Red Hat Summit 2019

Red Hat Summit 2019 was my first Red Hat Summit. I heard quite a few people saying it was the largest one they’d been to yet and that it used to be a pretty small convention. That was not the case this year; it used up the entire Boston Convention Center. I’ve said before, concerning video games, that the best use of trophies and gamification of the meta-game are to get the player to take actions they wouldn’t normally take. Red Hat did a pretty good job of this during the summit. They provided points for filling out session surveys, which most wouldn’t have done otherwise. They also provided points for posting to the convention’s feed. I normally wouldn’t have, but reaching 1000 points netted the player some money towards merchandise at the RHEL store. So I posted about getting my custom t-shirt. This led others to comment on my post to find out where it was taking place and I was able to direct them there.

I’ve been to lots and lots of tech convention keynotes and they’re usually only slightly less boring than a commencement speech. But all the keynotes at the Red Hat Summit were very exciting and had lots of good speakers. A lot of the excitement came from the way that many different hackers, companies, and charities were making use of RHEL technology to do things. Of course, the most exciting were the charities. At Wednesday’s keynote there was a group here in Baltimore using FarmOS (based on RHEL, naturally) to teach kids about urban farming and change the conversation about where our food should come from. Another group was a school in Israel teaching programming to Jewish and Palestinian kids as a way to show them that they were not really so different from each other. Finally, a school in Minneapolis used tech and dance to get some kids into STEM.

Other Red Hat-planned events that I loved included the launch of RHEL8, which was done with a pretty incredible amount of fanfare. On the show floor I finally learned what Foreman is – the new Satellite upstream. I didn’t like Spacewalk, the upstream for Sat 5.0 and below, but Foreman looks pretty great. I plan to use it on my home network. After hearing various speakers talk about operators in Openshift, on Thursday I attended a session that finally made them make sense for me. They really change the game in Openshift and it’s neat to see so much innovation in that space. Also I got a preview of how a future release of podman will have a subcommand (pod) that will essentially be able to replace docker-compose.

On the more personal side, one of my highlights was Tuesday when I had lunch with a bunch of guys from Pixar. We got to geek out on a lot of the technical side of the company. Also, I walked 10.3 miles that day according to my Garmin – and that was pretty typical for most of the days. Speaking of fitness, on the Wednesday of the convention I ran my first-ever 5k which was blast. I actually placed really well and surprised myself with my times.