Now my story begin, as it so often does, in a dungeon by accident (don’t ask). Unlike many other stories involving dungeons this one does not feature dragons, instead we find ourselves in a posh conference venue in an abandoned bomb shelter if memory serves correctly. I was there as I got the opportunity to talk about NSClient++ at a rather small conference in Sweden. This was supposed to be the height of my career as a hobby open source developer. After my presentation, which presumably went ok, I was greeted by a rather towering presence who introduced himself as Bernd and asked if I wanted to talk at their conference in Germany. As I was still cruising the residual adrenalin wave I almost instantly shouted “YES!” Pretty much without thinking (unfortunately I do that a lot).

After saying yes I kind of realised that in Germany they don’t speak Swedish

So I added something lame about google translate but they assured me that I could do it all in English. The day went on and after attending the evening event (where we got the usual 2 complimentary beers) I walked home towards the commuter train slightly drunk on beer but even more so on adrenalin.

I thought to myself: WOW, rock star! This is going to be awesome…

As the buzz slowly settled into a sizable hangover I realised that: what at the time had seemed like an o-wondrous and a grand adventure slowly translated into countless hours of writing code so I could present something as well as even more countless hours preparing a presentation followed by more countless hours rehearsing followed by paying for a plane ticket a few hotel nights, train tickets and a bunch of other expenses… So grand experience might be a bit of grand term… Perhaps stupidest idea ever would have been better. On the flight down panic started to set it… What if none one shows up… what if…

So how was my first OSMC all those years ago?
To be honest I can barely recall it, what I do recall is that I needed to wee 5 times before my session as well as the open bar they had at the evening event. This was a first for me given the alcohol policy in Sweden… but anyways I digress…

So why is OSMC the best conference ever?
Well in all honesty it probably isn’t… But OSMC has gotten a lot of things just right which not all conference manage to pull off. But the biggest thing about OSMC which I cannot say about many other conferences it that it has a true sense of family about it. Much like you imagine thanksgiving or X-mas to be. Warm fuzzy and cosy, something to long for…
So what has they got right you ask? Well it’s really boils down to balance. It’s small enough that everyone still have names, yet hard core enough that everyone really care about monitoring.
It is relevant enough that everyone wants to be there yet prestigeless enough to let anyone talk. They allow the big projects equal space to the small ones. And this balance is really hard to pull off. So OSMC really manages to live somewhere in the middle and really deliver quality year after year…

Every year I always feel I learn plenty of new things. Now that could of course be my ignorance shining through but I think it is that the conference stay close to its heart: to be open and to really care about monitoring. Everyone is welcome, every project gets equal focus and there is no hidden agenda…
Last year I had one of those rare moments where sitting having a beer and an chatting after the conference I find sitting across from me in the same sofa representatives from Icinga, Opennms and Zabbix

Now not only is this where the next generation monitoring tools are forged… It is also very very nice…
…and more importantly: where else in the world will you find that?


The Author Michael Medin

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Michael Medin is a Senior Architect and open source developer and has (among other things) written the de-facto agent for monitoring (among other things) Windows-based servers from (among other things) Nagios (NSClient++). In his not-so-spare time he works as a consultant building middleware on mainly Oracle using Java, XML and various Web Service and REST technologies. When he is not working diligently at his computer he is often found riding his mountain bike along some rocky single track in the glorious Swedish countryside.


 

Bernd Erk

Autor: Bernd Erk

Bernd ist einer der Geschäftsführer der NETWAYS Gruppe und verantwortet das Tagesgeschäft. Da er in einem früheren Leben mit Java und Oracle Datenbanken gearbeitet hat, kümmert er sich immer noch gerne um das Thema Reporting - sowohl bei NETWAYS, als auch im Icinga Team. In seiner knappen Freizeit streitet er sich mit seinem Sohn, wer das iPad gerade benutzen darf und widmet sich der Weiterverbreitung der gehobenen fränkischen Schaschlik-Kultur.