Ryan Kanno: The diary of an Enginerd in Hawaii

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OSCON: Day 3, 4, and 5!

I’m sorry.

I know I’m late with my updates, but I’m currently enrolled in the final project based MBA class at the University of Hawaii and it’s been kicking my @$$. In any case, enough excuses… here’s the quick rundown of the presentations I attended on Day 3, 4, and 5 at OSCON. Btw, all the presentation files can be found online! (Don’t you love open source). Not to mention, I’ve tried to scour the web for reviews notes for each session and linked them appropriately.

Day 3

Session 1: Subversion: Powerful New Toys with Director for The Apache Software Foundation, Justin Erenkrantz

Since we’ve implemented Subversion at work, I wanted to be forward thinking and check out all the new features and the direction of the project. It’s nice to know they’re looking at Mercurial’s revlog.

Session 2: Who Gets to Decide What Open Source Means? with a really powerful panel of people. :)

With a panel of supastahs, I wanted to hear the debate about all the confusion surrounding the word “free” software and what exactly constitutes open source. Pretty interesting to see what all the fuss is about especially once the software crosses over into the Enterprise.

Session 3: PHP: Bigger and Faster with Rasmus Lerdorf, creator of PHP.

It’s funny; I ate lunch with Rasmus and I didn’t even know it. Really interesting talk about PHP. I’m not a hugeeee PHP fan but still interesting nonetheless. First introduction to YSlow for Firebug.

Session 4: Using Trac Efficiently: Work Smarter, Not Harder with Vivek Khera

Since I just installed a VMWare image of a Trac install on Windows, I wanted to see what the community buzz was all about. The talk was really, really crowded; not to mention I heard numerous speakers over the course of the conference pimp out Trac. People mentioned having trouble installing Trac on Windows, but I followed the wiki instructions and it was fine – not sure what all the fuss is about. I’ll have to get back to the office and figure out how to setup the authentication and hooks into our repository so we can actually use the installation I configured at work.

Session 5: High Performance Web Pages with Chief Performance Yahoo!, Steve Souders

Steve introduced an internal Yahoo! tool, YSlow, that hooked into the lovely Firebug to grade the performance of a website. After having played with it for a few days, I’m loving it. Nothing like instant gratification in the form of a score. And if you develop ANYTHING on the web and you’re not using Firebug, it’s best advised that you do. :)

Day 4

Session 1: Why Observability Matters – How DTrace Helped Twitter with Adam Leventhal and Brandon Gregg.

After reading about all the scaling troubles of Twitter, I really wanted to see what tools helped determine the root cause of the problem. Sun’s DTrace is a fascinating real time, trace tool that can help debug and trace pretty much any issue that you’d encounter. Though I can’t use it at work, I still love to see the low level tools that are being developed. If you’re lost, don’t worry I was too, read more about DTrace at Wikipedia.

Session 2: Using and Writing Rails Plugins with Eric Pugh

Since I’ve slowly been delving in the Rails world, I wanted to see what the plugin system was all about. The session was pretty informative, even recommending sites that give statistics on the most frequently used plugins. (Don’t worry, I still love my Django).

Session 3: Python 3000 with Guido van Rossum

Hearing the God of Python speak about its future is pretty fascinating. I find it interesting that Py3K will break compatibility with Python 2.X. If you don’t know what that means, basically – you have to upgrade all your Python scripts to 2.6, then a source-code conversion tool will be used to convert your source files in Python 2.6 to Py3K. Scary but rest assured that these guys are super smart. To read more about Py3K, you can check out the PEP for it.

Session 4: Advanced Spring Framework with CEO of Interface21, Rod Johnson

I’ve heard Rod speak a number of times at JavaOne and since I’ve converted all my projects to use Spring in some fashion or another, I always like to see what’s going on in the community. Btw, if you’re not using a dependency injection framework, you really, really, really need to look into them. :)

Day 5

Session 1: Subversion Worst Practices with Google employees, Brian Fitzpatrickand Ben Collins-Sussman.

Since Harper and Scoot are friends of Brian’s in Chitown and we use Subversion at work, I wanted to see what the core development team thought about the worst practices. This was by far the funniest of all the sessions I attended, and it was SRO only. To read about notes from last year’s session named “Subversion Best Practices”, check them out here. Or… even better, check out Fitz’s blog about this year’s presentation.

