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We sat down with Jimmy Chunga, the Salt Project Community Manager, to discuss some key takeaways from this year’s SaltConf on November 3 and 4. SaltConf21 was the two-day virtual conference celebrating The Salt Project, the python-based open source software for event-driven IT automation, remote task execution, and configuration management.

Jimmy’s most prominent takeaway was that “the overall sentiment aligned with this year’s conference theme of ‘Bigger, Better, Faster, Stronger’ and this is exactly how the community embraced Salt and SaltConf21. When VMware acquired SaltStack last October, there was a fair amount of skepticism and worry, which left some feeling as though their community would be irreparably changed in a way that would be detrimental to the Salt Project. SaltConf21 was our first opportunity, post-acquisition, to socialize and network with community members on a large scale, and we were thrilled to hear that everyone’s responses were overwhelmingly positive.”

“Another surprising takeaway was the contagious enthusiasm surrounding the innovations and leading edge technology inherent in the Salt Project,” Jimmy notes. This includes the formal announcement of Idem, which is built on a sibling to Salt called Pop. 

Considerations for SaltConf22

Planning is already underway for next year’s conference. “Regardless of today’s virtual conference exhaustion, the community members and the Salt Team had a great time during this year’s scheduled networking events,” Jimmy says. “In previous in-person gatherings, we had ‘networking hours’ because introductions are crucial during these types of events. This year, being virtual, we set up an online and randomized ‘speed dating format’ and each person got a chance to talk to several of the other attendees. In fact, the response to this opportunity was so well-received that people were jumping right to the scheduled networking time as soon as sessions ended.” 

To be virtual or not to be?

“Virtual may be the way to go, even if we have the choice for an in-person venue,” Jimmy concludes. “The hidden gem with a free, virtual event is that it allows the entire world to attend and contribute, with a click of a button—and the Salt team wants to continue tapping into that opportunity.” 

If you missed SaltConf 21, see Tom Hatch’s keynote and the sessions here.

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