Tofu (thetofu) wrote,

Palmetto Open Source Software Conference

As some of you know I live in Charleston, SC. Likewise, you may know that South Carolina is not necessarily known as a technical state. The amount of software/engineering jobs are not the same as other states. Similar with technical students and people. That said, I went to the Palmetto Open Source Software Conference on Weds July 30th 2008. It was a one day conference at the University of South Carolina and I was pleasantly surprised.

The conference was well done, and apparently the concept and idea came about 3 months ago. So, with 3 months planning and a first year conference, it was very well done! The turn out was better than I imagined too. Being a developer/contributor of open source projects, I was in the minority, but there were plenty of people excited about open source and using it. All of the speakers were great and presented well. You can get a list at the website. This post is not about the specifics of the conference but the themes that seemed to be throughout each of the presentations and informal discussions.

One theme in the conference seemed to be pragmatic approaches to solving problems, be it business problems or just software problems. People wanted to use and used open source because it solved their problem and solved it well.

Another theme was "openness", being open in the way you do business, working with businesses and the open source community, and "open", in giving your employees the ability to improve your business, and the way they do work, by encouraging them to be curious and contribute or use open source.

And last, how does South Carolina find these kinds of employees. Ones that can solve problems, have a curiosity and can do most anything you ask of them (jack of all trades). The last theme or topic that was discussed brought questions on how to help students and others in South Carolina to be curious and excited about technology, solving technical problems, and using open source, to enrich and encourage that.

These are all old topics and nothing new, but pragmatic and open technical solutions are definitely the way to go, and seeing companies and programmers start to think this way is very very encouraging for South Carolina! I just wish more of them knew what XMPP was. :)

Thanks to everyone involved and for starting this important topic of conversation in South Carolina!

I definitely recommend everyone in South Carolina and the surrounding areas to go back next year!
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