The first use of the term BoF session was used at the Digital Equipment Users’ Society (DECUS) conference in the 1960s. Its essence was to bring together like minds and thought leaders—just as birds of the feather flock together— to share and exchange computing ideas, in an informal yet spirited way. Since then, the organizers and sponsors of most computing conferences have been loyal to its essence and spirit.
For ideas and innovation happen in collaboration—not in isolation. Steven Johnson, in his talk Where Good Ideas Come From, explains that most good ideas evolve over time. The best ones emerge from collaboration with other ideas. And nowhere is this true than in today’s open-source community, in the Apache Hadoop community—what the developers’ collaboration has achieved; what knowledge they have shared.
Knowledge, when acquired and shared, elevates societies. Plato is said to have remarked that knowledge is “the food of the soul.” And C.S. Lewis is said to have noted that education and literature “irrigates the deserts” of our lives. Well, I think that BoFs for developers and practitioners are the oasis through which we irrigate our dry deserts of computing knowledge. The BoFs are our modern equivalent of old coffee houses of creativity and activity, the equivalent of the Parisian cafes of conversation and collaboration, in our digital age of enlightenment
As you know, Hadoop Summit, San Jose is approaching fast. Hortonworks will sponsor several Birds of Feather (BoFs) sessions, hosted by Hortonworks’ architects, tech-leads, committers, and engineers. These sessions are not restricted to conference attendees; they’re open to everyone.
Here is the list where you can RSVP. Because they’re all being held at the same time, June 5 to you’ll have to pick and choose, but you can always wander among them.
If you have not signed up for the conference, you can register here. Or you can RSVP for the BoFs at the above links.
See you all at the oasis of computing knowledge.