Open Source Bridge, 2015

Salmonella in the Vegetarian Food

I've attended Open Source Bridge many times, but was out of town during this one, or I would have been one of the infected. Open Source Bridge was started in 2009, the year that the O'Reilly Open Source Convention (OSCON) moved (temporarily) to San Jose.

The software community was dominated by poorly mannered males (like myself, sigh), but OS Bridge is focused on inclusion. OS Bridge was the most "woman inclusive" software conference when it was founded, establishing community standards for all the rest of the conferences. That has, in turn, helped make the entire software field more inclusive - more smart people are participating now, including men who were repelled by the old ways.

Open Source Bridge may not survive this episode. The founders may be too sidelined by illness and isolation to put on another in 2016, and the Eliot Center may not accept the liability. WIth OSCON moving to Austin in 2016, Portland may cease to be the open source software capital of the world, the biennial gathering place for the world software community.

Hundreds of software startups are in Portland because their founders came to these conferences, and decided to stay. Many of the tall buildings going up in Portland today are to accomodate these businesses and their employees, and others expected to follow. What if we stop recruiting new software entrepreneurs to Portland, only attracting "young people coming here to retire?"

Open Source Bridge may seem only of interest to software geeks, but the future economic health of Portland may depend on the survival of conferences like it.

OSBridge2015 (last edited 2015-07-28 19:48:30 by KeithLofstrom)