Monday, June 11, 2012

BSDCan Trip Report: Ben Haga

The next trip report is from Ben Haga:

Without the generous support of the FreeBSD Foundation my trip to BSDCan 2012 would not have been possible. It was a great experience and I cannot thank the Foundation enough for the opportunity. Attending BSDCan was an excellent chance to meet the folks currently driving the future of FreeBSD. The experience of working alongside each of these esteemed developers is like getting to know, as Dan Langille put it, an "extended family."

I arrived in Ottawa on the evening of May 8th. After checking in at the Residences, I went, along with several Cluster Administrators, to an informal meeting at the Royal Oak. As I learned, drink and food at the Royal Oak is a fun BSDCan tradition.

On the first day of the Dev Summit, I met my fellow cohorts in the Cluster Administration group. This was a great experience and opportunity to get to know the folks I work with on a regular basis better. Throughout the day and stay in Ottawa, we talked over current issues and items to handle moving forward with cluster-related work and activities.  

May 9

The Dev Summit started off with a bang. First, was the Developer Summit registration, followed by an introductory session by John Baldwin. Shortly following the introductory session, I met up with fellow cluster administrators in order to spend time with one another and get to know each other better. In addition to getting to know each other face-to-face, we discussed the current state of the cluster(s).

After a successful hacking session with my colleagues, I headed to the PC-BSD-oriented Desktop session with Kris Moore and Dru Lavigne. This proved to be a valuable session for those running or interested in running PC-BSD on their desktop. Not only were we able to interact with those heavily involved in the PC-BSD project, but we were able to provide valuable feedback as well. Following the day's activities, a number of folks from the Ports crew as well as the Cluster Administrators group headed to the Clocktower Market to hang out and discuss happenings in the FreeBSD universe.  

May 10

The second day of the Developer Summit was no less exciting than the first. In the morning, after heading to breakfast at the Second Cup, I headed to the Admins working group. Although the meeting drew heavy attendance and was at times difficult to work as an entire group, we were successful in hammering out a number of details for future plans. During this time, the Yahoo! contingent was able to ascertain details for future deployment in the new home for the cluster hosted at Yahoo!. This will result in greater capacity and more robust infrastructure for the road ahead.

Later in the day, I spoke with several developers and through discussion found an opportunity to contribute to the NTP tree, which further piqued my interest in updating the NTP software in base. With this responsibility and past involvement with the software, I will be able to bring the NTP software in base to a modern state with bug fixes and improvements. At the end of the day, it was time for early BSDCan 2012 conference registration and a few beverages at The Royal Oak. Later in the evening, I met up with a party of others on the 15th floor hacker's lounge for general discussion and otherwise good time!  

May 11, 12

After the long evenings, nights, and evenings spent hacking on various projects and working with other FreeBSD enthusiasts on a number of topics, it was time for the BSDCan 2012 conference to begin. I attended the morning's introductory speech given by Dan Langille. From there, I hustled to the much anticipated talk by Kirk McKusick entitled, "An Overview of Locking in the FreeBSD Kernel." After Kirk's talk ended, I made it to Pawel Jakub Dawidek's talk, "auditdistd - Secure and reliable distribution of audit trail files", Ivan Voras' "Bullet Cache Balancing speed and usability in a cache server", and Russell Cattelan's "Fast reboots with kload."

In the evening, I attended Julian Elischer's talk, "FusionIO and FreeBSD", followed by "Work on callout(9)" by Davide Italiano. In addition, I attended "pkgng" by Baptiste Daroussin and "Solaris Boot Environments for FreeBSD" by Nikolai Lifanov. Overall, the talks were engaging and I found myself hoping for more time to capture more of the fantastic talks and presenters. Of course, no trip to BSDCan nor the Dev Summit would be complete without late night hacking and tunes in the first and fifteenth floor hacker lounges at the Residences. These were extremely productive and fun as well.  

May 13

After a long night of hacking with a number of esteemed compatriots, it was time for my journey in Ottawa to come to an end. BSDCan 2012 was a great and productive experience and I look forward to coming back to future conferences!

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