From Ghana to Wall Street: The Linux End User Summit

amcpherson's picture

Earlier this year, at the urging of the Linux Foundation Technical Advisory Board, I decided to create a new event: the Linux Foundation End User Summit. The intent is to combine a small group of large Linux users (generally on the server side) with core community Linux developers. The result will hopefully be technical innovation and knowledge sharing between those who use the software and those who develop it.

The reason this is important is clear to those familiar with the open source development process. Users need to connect with the community, especially those users who need cutting edge features and improvements in their software. But these users aren’t going to post questions to the Linux kernel mailing list: their companies will not allow them to publish this information so publicly. Unfortunately this means a lot of users aren’t getting the most out of Linux. Maybe even more importantly the Linux community isn’t getting the most out of Linux since they aren’t getting input from users.

I hope this event will change this. We’ve had overwhelming response to this event. We have had to limit this to a small number of people to keep collaboration possible. We’ve also limited it to large and sophisticated users of Linux. Is this just because we enjoy being exclusive? No, it’s because we feel these customers will get the most out of interaction with such developers as Andrew Morton, James Bottomley, Ted Tso, Chris Wright and the many more who are speaking and participating in the Summit. (We’ll have a general purpose LinuxCon for everyone else next year.)

You’ll notice a lot of the participants are financial services companies. Those companies derive competitive advantage from their technology so it’s not surprising they have the most to gain from direct interaction with community developers. We’ve got an impressive list of companies signed up: Credit Suisse, CME, AIG, Merrill Lynch, Dreamworks, NYSE, Fidelity, UBS, NYPD, US NAVY, Metlife, Morgon Stanley, JPMorgan Chase, Aetna, NAVTEQ, Goldman Sachs, Citigroup, Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group (MUFJ).

Looking at that list you’d think primarily Wall Street firms are attending this event. Actually I was surprised at the incredible distribution of users from countries around the globe. The countries represented by end user participants include: Turkey, Ghana, Brazil, Norway, Israel, Japan, South Africa, Yemen, Germany, Canada, Argentina, Czech Republic, India, Russia, USA, Netherlands. So for a small event we’ll be a mini-UN for Linux users.

You can check out the latest program here.