Linux.conf.au kicks off next week aiming for open source roadmap goal

Annual conference expected to attract 600-strong crowd with diverse mix of international, Australian and NZ delegates

Linus Torvalds shaving off Bdale Garbee's beard at the conference in Tasmania last year for charity

Linus Torvalds shaving off Bdale Garbee's beard at the conference in Tasmania last year for charity

Organisers of the annual conference, Linux.conf.au are confident a roadmap for promoting the open source community in the region will be developed by the end of the six-day event starting next week.

The Linux.conf.au event is the largest annual gathering of open source software professionals and enthusiasts in the southern hemisphere and has been running for 11 years, having first started in Melbourne.

In that time, the conference – powered by a dedicated community of volunteers - has mirrored the ascent of the open source movement and is considered one of the best technical conferences in the world.

This year, the conference is being held in Wellington from January 18th to the 23rd – the second time it has hit New Zealand shores, the first was in 2006 – with a host of different technical and theoretical streams open for participation, including a series of mini-conferences that cover topics such as the business of open source and system administration to name but two.

"What the linux.conf.au conference is about is getting people together and also forming that roadmap for the future," co-director Susanne Ruthven said. "That is what we want the conference to achieve."

Unlike the early years, which were dominated by a male crowd, the conference has evolved to attract a far broader range of delegates. This year the organisers are expecting 15 per cent of participants to be female, 15 per cent to be international visitors (excl. Australia) and 2 per cent to be disabled persons.

"The great thing that has been happening the last few years is the amount of females that have been coming along to the IT conference," Susanne Ruthven said. "About 15 per cent of our delegates are now female and that is great to see."

The Linux.conf.au events have provided some notable moments in Australasian open source history, including Linus Torvalds shaving off Bdale Garbee's beard at the conference in Tasmania last year for charity. See the slideshow.

The conference will also hold an open day for the public on the last day (Saturday 23rd) to promote the open source movement. Four noted open source identities will also address the crowd with keynote speeches: Gabriella Coleman, Benjamin Mako Hill, Glyn Moody, and Nathan Torkington.

More information can be found on the linux.conf.au website.

Stay tuned to Computerworld for more information on Linux.conf.au.

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