OSI Days 2013
There was an unmistakable buzz in the air as a large number of FOSS lovers trooped in at the NIMHANS Centre, Bengaluru, to seek and share knowledge at Asia’s largest convention on open source, Open Source India (OSI) 2013. The three-day event, which commenced on November 11, 2013, was high on action and information, and turned out to be a perfect platform for all those who wished to cash in on the true spirit of FOSS. Packed with interesting sessions, interactions and hands-on workshops, the convention saw the collaboration between the head honchos from the corporate world, tech buffs and FOSS evangelists, all of whom made the most of the three-day long affair. The jam-packed sessions and the charged atmosphere at the venue proved the growing acceptance of FOSS at the user level. The convention witnessed the presence of over 50 speakers from the business world and the community. Major companies like The Attachmate Group, Oracle, Red Hat, Intel, Acquia, HP, Dell, MongoDB, Liferay and Microsoft made their presence felt at this ‘open’ platform. Commenting on his fourth year of participation at Open Source India 2013, Mandar Naik, director, Platform Strategy, Microsoft, said, “It has always been exciting to be a part of OSI and this year was no exception. The technology sessions were highly informative with some of the experts sharing their insights on a range of topics including mobile application development, the kernel and the cloud. I feel the conference proved to be a great opportunity to engage with technology enthusiasts from all over the country, ranging from app developers and open source contributors to the students.
Day 1: Full of action!
The first day of the convention commenced with Sreehari Seetharamashastry, MD, Attachmate India Development Centre, delivering the keynote address. He spoke at length on ‘Open Source – The Way Forward’, discussing how FOSS has changed the ‘technological outlook’ in many sectors across the country and will continue to do so in the future as well. He created the ideal atmosphere for the
discussions to follow. We caught up with him after his talk and he animatedly told us, “I was here at OSI 2012 as well. I can see the show has evolved with respect to its audience this year, as compared to the last year. Frankly, I did not expect so many questions coming my way after I was done with the session. I had a couple of engaging discussions even after the talk. This clearly speaks for the kind of serious audience that is present at the show.” After the inaugural address, the audience got split between the two parallel tracks—one dedicated to mobile app development and the other to ‘FOSS for Everyone’. The core focus of the mobile app development track was on Android, as speakers shared their expertise on the domain through various topics. The highlight of the ‘FOSS for Everyone’
track was the session by Lux Rao, CTO, HP – Technological Services, India, who shared his insight on ‘The New Style of IT’. The session was highly interactive with a number of questions put forward by the vibrant audience. And Rao was quick to answer all of them. When we caught up with him after his talk, he said, “This is my second year of participation at Open Source India. It is an interesting event where we get the right kind of audiences to interact with. I have thoroughly enjoyed being at the show.” For the first time in the history of Open Source India, two companies—Cleartrip.com and Atul Ltd—shared their success stories about how FOSS helped them optimise their IT budgets and break free from vendor lock-in. Next up was a panel discussion on the topic ‘How Important is Certification for Recruitment’ and we must say, this generated a lot of heat!
Day 2: Packed with more information, and even more energy
The second day was dedicated to tracks on IT management, the cloud and Web app development. We saw participation from IT managers and developers who came over to hear some of the great stalwarts in the tech industry speak. The day kicked off with Tristan Goode, CEO, Aptira and a member of the board of directors for the OpenStack Foundation, sharing his insights on ‘Getting Started with OpenStack Development’. The audience threw numerous questions at him and he handled these with aplomb, putting to rest their concerns. The day also saw Venkatesh Swaminathan, country manager, The Attachmate Group, sharing his thoughts
on ‘When The Cloud Will Rain $, $, $…’ and the enthusiastic audience listened in rapt attention. Sandipan Chattopadhyay, CTO, JustDial, who made his presence felt at the event, spoke on the ‘Modern Day Challenges in Web Development’.
