“Build in the bear market” is a statement that has been thrown around on twitter, and in podcasts for the past 6 months or so but at the “All Things Open” conference (https://allthingsopen.org/) in Raleigh, North Carolina it seemed that the majority of the attendees, speakers, and contributors had decided to “build in the bear market” and were passionately doing so.
Dragon reporting here from the All Things Open conference. After the first two days, I was very impressed to see the amount of companies and organizations focus on growing their already existing and functional platform or company.
I attended a conference in Silicon Valley this summer called “Blockchain Connect Conference” (http://www.goblockchainconnect.com/)and the booth section was filled with ICOs and projects that were primarily focused on fundraising. I was shilled to many times, offered private deals, some with large bonuses, sometimes up to a 60% bonus. Walking through the main floor I found two different lending platforms with sketchy offshore banking accounts and business logistics, and was pretty disappointed about the state of cryptocurrency at the time. At the conference in Raleigh, things were a lot different. The main floor was a collaborative space with primarily open source projects.
The conference was called “All Things Open” and was focused on open source, community driven projects. This was very reflected through their booth section as there was nobody shilling, or fundraising in the entire event (that I was able to notice). This was a drastic difference from Silicon Valley at the “Blockchain Connect Conference” where mostly the booths consisted of ICOs and projects fundraising. All Things Open had a very large, open air space for the booths (pictured below) it was easy to walk up and check the project or company out.
I was impressed to see the companies that were represented at All Things Open. A couple or the larger companies worth mentioning would be Amazon Web Services, IBM, GitHub, and Microsoft. While I always appreciate the smaller companies and the new ideas that are being brought to the space, it was interesting to talk to some of these larges companies and see how they were using blockchain on their already existing platforms. IBM was the big one here as they had an entire section off to themselves, and multiple employees walking around interacting with people and machine stations that they had setup around the booths.
While it was a great experience to be around some of the larger companies beginning to implement blockchain into their systems, it was also great to walk around and check out the other projects that were at All Things Open. Not all of the projects or companies were dealing directly with blockchain, but nonetheless some were very interesting. Having a background in computer science and coding I was drawn to a project called “OPEN JAM” due to the cool 8-bit logo on their booth. Open Jam is an open source video game platform build that takes place over the weekend, where the creators compete to have their game featured at the conference. I was able to play some of the games that they had at the booth, and also learned that it was built on https://itch.io/– a marketplace for game creators to control their games. On https://itch.io/creators control how much their it costs to play their game, and it is possible to even upload a game to play for 0$. Below is a picture of the Open Jam booth.
Another noteworthy project worth mentioning would be https://waffle.io/which is a project management software that hooks up to GitHub and pulls requests with an automated workflow. To show automation at their booth they had a robot that was handing out stickers (very cool). With Waffle you are able to customize your GitHub workflow completely filtering out what you want, or don’t want to see. Waffle also automatically logs updates and changes, as well as your status so you do not have to. With Waffle you can also view many repositories in one view, to maximize efficiency while you are working. Photos of their booth and robot are below
Couhcbase was a booth that I was interested in mainly because of the pure attraction and buzz around it, people were very excited. To see what the buzz was about I started to ask some questions, and learned that Couchbase, originally known as Memebase, is an open source, distributed, multi-model NoSQL dataebase software package that is optimized for applications that the user interacts with. These interactions with the user normally are how traditional databases interact with the user in a sense that the user is creating, searching, storing, aggregating, and manipulating data. Couchbase is doing a lot of exciting things with database scalability, and the non-traditional NoSQL documentation is breaking barriers in the database space. Generally, most database work is done in some form of an SQL based programming language such as MySQL, but Couchbase takes a NoSQL approach to revolutionize the database ecosystem. NoSQL or “non-SQL” is a relatively new practice which is the cause for excitement around this booth, pictured below.
Overall, I was very pleased to see the amount of projects and companies working to build. Pretty refreshing to not see or hear about any ICOs, and it was nice that this conference pretty much had nothing to do with the market, gains, losses, and focused on what open source, community driven blockchain based projects could provide to the world. While I mentioned a couple projects that I connected with, there are also a some that I left out, and I saw two to three projects dealing with agriculture and blockchain, which is a great use case that companies here in North Carolina are beginning to implement because it is a very agriculturally driven state. All Things Open put together a very likeminded, collaborative group of people and it turned out to be a great success of a conference in my eyes focused on adding meaningful contributions to the space.