OSCON 2013 Wrapup

Chalkboard in the lobby of the Oregon Convention Center on the last day of OSCON 2013.

Chalkboard in the lobby of the Oregon Convention Center on the last day of OSCON 2013.

Got back in from OSCON 2013 last night, and I’m still worn out even after having a chance to sleep it off. This was my first visit to OSCON, and now I’m sorry I didn’t get to go earlier. It’s (in my case) three days of absolute insanity, having your brain crammed full of more information than you can possibly hope to retain, meeting tons of great people, and of course: lots of goodies, freebies, and parties.

Some highlights:

    • Adam Harvey gave a very nice rundown of new features in PHP 5.5
    • Leigh Heyman’s keynote about the White House’s recent forays into OSS was excellent, if only for a video clip of President Obama asking “what the heck is an API?” (Video here)
    • Alex Martelli managed to be very entertaining in Good Enough is Good Enough, nicely reinforcing my idea that half-assed work is fine, as long as it’s the right half.
    • Justin Hileman showed off some nice techniques for debugging PHP without resorting to vardump() and die() all the time. He also showed off PsySH, a REPL for PHP that he’s made and which looks very promising (go fork it).
    • r0ml (Robert Lefkowitz) gave an excellent talk on literacy, which I can’t possibly do justice.
    • r0ml followed up on Friday morning with a keynote about distinction and the creation thereof (video). He raises some interesting points (as usual), but I’m not sure I agree with his conclusions.
    • After that, Piers Cawley showed up to sing a bit. I was pretty close to being burnt out at this point, so I decided this was a good time to duck out for more coffee (sorry, Piers).
    • Everything wrapped up with Paul Fenwick’s keynote, Fear, Uncertainty, and Dopamine. Paul talked about the how and why of people contributing to open source, and how we can get more people involved in it. Again, I can’t do this one justice, so just watch the video yourself.

All in all, OSCON was a blast and is going to be my go-to annual event now that I’m in a position to do things like this (hooray for employers that invest in their employees).