Get Your Networking On - 2015 Socials To Be World-Class

Since 2008, we at POSSCON have focused on two things - bringing you world-class content and speakers, and bringing you world-class socials and networking opportunities. We’ve spent weeks telling you about the sessions and workshops to be featured, now let us take a minute and tell you everything you need to know about the socials.

Monday, April 13

We kick things off right as we’ll gather on the top deck at Hickory Sports Tavern located in the heart of the Vista and just across the street from the Music Farm. We’ll buy the first $1,000 in drinks as we meet new people and rekindle old friendships.

Starting time: 7:00 pm EST
Ending time: 9:00 pm EST

Tuesday, April 14

Immediately following programming at 5:30 we’ll move right into the Afternoon Social, which will take place at the outside bar at The Music Farm, located at 1022 Senate Street. The first $1,500 in drinks are free thanks to our good friends at Mandrill. This is ALWAYS an attendee favorite.

Starting time: 5:30 pm EST
Ending time: 7:30 pm EST*
*Attendees are encouraged to stick around and make new friends as long as you like

Once the Afternoon Social winds down, we invite our speakers and sponsors to move over to the Blue Marlin Vista Room to thank them. We’ll break bread and sincerely thank the people that help make the conference possible.

Starting time: 7:30 pm EST
Ending time: 9:30 pm EST

Wednesday, April 15

Once programming is wrapped up for the day all attendees are encouraged to join other POSSCON attendees at the Indie Grits Opening Night Party. This is one of the largest, and wildest parties you will ever attend, guaranteed, and it’s all FREE to POSSCON attendees with your conference lanyard. Oh, you’ll also get a FREE drink ticket as you enter.

Starting time: 6:00 pm EST
Ending time: 11:00 pm EST
Location: Columbia Museum of Art’s Boyd Plaza, 1515 Main Street, Columbia, SC 29202

2015 Parking Details Announced

Unless you’re within walking distance of downtown Columbia you’ll probably need to park when traveling to the conference. So, please make a note of the details below and let us know if you have questions.

A friendly reminder - POSSCON 2015 will take place in two locations this year - in the Vista on Tuesday, April 14 and at IT-oLogy on Wednesday, April 15.

Tuesday, April 14

Registration and morning welcome/keynote, as well as the Front-End developer track, will take place at the Music Farm, 1022 Senate Street, Columbia, 29201. Two parking garages will be available to attendees:

Closest/first choice:

Public parking garage directly behind the Hilton Hotel, which is located at 924 Senate Street. This garage has 900 spaces but will be busy as most local hotels are sold out during the week of the conference. The daily maximum in the garage is $10, if you park all day.

Second choice:

Public parking garage at 820 Washington Street. This 675 space garage is located at the corner of Washington and Lincoln and has a $10 per day maximum also. It’s about a two block walk to the Music Farm.

Wednesday, April 15

Registration and morning welcome/keynote, as well as all programming, will take place at IT-oLogy located at 1301 Gervais Street, Columbia SC 29201.

Closest/first choice:

USA Parking Garage that is attached to the IT-oLogy building, which is located on 1301 Gervais Street. The garage entrance is located between the Bank of America ATM and the IT-ology building on Gervais Street. The cost is $4 for all day parking with a voucher which will be available at the registration desk. Please note that you must park in a visitor parking spot above the 5th floor.

Second choice:

There are metered spots located around the building.

GitHub To Present Two Git/GitHub Sessions At POSSCON 2015

Are you a developer working on a mature project involving multiple developers? Are you a developer that can benefit from an efficient programing workflow that allows you to keep track of multiple versions of a file, track bugs by reverting to previous versions of a file, or collaborate with other developers? Are you a young developer in need of a portfolio?

If you answered yes to any of these questions, then the two Git/GitHub sessions being offered at POSSCON this year are for you.

Lee Faus of GitHub will show you why many companies now use Git and GitHub and why these tools are essential if you need to collaborate with other developers in a professional environment.

