s, the ones who are doing much of the groundwork are college students or new graduates. When Dirk inquired if there is a generation in their 30s moving up through the ranks to take over the next wave of maintainership, Linus said that there is, but not enough. He also noted that it’s hard to find developers who really look at other people’s code and help funnel it upstream to the kernel maintenance tree, stating “that’s something which I think we need to continue working on…” Check out the full conversation between Dirk and Linus for more insights from these open source masterminds. 

Growing Participation of Your OSS Projects – Dawn Foster

The next VMware-led session focused on growing participation in your company’s open source projects with VMware’s Director of Open Source Community Strategy Dawn Foster. While she noted that there is no one-size-fits-all solution to encouraging others to participate in your company’s open source project, she did offer three main tips for growing open source contribution: 

  • Tip #1: Be transparent. Use public communication channels that allow equal and common access for all contributors to discuss the project. 
  • Tip #2: Remove barriers to contribution. What’s a barrier? It could be anything from holding meetings in a single time zone to a CLA process that makes it difficult for developers to contribute. 
  • Tip #3: Encouraging participation by clearly marking good-first issues and leaving space for people outside of your company to contribute.These are but two simple actions that can help your project soar to new heights. 

How to Ansible, a Tutorial – John Hawley

Lucky open Source Summit attendees got the chance to watch VMware Open Source Developer John Hawley lead a tutorial on how to Ansible. Ansible is an automation framework used by admins to efficiently log into all of the machines they are responsible for. In his session, John explained the basics of Ansible, from getting it set up and running, to passing data, fetching information and generally becoming comfortable with the basics of configuration management. 

Firewalls with NFTables – John Hawley

In John Hawley’s second session, he gave an introduction to nftables, which is quickly becoming the de facto standard for network filtering on Linux. John noted that for every operating system that is connected to the internet, there is always some cybersecurity risk. That’s where network packet filtering comes in. John explained why nftables are a major step forward for networking, why it’s taken so long, and provided examples for deploying network filtering using nftables. 

Finding Sources of Latency in Your Linux System – Steven Rostedt

Today’s computer systems are so complex that when a task or response to an event takes longer than expected, finding the culprit is challenging. In his session, Steven Rostedt discussed the Linux operating system and the many utilities it possesses that allow a user to see where things may be going awry. Additionally, Steven talked about the new synthetic event interface that allows users to create a histogram on the time it takes any two events to occur.

Bridging Security and Reality with Open Policy Agent – Rachel Leekin & Jamie Duncan

Next, Cloud Native Field Engineer Rachel Leekin and Jamie Duncan discussed Open Policy Agent (OPA), an open source, general-purpose policy enforcement engine that can be configured as a Kubernetes admission controller. OPA policies created by your team provide fine-grain control over workloads deployed in your Kubernetes cluster. Rachel and Jamie also analyzed real-world OPA use cases from Fortune 100 companies and provided practical examples and information to help improve Kubernetes security policies.

Getting Started Running Cloud-Native Apps with Cloud Foundry on Kubernetes – Sai Yerramopen source summit north america

Many users want to leverage the container orchestration and scalability that comes with Kubernetes, but struggle with thousands of lines of YAML when deploying their apps. That’s where the Cloud Foundry on Kubernetes project comes in, aiming to simplify the development and deployment of cloud-native apps on Kubernetes. Product Manager Sai Yerram discussed challenges app developers face while working with Kubernetes, the benefits of abstraction interfaces for app developers and a walkthrough of how to get started. 

Do You Want to Build a Helm Chart? – Paul Czarkowski

open source summit north america

Last but certainly not least, Developer Advocate Paul Czarkowski gave a detailed explanation of Helm, the go-to package management tool for Kubernetes. In his demo, Paul showed how to develop several Helm charts from scratch to deploy them to a fresh Kubernetes cluster, and how to upload and share them via a chart repository. 

For full, on-demand access to all of the sessions from Open Source Summit North America 2020, register for free here. And for more insights from our presenters, stay tuned to the Open Source Blog and follow us on Twitter (@vmwopensource). 


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