Impressions from LinuxCon Europe 2012

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Past Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday I attended LinuxCon Europe 2012, which took place in the Fira Palace Hotel in Barcelona. These are my impressions and thoughts about the event.

If you’re a Linux user, programmer or sysadmin, it’s worth going at least once in your lifetime to a LinuxCon. It’s a great event packed with interesting people, companies, keynotes and talks. As a friend of mine puts it, it’s not a pure community-oriented summit, but a balanced and healthy mix of business and community. LinuxCon Europe 2012 was my first LinuxCon ever.

Companies and sponsors set up booths presenting the latest and greatest technologies and developments. At the same time, you can attend keynotes, network with colleagues and partners, and listen to some very interesting talks. These last ones are many and varied, and usually you must choose between four (or seven if you include the Embedded Linux Conference taking place at the same time in the same location) simultaneous ones, choosing if you prefer wildcard proposals, tech talks or business and market-oriented talks.

I specially enjoyed a few of them. Dave Engberg from Evernote gave us an inside view of the company’s infrastructure, which is self-hosted instead of using "the cloud", compared costs and gave advice (summary: use the cloud unless you have a very good reason to self-host, even if that has worked for them).

Ralf Flaxa from SUSE gave us a very special and community-oriented keynote that I really enjoyed. Other keynotes, like the one from Jonathan Corbet or the one from Catarina Mota were also pretty interesting. We also got a predictable but still fun and entertaining Q&A session with Linus Torvalds.

On the more technical side, I really enjoyed "Don’t play dice with random numbers" by H. Peter Anvin, the one about file systems on memory-constrained situations, by Ted T’so or the one about Qt5 by Thiago Macieira. None of these ones were very low-level, but you’ve got plenty of kernel low-level, specific talks if you enjoy hacking the kernel and getting all the gory details.

Summing up, I loved the event and will make sure to attend at least one more LinuxCon if I can. :)

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