All Things Open 2017 Conference

The All Things Open Conference took place at the convention center downtown Raleigh. Raleigh is the capital of North Carolina and has a population size of roughly around half a million. The city is named after Sir Walter Raleigh who helped establish the lost Roanoke colony. If you haven’t heard of the Roanoke colony before, here is a quick history lesson. The colony is known for its settlers mysteriously disappearing and the only clue to what may have happened to them was a mysterious word carved in a tree “CROATOAN”. Today, Raleigh along with Durham and Chapel Hill are known for their scientific research.


My plane landed in Raleigh early in the day. It was a beautiful day, a bit breezy nonetheless, but the sun was out. I planned to arrive early so I would have some time to explore the city before the conference. I took an Uber to my Airbnb and settled in. The Airbnb was a spacious shared room with a window and a single bunkbed with a nightstand on its side.

The location of the Airbnb was great. It took only a few minutes to get to the downtown area. To put it into perspective, the cost of an Uber ride to get to the downtown area cost me around $6.00.

Exploring the City

As I entered the downtown area, I came across the Red Hat linux headquarters. Red Hat linux was the presenting sponsor of the conference. It is a well known, prominent company that was founded in 1993. The company started off as a business catalog that sold open source software. One year later, 1994, they came out with a linux distro which became huge success.

Coffee Shops

42 & Lawerence

As I explored the city I found 2 coffee shops. The first coffee shop I visited was called 42 & Lawerence. 42 & Lawerence is a coffee laboratory that sourced all of their products from local farmers. Their interior design was contemporary and modern in style. The milk they used to make the cappuccino that I ordered came from Jersey cows. It had an interesting, good, flavor. It did not taste like any other cappuccino I had before.

Sir Walters Coffee

The second coffee shop that I visited was called Sir Walters Coffee. Named after the 1500 century poet, writer, and adventurer Sir Walter Raleigh who helped establish the doomed colony I talked about earlier. Sir Walter Coffee was both a coffee shop and a coffee bar, and they offered a unique selection of alcoholic and nonalcoholic signature coffee drinks. It was a walking distance away from the convention center. It became my unwind destination for the rest of the trip.

Day 1 of All Things Open

I went to the Raleigh convention center to get checked in for the conference and to get my conference badge. I arrived little before 7 am because it was advised by the event newsletter to come early to avoid waiting in long lines. After I got checked in, I went to look at the various technology vendors that were demoing their product. Here are a few of those vendors :




Opening Keynotes

Tim Yeaton, CMO of Redhat

For the opening keynote, the CMO of Red Hat Linux, Tim Yeaton, gave a talk on the influence of open source technology around us. Here is a video of that talk.

Jake Flomenber, Accel Ventures (@jflomenb)

Jake shared valuable insights on how the enterprise technology landscape is changing and the how open source technology is influencing this change.

Sara Chipps, founder of Jewlbots (Sara Chipps)

Sara Chipps gave a talk about her company Jewelbot along with her company initiatives on empowering girls to learn to code. She created Jewelbots to motivate and inspire girls at a young age to get into technology.


Managing big data with HPCC Systems

A representative of HPCC Systems gave a talk on managing and querying big data using HPCC Systems.

Big Migration with

Sean from gave a talk about the challenges they faced while they were migrating from one cloud provider to another under the constraints of a hard deadline. During the question and answer portion of the talk, I asked Sean if some of their users links did not make it to the other cloud. His response was hilarious. Watch the video to find out.

Cost Control for AWS

Corey Quinn is system guru who specializes in AWS. His talks are very informative and educational, and I would recommend to everyone to go see him if they have the chance. Corey gave a talk on how to leverage tags to gauge the costs of particular technical business assets on AWS.

Making Educational Technical Videos

Gregg Pollack, founder of Code School, gave an excellent talk on creating effective technical educational videos. He elaborated on some common mistakes novice creators make, and he went into detail on various ways to prevent them. During the talk, he laid down a framework that can be used to convey your message to your audience in an organized way. His slideshow can be viewed here.


Towards the end of the day, I was invited to hang out with some of the speakers at the event. I met some cool people and made some new friends. We talked about Microsoft, Apple, and AWS.

Starting from left:

Latrece is director of Learning & Talent Management at LDR21 who has a fascination with technology. Brian and Alex are both writers and journalists for Nancy is writer and editor for Apress book publishing, and Fredrick is a senior product manager for Redhat Linux.

Day 2 of All Things Open

Opening Keynotes

Jeff Atwood, Co-founder of

It was the final day of the conference. The renowned co-founder of StackOverflow, Jeff Atwood(@codinghorror), did the opening keynote. He gave a talk about StackOverflow’s vision and described how it became the largest goto destination for developers looking for help. He also addressed his new open source project called Discourse and the direction the project is going.

John Papa on deploying Angular.js containers

After the opening key notes, John Papa gave a talk on deploying Angular.js applications with containers to the Azure cloud.

I was lucky to meet him afterwards. We talked about technology, frameworks, and Angular.js.

Lightning Talks

The lighting talk segment of the conference was available to anyone who wanted to share their knowledge about an interesting subject matter.

Jessica Rose (Jessica Rose)

Jessica Rose gave a lighting talk on imposter syndrome and how it is prevalent in the workplace. She went into detail describing what imposter syndrome is and how to spot it. She also suggested certain steps you can take to help someone navigate out of it if they have it.

Corey Quinn (Corey Quinn)

Corey Quinn did a comical parody called “Death of the enterprise salesmen” where he positioned himself as an enterprise salesmen and used his satire imagination to close an enterprise sale.

Amy Codes(@theamycode)

Amy Codes works for Rancher labs. She gave an excellent talk on docker containers and managing them with Kubernetes.

Closing Keynotes

At the end of the conference, the host gave us a closing recap. Over 3k technology enthusiasts have attended the All Things Open conference. They have growing by about 2k members since last year. They gave out some conference shirts and I was lucky to receive a book called the “devops handbook”. The book describes the various paths a devops engineer can take to increase the resilience of their infrastructure.


The experience was unforgettable and I met some really cool people at the event. The open source community is strong and will only continue to grow. I can’t wait until next year!

AWS Devops Guy (

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