Open Source Summit North America 2019

Sethu Sathyan
4 min readSep 2, 2019

I am absolutely thrilled to share that I got the opportunity to attend the Open Source Summit + Embedded Linux Conference by the Linux Foundation at San Diego this year. People often ask me how I attend these conferences and about the things I learn from these summits. I thought this time I would share my experience. So you can read on to know about the ticket for the summit to key takeaways from the Open Source Summit.

About Open Source Summit

The OS summit brings together open source developers, technology leaders and community builders under one roof. Some of the key areas in the summit include talks and workshops on AI, diversity empowerment, growing and sustaining open source communities, etc.

Ticket to the conference

OS Summit ticket prices start at $800, but the Linux Foundation offers diversity scholarships for selected people based on need and impact. Linux Foundation Diversity Scholarships support people who are underrepresented/marginalized group in tech or open source communities.

I applied for a Diversity Scholarship and received a conference pass worth $800 :) as part of the scholarship.

Travel for the conference

Linux Foundation also provides travel funds to open source developers and community members to attend events. You can read more about the Travel Fund here.

Planning for the 3 day conference

The 3-day conference had a lot of parallel sessions in various tracks. I had picked the sessions/workshops that intruiged me before the conference began in the sched app. Choosing the right sessions helped me a lot in organizing my day well.

Most of the sessions are less than 40 minutes, and this makes all the sessions enjoyable.

The Summit

It is a fantastic place to meet like-minded people working in tech. The summit was filled with sessions on various tracks by industry experts, sponsor booths where you can meet organisations/people working on different products/projects in open source. Some of the booths at the summit: Uber — learn how Jump works! , Microsoft, Intel, RavenDB — a non relational database etc.

The conference kickstarted with a keynote by Jim Zemlin, Executive Director at Linux Foundation, where he shared about Confidential Computing Consortium — A community focused on projects securing data in use and accelerating the adoption of confidential computing through open collaborations. Currently, Google Cloud, IBM, Intel, Microsoft, etc are part of this.

Jeff Clune, Senior Research Manager at Uber AI talked about Fueling Innovation by creating, collecting, and improving stepping stones.

Other notable speakers included Chris Wright, Michael Cheng, Megan Byrd-Sanicki, Todd Moore, etc

Women in Open Source Lunch

We had women in open source lunch sponsored by Google during the summit. The lunch helped me connect with different women working in the open-source field and learn about their experiences.

One of the key personalities I interacted during the lunch was Lisbeth McNab, CFO COO of Linux Foundation. It was great to learn from her about different projects and diversity initiatives at Linux Foundation.


There were enough breaks during the conference where you could meet people and build connections. Open Source Summit used an app called Brella to help us network with fellow attendees. We coulf create a profile in the app detailing our areas of interest which would then help us connect with attendees at the conference with similar interests.

The summit also had a designated area for networking with numbered tables. You can either set the location to a table number along with the time slot or a custom location to meet with your match. Brella was extremely helpful in socialising at the conference.

My Takeaways

The OS Summit is a great place to learn about the latest technologies, manage open source communities, contribute to open source projects & build a good network of technologists. I found it worth attending. You would find a lot of open-source projects and programs to contribute. Thanks to the Linux Foundation for giving me this opportunity.

I’ll be adding links to my learnings from the sessions/ workshops that I have attended during the summit here.

I hope this article has helped you gain some insights about the Open Source Summit :) If you are interested in attending the next Open Source Summit happening in Europe from October 28–30 2019, check out the conference website here.