Whew. All in all, a very awesome conference. Hopefully, I can convince management that this is the future. // KANNO

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OSCON: Day 2

Morning Tutorial

Technical Management of Software Development with Uber Technical Lead @ Google, Alex Martelli

Mr. Martelli covered a gauntlet of topics pertaining to technical management including empowering your team, optimal team size, time management skills, and test-driven development. Even though his tutorial regurgitated a lot of the obvious, it’s nice to hear it being preached by important people at large corporations. What I found most useful in Mr. Martelli’s presentation was his extensive list of suggested reading material about management. I’ll post them when I get a chance to go over his slides. :)

Overall grade: A-

Afternoon Tutorial

Introduction to Rails with Glenn Vanderburg

Unlike the Ruby presentation from a day ago, the Introduction to Rails was everything I hoped the Ruby talk was going to be (and more). Even though Mr. Vanderburg only had three or so hours, he did a great job of covering quite a bit of material. Topics he covered included the model, the controller, filters, flash, caching, layouts, views, the various helpers, form handling, migration, routing, and testing (*whew*). Though he didn’t get into great detail on each subject, I felt that he covered enough to pique my interest. I actually went back to the hotel itching to code a Rails app.

Overall grade: A

Stay tuned for more updates from OSCON 2007!

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OSCON: Day 1

Morning Tutorial

Learning Ruby with Mike Fitzgerald

Even though Mike is a renowned author in the technical community, I was not at all impressed with his presentation. Don’t get me wrong – the presentation went exactly as how it was described in the program guide. My issue was the fact that the tutorial seemed overly simplified considering the background of the typical conference attendee. I really was hoping to learn something I couldn’t find in one of his books.

Overall grade: C

Afternoon Tutorial

Django Master Class with Simon Willison, Jacob Kaplan-Moss, and Jeremy Dunck

Working on a personal project (soon to be released in the wild) in Django, I had looked forward to this tutorial for several months. I had really high expectations for this tutorial – and the Django team did not disappoint. Some of the topics they covered included signals, template tag patterns, OpenID integration, and scalability. Though I’ve done work on all of the above, it was still interesting actually matching faces to names. Not to mention, many of the attendees scored a free Django shirt and a few buttons.

Overall grade: A

Stay tuned for more updates from OSCON 2007!

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My semester in review

As some of you have noticed, I haven’t been blogging as much as I’d like to… it’s been quite a busy semester so I figured I’d fill people in with what’s been going on (and what will be going on) in my somewhat hectic life.

  1. My second to last semester in the University of Hawai`i MBA program came to an end two weeks ago. One down, one more to go! This semester was quite interesting as Scott, Brad and myself helped investigate acquisition strategies for a local tech startup. All in all, I felt it was a very interesting experience. Thanks to everyone who helped fill out the survey!
  2. I actually ended up winning an award during Business Night as the Outstanding MBA Student in Finance. I had a chance to eat dinner with the CEO of Bank of Hawaii, one of the largest banks here in Hawaii that donated my award. It was a very engaging experience. Considering I’m an engineer by schooling, the award was a pleasant surprise. CFA, here I come!
  3. This summer, I’m currently enrolled in the Capstone Field Study which involves consulting for a local Hawaii business. Hopefully, our team ends up producing something realistic and viable for our client to implement.
  4. I decided to run (again) to be on the Board of the Home Owner’s Association of the apartment complex I live in. Luckily, I was elected for a few more years!
  5. As for exercise, I’m playing a basketball league out in Halawa on Sundays, Alumni league next month, and a YBA league in July. I’m also waking up earrrly on Sundays to attend the marathon clinic at Kapiolani park. It’s been a rough few weeks to say the least, but this year I’m going to train a little for the marathon (instead of just waking up and doing it).
  6. In a few weeks, I’ll be in “HOTlanta” to watch a friend graduate from OCS school. Congratulations Sako! It’s been a while since I’ve been out East, but I can’t wait for some Waffle House!
  7. From July 24-28, I’ll be in Portland, Oregon for the infamous O’Reilly Open Source Convention aka OSCON. I’ll be attending the Django session, two Ruby on Rails sessions, and of course, the Googs session. I’m hoping there’s a discussion about the distributed VCS’s ala Bzr and Hg. I’m also hoping I get to hang out and meet a few cool people in the open-source world.
  8. Finally, I’m working hard, or is that hardly working on http://www.wegoeat.com. I know, I know. It’s ghetto. But, with the help of Mr. Harper, it’ll be pimpr.com And… if you’re one of the lucky few to get invited for the beta release… ;)

Whew.

That’s about it. Once everything clears, I’ll add another tutorial or two about what I’ve been playing with in Django. Until next time!

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