C2K10 Essay

C2K10 Essay

Length: 1000 words (2.9 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Better Essays

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I was honored to attend C2K10, my first hack-a-thon, and meet so many of the developers. The opportunity to intensely focus on OpenBSD for a week was liberating, educational, and surprisingly refreshing. By day I manage three IT teams and don’t get to do hands on work, so I’m limited to evenings at home to stay sharp and contribute to OpenBSD.

I actively seek out people who are smarter, faster, better at {fill in the blank} because I love to learn and enjoy a challenge. I found them at C2K10. When I got to the hack room I was overwhelmed by the conversations taking place and I had the sudden feeling that I was not worthy. I was the kid who found the marble in the oatmeal and got to drink from the fire hose.

Later that day I was talking with a couple of developers over dinner and a beer. I asked what they were working on and was impressed by their responses. When the question was returned to me, I sheepishly replied “just ports”. My answer was greeted with “I don’t know anything about ports” and “ports make OpenBSD more useful to more people”. Perhaps I was worthy.

I put a lot of thought into what I wanted to work on at the hack-a-thon but my ambitions far exceeded the time available. I did complete updates to some simple ports that I maintain, updated Varnish and hooked it to the build after substantial testing, and then started on Haskell libraries I wanted to import. I needed the latest GHC compiler and it wasn’t available in snapshots yet. Attempting to build GHC on my laptop wasted half of a day with no end in sight given all the other ports required for building it. The Haskell ports would have to wait. So I regrouped, tested and ok’d a couple of updates from other porters, and then dug into Perl module...

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...enormously helpful for establishing a sustainable method to orchestrate dependent port updates.

I want to play with Haskell. When I get Catalyst behind me, I’m going to focus on importing the Snap Framework. I already maintain a patch queue to make this happen. If you’re curious, you can follow along. I push the “snap” patch queue to BitBucket(http://www.bitbucket.org/bonetruck/).

I would like to extend my appreciation and thanks to deraadt@ and bob@ for the opportunity to attend the hack-a-thon. Equally as important, I would like to extend my sincere thanks to everyone who has made donations to the project. I can’t overstate the value of this experience for me personally or for the projects on going success. The ideas, discussions, collaboration, and camaraderie that directly result from the hack-a-thons are priceless. It was an honor to be part of it.

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