The two sessions will include:

GitHub 101 – Tuesday, April 14

This Git foundations class helps you, as a newcomer to GitHub and Git, fully grasp the concepts and application of distributed version control so that you can effectively begin using this productivity-enhancing suite of tools. We’ll explore the foundations of GitHub and Git through practical every-day commands and processes. We’ll conclude with workflow ideas and practical tips that will get you on the road to mastery of this revolutionary version control system.

Prerequisites: Basic knowledge about a version control system is recommended, whether that be Subversion, CVS, Perforce, StarTeam, SourceSafe, ClearCase or any similar product.

Advanced GitHub – Wednesday, April 15

Many Git workshops successfully focus on the basics for those new to DVCS. However, with Git having a full 5 years on the street now, there is a growing desire to address the maturing users of this innovative DVCS. This workshop will take existing Git users and bring them to a heightened level of productivity by leveraging Git’s powerful, yet underused “advanced” features.

Prerequisites: Basic familiarity with Git and GitHub recommended.

Be on the Lookout for Mayor Benjamin - The Mayor That Get’s It

In honor of Throwback Thursday let’s take a brief trip back in time….

It’s 2011 and we, meaning the POSSCON planning team, approach Columbia’s new mayor and ask him to attend and participate in the conference. While not entirely sure what would happen, there can’t be a lot of votes with the open source/tech/web crowd when it comes to sheer numbers after all, we were pleasantly surprised when he not only accepted the invitation, but embraced it and the conference itself. The rest, as they say, is history.

8680920003_cf2f607011_zHe’s been a repeat attendee and participant every year the conference has been held, and more importantly, he’s been an ardent supporter of the people that comprise the open source/open tech/open web space.

On many occasions we have been approached by some of the most well known tech experts in the United States and the same general conversation inevitably ensues…

Top expert: Hey, is that your mayor?

Us: Yes, yes it is our mayor

Top Expert: Does he attend this conference often?

Us: Yes he does. Every year actually.

8682025982_97bae16e58_zTop Expert: Didn’t I see him yesterday at the dinner/social/x session?

Us: Yes, that was probably him. He does that a lot.

Top expert: But that’s your mayor…

Us: Yes, yes it is (smiling)

Top Expert: Wow. In all my years in technology and going to conferences I have never met or been thanked by the mayor for attending a conference and supporting technology. That’s so cool!

Us: Yes, yes it. You’ll probably see him tomorrow also, so be on the lookout.

So, when you attend POSSCON this year take a look around and look for Mayor Benjamin. Whether you like politics or not go up and say hello. You can take it from us he supports what you’re doing.

He’s got a 4 year track record to prove it.

POSSCON, ConvergeSE & Indie Grits Film Festival – Together!

For the first time ever, we are proud to announce POSSCON will take place the same week as two other world-class events – ConvergeSE and the Indie Grits Film Festival. So, if you’re in Columbia, SC to learn more about open technology and the open web, why not stay a while and enjoy some of the best in Design/UI/UX and Film and art?


ZV1SMiWeConverge SE - April 15-18

Converge is for everyone who works on or with the web to make a living. From designers, developers, front-end engineers, marketers, business leaders, start up companies, film producers/directors and the old and new school creative types. Everyone can learn and level up their skills at Converge.



sidebar-logo-2015-reskinIndie Grits Film Festival - April 15 – 19 

Called “One of the 25 Coolest in the World” by Movie Maker Magazine

What started as a DIY festival for a tight-knit and dedicated audience in 2007, Indie Grits has grown into a staple of the city’s cultural life, giving novice to advanced media makers a venue for sharing their interest in independent media making, while also giving thousands of visitors and locals access to a progressive cultural life unmatched in the Southeast.

Did you know?

Columbia is not only the state capital of South Carolina, but also a center for emerging technology, design, and art/film? It was also recently identified as being #2 and #4 in high job growth nation wide

Why is Hadoop adoption becoming mandatory? Find out why at POSSCON 2015.

Does the enterprise you work in have plans to invest in big data? If yours is like 73% of the enterprises Gartner interviewed recently, it does plan to invest, and in the near-term.

