Published: Wed 15 February 2017
I had the pleasure of attending and speaking at DevConf.cz this year. It
was also my first visit to the Czech Republic, which was fun for me
since my grandfather's family originates from
Friday was the first day of the conference. We got up bright and early
(well, maybe not bright…) and headed over to the venue. I spent a fair
amount of time on Friday attending talks.
I started with the keynote, presented by a variety of speakers
representing a wide range of Red Hat's products. The keynote told a
narrative of going from unboxed, racked servers to deploying code live
from Eclipse to production on those servers (and all the steps in
Next I attended "Generational Core - The Future of Fedora?" by Petr
Sabata. Petr presented about Fedora's modular future and how Factory 2.0
fits into the picture.
I then went to see Adam Šamalík and Courtney Pacheco give us another
modularity talk. This talk presented more detail about the build system
and design of Fedora modules.
I spent the afternoon eating a delicious hamburger provided by the
conference. Well, not really the whole afternoon. I snuck in a little
bit of hallway track time and worked a bit with Pierre-Yves Chibon on
the talk we would give on Saturday.
I started Saturday by attending the keynote talk about Fedora, Red Hat
Enterprise Linux, CentOS, and how they are all better together. It was
a wonderful narrative about how each of the projects/product contribute
to one another's success. Well done!
I spent Saturday morning putting the finishing touches on my two talks
that I'd give that day. The plans for how we would mirror container
images had been in flux, and the slides I had prepared weren't quite
accurate anymore so I had to put some last minute corrections into them.
I then gave both of my talks, back to back! It was a rush. I felt really
good about both talks. There seemed to be a lot of interest in the Bodhi
talk. Pierre demonstrated some neat ideas for integrating Pagure and
Bodhi, and we have a pretty lively Q&A session. I had to rush over to my
next talk, which was in a different building. This one had a less lively
Q&A session, but I think it went well too. You can more about my talks
After my talks were done I had a rush of relief as I no longer had to
worry if I'd done enough preparation for two talks (note to self:
perhaps only pitch one talk next year…)
I spent the afternoon hacking on
ejabberd with the
legendary Peter Lemenkov. He had been working on some patches to add
Kerberos support to ejabberd and wanted to try them out. We built some
boxes in Fedora's OpenStack instance and got started with patching. We
quickly realized we were in over our heads as neither of us had much
server-side Kerberos knowledge, but after a few SMS messages we were
able to enlist the help of Patrick Uiterwijk, a wise security sage. He
created us a keytab in Fedora's staging environment and got us moving
again. We never got it working on Saturday, but we did make a lot of
There was a neat survey/test being done in one of the conference
hallways about the
openssl command line tool. They had you perform
some tasks and ask you about the tool afterwards. If you were able to
perform the tasks to their satisfaction, you were awarded with a hat. I
got a nice Red Hat toboggan!
Saturday night was the conference party, which was a lot of fun. I got
to spend time with a lot of my coworkers from all over the world in a
more social setting.
Sunday morning's keynote was a very entertaining argument between Dan
Walsh and Steven Pousty about the future world of containers. It was my
personal favorite talk of the conference and I highly recommend
watching it if you
haven't seen it.
I next went to see Till Mass talk about Certificate Transparency. It was
a very well delivered talk with very nice slides. There were some
unfortunate projector problems, but Till did a great job of navigating
the technical difficulties. Certificate Transparency was news to me, but
it creates a public database of all issued certificates (from
participating Certificate Authorities). This would prevent a compromised
authority from issuing a certificate for a CN that has been issued by
another authority. It addresses what is currently a significant weakness
in our public key infrastructure.
After a break I watched Dennis Gilmore talk about "Moving everyone to
rawhide". I've been running Rawhide on a few systems here and there, so
I was interested in hearing his perspective. He shared a lot of changes
that are coming to Fedora in the future, such as Fedora 27 not having a
beta, and Fedora 28 might be the last versioned Fedora release (whoah!).
I then had another hacking session with Peter Lemenkov on ejabberd. It
turned out that Patrick Uiterwijk was able to identify some problems on
the ejabberd server side and they got it working together. I then worked
with Peter to clean up our implementation a bit and do additional
testing. It seems to work well. We are considering deploying an ejabberd
to Fedora's Cloud (i.e., it would be an unsupported community run
service), but there are still a few things we'd need to figure out.
I saw Christian Schaller give a talk about Fedora Workstation. He talked
about some of the changes that are coming in the future, and the
challenges the workstation team faces. There was a lively Q&A session
After that I did a little bit more hallway tracking, and then I went to
see the concluding session which was a fun quiz with prizes.
The conference was a wonderful experience, and I look forward to sending
a talk for next year's DevConf (though maybe I'll just do one this time