Hallway track
Hallway track (source: O'Reilly)

OSCON is right around the corner and I want to let you in on a little secret. Did you know you can get a ton out of OSCON with just an Expo Plus Pass? Yeah, I know, when you think of an Expo pass you tend to think of being invited to the shopping mall of vendors looking to scan your badge and send you emails. But the OSCON Expo Plus pass offers access much more than most events and here's the secret, a lot of OSCON can be experienced with this pass.

First let’s talk about the Expo Hall. OSCON sponsors represent some of the most innovative brands in tech. And it’s not just the big companies like IBM, PayPal, and Microsoft. The expo also features non-profit organizations doing important work in open source, hardware companies leveraging open source for their devices, and an Austin Startup Pavilion featuring several local tech startups. Oh, and I should mention that many of our sponsors and exhibitors are hiring. If you are looking to transition into tech or looking for a new gig, I can’t think of a better “job fair” to attend.

Now let's talk about what the Expo Plus pass unlocks for you beyond the Expo Hall. First up is my favorite track at any conference—the Hallway Track.

The Hallway Track

The Hallway track is where chance meetings turn into long-lasting relationships. During OSCON last year I was lucky enough to meet both Simon Wardley and Adrian Cockcroft—I know right? I met Simon Wardley after his inspiring closing keynote and I was surprised by how humble Simon was and his willingness to have a conversation with a complete stranger. After OSCON I enjoyed running into Simon at various events and even shared a 2 hour ride to FOO Camp where I learned that Simon’s playlist is pretty dope and includes some tracks that make you wonder how he found them.

I’ve had similar experiences with Adrian after OSCON, can’t say much about his playlist, but if you’re looking for a thrill, ask him for a ride in one of his electric vehicles—zero to sixty in a Fiat 500e is no joke!

The Hallway track is also where you’ll find the people behind your favorite open source projects and the authors behind the books that helped you get started. Like Simon Wardley and Adrian Cockcroft, these people come to OSCON to be a part of the community, and believe it or not, they also come to learn from people like you and me. The Hallway track is what you make it so don’t be afraid to say hi and make new friends.

Special Programs

If you’re looking for a little more structure then you have to checkout our collection of programs that highlight the hottest topics across the open source landscape. This year’s lineup includes Open Container Day, an event where the people behind application containers and the supporting infrastructure come together to provide the current state of things and the roadmap for the future.

Then there’s the All the Bots Day where the community comes together to explore the classic art of building bots—those “autonomous” programs lurking in your IRC channels have spread their way into Twitter feeds and Slack channels, and this is where you can show them off and learn to build one of your own.

Finally we wanted to create an event that puts the focus on what I consider to be the most important part of open source—no, not software licenses, but the contributors. At the heart of every open source project are the contributors that make it happen. We want to celebrate all contributions, everything from writing code and documentation to designing a project's mascot. This year we will host a hackathon called Open Contribute with a strong focus on helping you become a contributor, and we’ll do it with the help of our friends behind some of the most interesting open source projects around today.

See you at OSCON

That alone should get your browser tab open to the expo plus pass page so you can checkout the list of everything included in the Expo Hall Plus pass. Looking forward to seeing you at OSCON in Austin, hopefully with a warm breakfast taco in both hands.

Article image: Hallway track (source: O'Reilly).