Did you know that Forrester Research is saying enterprise adoption of Hadoop is becoming “mandatory”? Well it is, and for good reason.

So what does this mean for you? It means a lot, but most importantly it means you’re likely to be hearing about and working with or around Hadoop and other big data technologies for a long time to come. It means you’d better have a good understanding of the programming framework.

So, it’s fortunate we’re hosting not one, but two Hadoop sessions at the conference this year.

Eric Mizell, Director of Solution Engineering at industry leading Hortonworks, will deliver the following talks:

Tuesday, April 14 - 45 minute session

Introduction to Hadoop
What is Hadoop and why do I care? This session will cover why Hadoop and how enterprises are capturing, storing, and analyzing more data in more ways than ever before. Additionally, Eric will discuss multiple use cases that are adding value to organizations every day.

Wednesday, April 15 - 2.5 hour workshop

How YARN enables multiple data processing engines in Hadoop
YARN is Hadoop’s data operating system enabling multiple processing engines such as interactive SQL, real-time streaming, in-memory data analytics, and batch processing in a single platform. It is the foundation of the new generation of Hadoop and is enabling a Modern Data Architecture. In this session Eric will cover YARN 101, deep dive into many of the tools in Hadoop 2, and demonstrate a real-time application leveraging multiple Hadoop components.

AngularJS Session and Workshop to be Featured at POSSCON 2015

We are happy to announce AngularJS, the world’s most popular JavaScript framework today, will be featured at POSSCON 2015.

Conference programming will include a 45 minute session on the morning of Tuesday, April 14 as well as an extended 2.5 hour workshop on Wednesday, April 15. Both sessions will be hosted by Tom Wilson, President of Jack Russell Software and Lead Instructor at Charleston Code Camp.

AngularJS has become popular for a variety of reasons – it’s developed and maintained by Google, much of the writing can be done in HTML, and it’s overall simplicity - and we expect these sessions to be very well received and attended. For those interested we’ve included a session description for each below.

45 minute Intro to Angular – Tuesday, April 14

AngularJS is a JavaScript Framework that has taken the industry by storm, it is a great choice for single page application development, even hybrid mobile development. In this talk, we will provide an introduction into AngularJS 1.4.0, covering the basics like two-way databinding, templates, controllers, services and directives.

2.5 hour Building Applications with AngularJS workshop – Wednesday, April 15

In the Building application in AngularJS workshop, we will walk through the steps of building a data-driven application using AngularJS. It is a hands on workshop that will require a laptop with `nodejs` or `iojs` installed to get the most out of it. By participating in this workshop, you will get an idea of how you can start to assemble an angularjs application. Here is the following agenda:

  • Review how to setup an angularjs application.
  • Create a custom form and persist to a database.
  • Create a list view and search feature.
  • Create the ability to edit the form.
  • Create the ability to remove the record.
  • Create a custom directive for gravatar.

In summary, we should cover most of the day in, day out functions of Angular in building an application using Angular.

Why The Best Technologists Will Be Attending POSSCON 2015

In the 7 years we’ve been hosting POSSCON, we’ve noticed something – that the most professional and serious technologists, and those aspiring to be, generally attend the event. While it might seem counterintuitive on the surface - why would someone already considered a “professional” and good at what they do take the time to attend a conference? - it makes sense if you think about it.

Professional technologists understand the importance of education.

Nearly every single “professional” technologist, as well as every top technology student we know, understands that continued education is key to remaining really good at what they do. While access to quality education can be a challenge, those aspiring to stay good, or become good, find a way to get it. POSSCON is a world-class event, and most importantly, a quality educational opportunity. The professionals, and those aspiring to be, will once again be there in great numbers.

Technology IQ is a real thing.

Believe it or not, technology IQ is a real thing – and it makes you more valuable as an individual or as a company as it increases. What is it? It can be defined as understanding the intangibles, the same as it can be in football or any endeavor that is considered an occupation. In technology, it can mean the way people communicate with one another in a specific sector, like DevOps, the acronyms they use, the way people dress, the technologies they use, and even understanding pertinent issues and what’s really ‘important’. By understanding these things, your personal and organizational credibility increases, and there is no better place to gain this understanding than at a world-class conference.

