What to expect from SUSECON 19

The Computer Weekly Developer Network and Open Source Insider team enjoy hardcore programming discussion, truly vibrant open communities where code commits fly around in a swarm, well-cooked American barbeque ribs and Taylor Swift in her country music years.

Bizarrely then, the stars have aligned and all of the above factors have come together at once because SUSECON 19 is being held in Nashville, Tennesse… and the team has packed its bags.

SuSE origins

Wikipedia tells us that SuSE is so named because it stems from the German: “Gesellschaft für Software und Systementwicklung mbH” and so the name S.u.S.E. was an acronym for Software-und System-Entwicklung (Software and Systems Development).

What does SUSE do? For those that need a reminder… the company provides an enterprise-grade open source software-defined infrastructure and a set of application delivery tools.

That term enterprise-grade is important, that is – this is open source, but service and support options are also essentially available.

So why pick this event?

The chameleons over at SUSE tell us that the 2019 event offers attendees the chance to learn the latest developments in enterprise-class Linux, OpenStack, Ceph storage, Kubernetes, Cloud Foundry and other open source projects from technical experts, ecosystem partners and peers.

In terms of what’s happening at the event, following the #SUSECON hashtag linked here is probably a good start.

An open, open source culture

SUSE likes to champion open source as a ‘complete culture’ and insists upon lack of vendor lock-in — and, as such, the company insists that it currently has 100+ open source projects and has 650 staff actively working in research and development.

This is a show with a LOT of certification and training… with SUSE Certified Administrator (SCA) Exams and SUSE Certified Engineer (SCE) Exams billed at the top of the list.

“At its heart, SUSECON 2019 has been designed to showcase SUSE’s commitment to open source and its enabling technologies, providing access to the people that make it all happen. It will bring together technical experts from our ecosystem of customers and partners, along with those responsible for developing innovative solutions for digital transformation,” said Matt Eckersall, regional director, EMEA West, SUSE.

Eckersall suggests that as all companies navigate the process of IT transformation, they are competing to increase agility, manage complexity and reduce cost… so what does he think SUSE and its partner network can do to help organisations steer through these increasingly complex interconnected waters?

“To keep up with the pace of today’s business environment, organisations are increasingly relying on new technologies such as artificial intelligence, containers, the Internet of Things and software-defined storage without vendor lock in. Alongside its partners, SUSE is working closely with open source project communities including Kubernetes, OpenStack, Ceph, openATTIC and Cloud Foundry to deliver innovative enterprise solutions and provide companies with all-important freedom of choice. The SUSECON 2019 event will act as an invaluable networking opportunity for our customers and partners, allowing them to expand their knowledge around the latest advances in Linux, open source software-defined infrastructure and application delivery. Through the sessions and keynotes, attendees will gain new insight into the technologies they need to successfully implement digital transformation – directly from those shaping the future of open source,” said Eckersall.

Doc Day Afternoon

Of special interest is the SUSE’s Doc Day — this is a defined period in time when a group of people comes together, virtually or physically, to collaborate on writing documentation on one or more given topics.

According to SUSE, “Documentation is an essential part of any product (software or otherwise, presumably) – above all when it comes to software. You hardly [rarely] find a ‘self-explanatory’ software tool. There is no product which is so simple to use and maintain, that it doesn’t require any description, introduction or examples. Most software solutions only become usable thanks to detailed documentation.”

Also worth tracking is the SUSE blog linked here — at the moment the blog is showcasing a few session previews such as the below:

An Introduction to Microservices Architecture. Organisations are hearing the word microservices a lot. But what actually are they?

The show literature suggests that speakers will, “Discuss the various types of microservice architectures and how they fit into the software-defined infrastructure and cloud paradigm and explain how [developers] can take an existing business application or product and break it down into its component services.”

SUSE says it wants to enable developers to start architecting 12-factor apps today — from codebase, dependencies, configuration, backing services, [build, release, run], processes, port binding, concurrency, disposability, dev/prod parity, logs and admin processes…  you can read through the component parts of the 12-factor app methodology here.

So… and finally, will this be an uber-geeky show? Well yes, that’s why we’re going. Pass the BBQ sauce please miss Swift.

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