The day was also laced with a lot of networking sessions and it was great to see the industry experts bonding over conversations. Dr Rajeev Papneja, COO, ESDS Software Solution Pvt Ltd, said, “I had an enriching experience at OSI2013. This is one occasion at which we get to meet both the makers and consumers of technology. OSI proved to be the real problem-solver for me. Our team was struggling with an issue that it encountered while running Windows virtual machines on the Zen cloud. We were trying to fix this for over a year but we couldn’t get the perfect solution. I brought this issue up with Dr K Y Srinivasan, principal architect, Windows Server and Cloud Division, Microsoft, when I met him at OSI 2013 and he suggested a possible solution within minutes. If we could have more of such interactions formally organised by the OSI team, it would be very helpful.”
Day 3: High on kernel development and database management
After two days of information-packed sessions, the third and last day was dedicated to kernel and database lovers. The day kicked off with Dr K Y Srinivasan, principal architect, Windows Server and Cloud Division-Microsoft Corporation Redmond, Washington, talking on ‘Running And Managing Linux On Hyper-V’. When we caught up with him later, he enthused, “I was a speaker at OSI 2011 as well. Coming to this year’s edition was a good experience and I can see how the show has grown from 2011 as well. One suggestion that I would like to give to the organisers is that they should introduce a rating system for the speakers. The audience should be able to rate a particular speaker on the basis of what they could draw from the talk and other similar aspects. If this is done, the quality of talks will improve in a big way.”
Database lovers enjoyed the interactive session with Dr Sanjay Manwani, director, Oracle India, who spoke at length on the topic ‘The State of the Dolphin – Oracle’s MySQL strategy and the latest key developments’.
Hands-on workshops galore!
The attendees got a chance to delve deeper into the latest trends in the open source arena though a varied range of workshops that spanned the three days of the event. From workshops on Android app development and developing games in HTML5, to creating a great digital experience with Drupal in just three hours, the event had it all. Jacob Singh, regional director, Acquia India, said, “Drupal is a fascinating technology, which is why, I, for sure, get a lot of attention at OSI 2013. This is the reason why I have been participating in OSI, year after year. Both my session and the workshop were awesome and really well received. I plan to be here next year as well.” And we must admit that the workshops garnered a lot of attention from FOSS lovers.
The three-day convention generated a lot of business opportunities for our partners who came forward to support the event. Rohit Rai, director, Sales, MongoDB Inc, enthused, “I have seen OSI growing bigger and better with every edition. This year, I came with MongoDB, which is a new entrant in the Indian market. Although we are an established name, as a company, we are fairly new to India.
OSI 2013 not only provided us the appropriate platform to network with our clients but also helped us generate some quality leads.” Amar Chigteri, manager, Sales – West and South India, EnterpriseDB, felt that Open Source India 2013 was an improved avatar compared to its previous editions. He said,
“While the footfalls were comparatively lower than last year, possibly because of the event running on weekdays, the quality of people attending the event has improved manifold. There were serious visitors and some real business leads coming in for us. The kind of technical sessions and workshops that were organised in the show took it to another level altogether.”
Manish Gupta, general manager, Liferay India, whomade his debut at the event, said, “This is our first time at Open Source India. We came here with the idea of creating a buzz about our product and the company, within the community and in the corporate sector. I was happy to see the kind of audience that turned up to the show. We had some serious visitors and good enquiries coming in. With
the kind of turnout we had, I can say that OSI is one of the finest events bridging the gap between the community and the corporate sector.”
Arati Bam from SUSE said, “Although this is our first year of being present as an exhibitor at Open Source India, we have been associated with the magazine Open Source For You in the past as well. As expected, the show has been wonderfully organised and a complete delight for the exhibitors. Apart from the fact that we have been able to generate some quality business leads, our interaction with the community was pretty fruitful and engaging.” Celebrating the spirit of FOSS as always, you can expect
OSI Days to be back with greater enthusiasm and more information-packed sessions next year.