Face-to-face is more important than ever before.

While technology has made remote communication easier than ever before, we strongly believe it has also made face-to-face interaction and engagement more important than ever before. No matter how many times you work with a teammate via IM, chat, or some other communication tool it cannot replace time spent with another human being. Whether you’re trying to meet a new partner/someone to work with, or possibly a new service provider/consultant, nothing provides critical information and establishes trust and confidence like looking someone in the eye, reading body language, or having a casual conversation.

Open technology is here to stay, and will only grow in importance moving forward.

As our friend Jeffrey Hammond at Forrester Research clearly states, if you, as a technologist or IT decision maker, don’t recognize the impact open technology is having on your organization you’re at risk of being “consumed”. The fact is that only 1 in 5 developers HAVE NOT used open source in some way in the past 12 months and nearly 90% of all organization use open technology and open source, whether the boss realizes it or not. In addition, most of the innovation taking place in technology is being driven by the ‘open’ approach because the best technologists are drawn to it. You can see it in today’s universities in top students, and it’s not going to change anytime soon.

Networking is critical.

At the risk of stating the obvious, networking has never been more important in the technology field. Crucial relationships, ones that often lead to better solutions and innovative breakthroughs, are forged at events where thought leaders, and those aspiring to be, are in confined spaces for extended periods of time. With the world becoming smaller by the day, those relationships will only help as you move forward and attempt to grow and develop value.

If you’re available April 14 & 15, we encourage you to join us in Columbia for POSSCON 2015. Come see for yourself why there is no substitute for attending a world-class conference with true thought leaders attending and participating. Once you do, we feel strongly you’ll not only be back, but you’ll seek out other opportunities to attend.

POSSCON Schedule 1.0 Released!

We’re extremely excited to make public Version 1.0 of the 2015 POSSCON schedule. At two months away from the event, we feel this information should provide enough substance to help enable planning for your attendance. Rest assured, we’ll continue to firm things up over the next 1-2 weeks. Some things will change, as they always do, but this is a great starting point.

So without further ado, we give you v 1.0…

Tuesday, April 14

Layout: 45 minute sessions on all 6 tracks. Learn some about a lot.
Location: The Music Farm and various locations throughout the Vista entertainment district.

For the Front-End Developer:

  • Building applications with AngularJS – a 45 minute intro session with Kevin Tavera, UI Lead at Filevine in Los Angeles
  • MeteorJS, why and how – a 45 minute intro with Josh Owens, host of the immensely popular Meteor Podcast, the Web 2.0 show, and other well known broadcasts
  • Building Modern Web Applications – with Dustan Kasten of Skookum Digital Works and CharlotteJS; tooling allowing you the benefits of traditional web apps with the power of single page apps
  • Bootstrap and Amazon Web Services
  • Modular Javascript at Netflix – with Semmy Purewal of Netflix & O’Reilly author of the book “Learning Web App Development”

For the back-End Developer:

  • Messaging standards and Systems – AMPQ & RabbitMQ, with noted author and expert Gavin Roy
  • Git/Version Control & GitHub – why and how it’s done at Groupon, presented by Groupon
  • Transitioning to the MEAN stack – MongoDB, ExpressJS, AngularJS, NodeJS; find out why it’s a trend you need to be aware of
  • Graph databases – why and how, examples
  • Web server/load run comparisons for developers – Apache/NGINX, HHVM, PHP-FPM, etc.
  • Python programming language – why, how, and case studies
  • The Go programming language
  • The Ultimate Rails session – what you must know

For DevOps and Cloud specialists:

