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Red Hat Summit 2019 in Boston

In early May I had the opportunity to attend the Red Hat Summit in Boston. I’ve gone to a lot of Linux conferences and have participated in events in the Red Hat arena for some time but it occurred to me that I’d never actually been to a Red Hat Summit! The first thing you learn about it is that it’s a huge event. It’s also an event that draws a spectrum of people. It’s very customer-driven, but you also have long-time Linux enthusiasts, and so many of them bring real heart to the event. I had some wonderful tooling discussions with infrastructure professionals like myself.

The keynotes were enjoyable. Several features customers who have found success with solutions provided by Red Hat, and there’s still a commitment to open source. It was also interesting to hear from IBM CEO Ginni Rometty. Now, obvious disclaimer, I now work for IBM, it was my second week on the job. I had been paying attention to IBM’s plans to buy Red Hat, but I have no insider knowledge, so it was great to hear directly from Ginni, on a public stage, that there was a commitment to making sure Red Hat is empowered to keep doing what they do to succeed.

My goal for this event was to meet with some of my new IBM colleagues, connect with contacts from previous roles, and spend time at the IBM booth learning more about LinuxONE and the resources we had available for the Linux on Z community. I met and exceeded all of these goals, squeezing in some meals and making really valuable contacts at this event, including folks inside of IBM who I’d be working with moving forward.

While on booth duty, I learned about the LinuxONE Community Cloud and had great chats with the fellow who runs it. I got to read LinuxONE for Dummies back at my room the first evening so I could re-join the booth the next morning equipped with enough knowledge to be useful (or dangerous!), so it was fun to chat with folks who were interested in learning more about what LinuxONE is.

It was also nice to get confirmation so early in my new role as to what developers, and infrastructure professionals like myself, want to hear about with regard to LinuxONE. Folks I work with are fascinated by the alternative architecture, and ease with which Linux can run on it. They also want hardware-driven crypto, and appreciate the decades of expertise in building isolation and security. I also quickly learned that lot of the strengths that mainframes have, and were developed to solve problems in the past, are evergreen and are solving new problems today. I really enjoyed this article by Misty Decker (now a colleague!) on the topic: When the Past becomes the Future.

I also got to meet up with some friends at the event and have a bit of non-work fun. I first met my friend Stephen in an Ubuntu IRC channel a decade ago and we now meet up at all kinds of Linux events, so it was fun to go to the closing party together, even if it was chilly!

It all was an incredibly energizing way to kick off my second week. I was able to get back to my first week “in the office” with a pile of ideas for moving forward, and both materials and connections to start realizing them.

More photos from the event here: https://www.flickr.com/photos/pleia2/albums/72157709126780038