Vote for Drupal and Open Source at SXSW 2016

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Vote for Drupal and Open Source at SXSW 2016

Jeffrey A. By Jeffrey A. "jam" McGuire Comment

SXSW in Austin Texas has become one of the biggest culture and technology events in the world, with enormous scope, scale and reach. I got to looking through the session catalog recently because I was involved in preparing two session proposals for the 2016 edition and because there’s a tiny chance I could go myself for the first time … !

##Community voting for sessions I discovered that community voting is part of the selection process (30% in fact, more than at many conferences), so I got to looking around for sessions I’d like to see and/or support. What do I think is important? Well … Drupal obviously, and topics that touch on open source in its many guises, too.

You’ll need to register on the SXSW Panel Picker to be able to vote. It only took me a few seconds and the info asked didn’t feel too invasion-of-privacy-y to me … ymmv.

##tl;dr: Vote for Drupal and open source! Here is a selection of what I found that looks promising, important, or otherwise interesting to me. Below, I explain what each proposal is about and why I voted for each. I make no claims to being comprehensive or impartial :-)

Search the Panel Picker and let me know what (other) sessions you think are worth supporting in the comments below!

##What I chose to vote for and why

###>How Major Labels Build Rockstar-Worthy Websites

  • What: The role of the website, apps, and the “digital experience” today between artistic expression, merchandizing, fan engagement, investment and cost.
  • Why: Warner and Universal both rely on Drupal to power their artists’ digital presences. Preparing this proposal, I was fascinated by the discussions veering between practical and technical considerations and deeply emotional and artistic ones. Powered by Drupal. Awesome.
  • Full disclosure: I helped prepare this session for submission, and Acquia is my employer.

###>Can we save the open web?

  • What: Drupal Project Lead, Dries Buytaert, addresses the contradiction of the growth of the internet. Founded on open technologies and architectures, and with more and more people coming online all the time, the web seems to be falling into the hands of fewer and fewer aggregators, distributors, and gatekeepers. Can we save the open web?
  • Why: Dries is looking at one of the fundamental motivators of the creators and maintainers of open source software. The future shape of information freedom (at minimum) is at stake.
  • Full disclosure: Dries Buytaert is CTO of Acquia, my employer and also Project Lead of Drupal, my open source CMS and web application platform of choice :-)

###>Every Beer Has a Story: SABMiller Tells Them All

  • What: A really, really big beverages company with a lot of brands and markets to manage turns to Drupal to manage its web and digital needs.
  • Why: Besides yay-Drupal! and yay-beer!, I would like to know more about the challenges a product company at this scale faces, how they plan marketing from small, regional brands, through to global ones.
  • Full disclosure: Tom Erickson is CEO of Acquia, my employer.

###>Managing Millennials in Digital Media

  • What: Millenials are hitting the ground running in traditional media companies. Those companies are trying to harness their energy and ideas while helping them learn to go deeper into technology than the consumer web.
  • Why: The preparation work for this session was fun and interesting. There seems to me to be a perfect storm of digital-native Millenials hitting and influencing the workplace and communication technologies reaching something like full-penetration in our daily lives. This presents challenges for managers, Millenials, and the companies they work for—even ones that are on the cutting edge of the web today!
  • Full disclosure: I helped prepare this session for submission, and Acquia is my employer.

###>Large Drupal Site Builds

  • What: Workshop covering topics needed to build the ever-bigger websites Drupal is being used for today.
  • Why: Learn about scaling, development workflows, monitoring, API-ecosystems, and making big Drupal projects succeed!
  • Full disclosure: Session submitter, Robert Ristroph, also works for my employer, Acquia.

###>Automate Your Drupal Setup With Chef

  • What: Learn how to go from “vanilla Ubuntu” to a fully functioning Drupal cluster using the Chef automation platform.
  • Why: Drupal! Geeky. Useful. Good stuff.
  • Full disclosure: I really do like Drupal :-)

###>How To Steal Other People’s Stuff: A Primer.

  • What: Brad Gross, general counsel of the Society of Digital Agencies, talks about one of the pitfalls for the digital creative: “how close is too close” when copying other people’s stuff?
  • Why: Copying and imitation have been driving art since … my guess is since there was art and creativity. I’d be really interested to learn more about the ins and outs of digital creativity and the “sincerest form of flattery” as it stands today.
  • Full disclosure: I used your hook on that track.

###>Microsoft is now open source and x-platform, Why?

  • What: Unthinkable until it actually happened: Microsoft has released .NET Core and ASP.NET 5 as open source and is working on cross-platform implementations for Linux and Mac. Holy game changers, Batman!
  • Why: The session description says it will address three questions (1. What does Microsoft going cross-platform mean and how will it work? 2. What does Microsoft going open source mean and how will it work? 3. How can I use Microsoft’s cross-platform and open source to my advantage?) I want to know if and how this puts those of us in currently more established open source technologies at risk. Or maybe I want to know how to properly welcome a new technology to the open source fold and how I can use it to my advantage. :-)
  • Full disclosure: We’d better make sure we’re on our game, people.

###>Teaching Open Source in our Schools

  • What: Apparently, open source isn’t being taught much in schools, despite the fact that it is used across the vast majority or companies and governments. This session intends to enable educators, instructors, and mentors to get open source software into school curricula
  • Why: This introduction to open source software answers the abstract questions about what it is and puts a toolbox of software and ways to get it into schools into the hands of those who need it.
  • Full disclosure: My daughter told her teacher that she was foolish for offering to buy a Photoshop license for her class when all the students could legally download and learn Gimp for free. My kid #ftw.

###>Open Source Data Science

  • What: Data science is a powerful and important tool for business, government, and society in the digital age. It turns out there are some great open source resources for diving into this field.
  • Why: This stuff powers all the personalization, targeting, and prediction that we need to run today’s standard of marketing, disaster preparation and relief, and more. Let’s make more data scientists!
  • Full disclosure: If you’re good at this stuff, you can get a great job.

###>Government 3.0: Rebooting DC with Open Source Tech

  • What: Open source is rampant in governments around the world. The presenters f this panel see the opportunity to reboot how government and its citizens interact.
  • Why: We need open source, transparent auditable voting technologies. We need a more direct form of democracy in many places. I’d like to hear what these folks have to suggest on the topic.
  • Full disclosure: I read Republic, Lost by Lawrence Lessig.
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