  • Introduction to Infrastructure as Code & Automation/Intro to Chef; presented by Nathen Harvey, host of the popular DevOps podcast Food Fight Show and Community/Technology Evangelist at Chef
  • Docker 101: An Introduction – presented by Tibor Vass of Docker’s San Francisco home office
  • Automating applications & infrastructure, Why 1,000,000 can’t be wrong - The Ansible case study, with Greg DeKoenigsberg of Ansible
  • Openstack 101 – An Introduction
  • Building Private/Public and Hybrid Clouds
  • Software Defined Networking (SDN), with Sergey Razin, CIO of SIOS Inc, patent author, and creator of and contributor to multiple popular open source projects

For the Operations/Sys Admin Specialist:

  • Open Source tools for System Administrators – with Elizabeth Joseph of Hewlett Packard, Ubuntu author and community leader
  • Cloud in a Bottle: Enterprise Virtualization Features and Reliability on a Microbusiness Budget, with Jim Salter, Arstechnica feature author, open source expert, and long-time professional sys admin
  • System Administrator: How to eliminate your job using the cloud, with Jim Sweitzer of IBM’s Watson AI project

For the security specialist, and those interested in learning more:

  • Application Security on a Dime: A practical guide to using functional open source tools to test, validate, harden Code, systems, and even people, with Tony UcedaVeles, CEO of Versprite Inc, consultant to the Fortune 500, President of Atlanta WASP
  • Kill All Passwords: A look at methods around the traditional UN and PW system, presented by Jonathan LeBlanc, Emmy Award winning Engineer and O’Reilly author from PayPal
  • How to use cryptography properly – the common mistakes people make when using cryptographic functions

For those new to ‘open’:

  • Contributing to an open source project 101
  • A guide to the open desktop
  • Content management systems 101 – WordPress, Drupal, Joomla compared
  • Google Summer of Code – presented by Carol Smith of Google, the person responsible for the entire program
  • Open source and the internet of things (iOT)
  • Hacking the Linux kernel – a history of Linux
  • Open technology and the law/IP/Licensing

Wednesday, April 15

Layout: Extended 2.5 – 3.0 hour workshops; learn more about less, a deeper dive
Location: IT-oLogy classrooms, 1301 Gervais Street, suite 200, Columbia, SC 29201 – at the corner of Sumter and Gervais Streets

  • Building applications with AngularJS, with Tom Wilson, CEO of Jack Russell Software and founder of CoderDojo in Charleston, SC
  • MeteorJS, how and why (the extended version), with Josh Owens, host of the immensely popular Meteor Podcast, the Web 2.0 show, and other well known broadcasts
  • DevOps 101 – with Nathen Harvey, host of Food Fight Show and Community/technology Evangelist at Chef
  • Cloud in a Bottle: Enterprise Virtualization Features and Reliability on a Microbusiness Budget (the extended version), with Jim Salter, Arstechnica feature author, open source expert, and long-time professional sys admin
  • Hadoop, What You Must Know – find out why Hadoop has become the world’s top big data processing and analytics platform
  • Raspberry Pi/Hardware - PayPal
  • Git, Version Control and GitHub
  • Red Hat Certification 101
  • Introduction to oVirt


POSSCON 2015: Bring your walking shoes!

vistaOne of the toughest decisions we make every time we host a conference is “where?”. Where to host the event, what location will serve as the main stage/keynote area, where to host socials, etc. We put so much thought into it because most everyone that has ever organized an event knows, location matters.

We’re very pleased to announce, after much behind-the-scenes wrangling and coordination, that all programming and socials on Tuesday, April 14 will take place in the heart of Columbia’s entertainment district,the Vista. The main stage and keynote area will be The Music Farm, which seats 500 and has unbelievably cool lighting, as well as two bars on-site. Track sessions will take place at numerous other locations throughout the Vista, including Tin Roof, the Columbia Convention Center, the Hilton Hotel, and Liberty Taproom patio. To find more information about each location and a map of all the locations, check out our Breakouts page.

Workshops on Wednesday, April 15 will take place in the world-class space at IT-oLogy, which is located at 1301 Gervais Street, just across the street from the state capital building. So, if you’re attending on Tuesday, be sure to wear walking shoes. In addition to world-class education and networking, all attendees will see Columbia up-close and personal, which is pretty darn cool.