Apache Asia 2009 Roadshow (Day 1)

Today ends the first day of the (partly) 3 day seminar of Apache Asia 2009 Roadshow at Colombo, Sri Lanka. I was anticipating a lot on attending this event and now that I’ve successfully been able to, I’m grateful for those who’ve put aside time for me to get out of Male’ and attend to it. It’s partly 3 days because the 3rd day is supposed to be an unconference. It’s a clever term and it means unwinding the event with a participant driven conference centered around a theme or purpose and is primarily used in the geek community.

The event has 3 keynote speakers one of whom is a distinguished Sri Lankan professor named Mohan Munasinghe. He is a physicist with a focus on energy, sustainable development and climate change. He was also the Vice Chairman of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), the organization that shared 2007’s Nobel Peace Prize with former Vice President of the United States Al Gore. He talked about sustainable ICT and the environment and climate change in general. You can read more about professor Mohan Munasinghe at Wikipedia.

Following the keynote speech by professor Mohan Munasinghe, Greg Stein delivered his keynote, “Reflecting on 10 years with ASF”. He is a director of the Apache Software Foundation, and served as chairman for a couple years in the past. His talk was particularly interesting as his focus was on relaying identified key elements during his career as a developer, how he came to be a director of the ASF and then chaired the foundation for sometime. He then went on talking about his past experiences and how the audience can similarly relate to him pursuing a similar path.

The rest of the talks were from experienced Sri Lankan developers who have been regularly contributing and driving the course of certain projects of Apache: Axis2, Apache Synapse, Stonehenge and Apache Woden to name a few. How I wished we have contributors back at home.

To emphasis on some of the talks, I could say they were particularly interesting especially because these projects solely target enterprise Service Oriented Architecture (SOA). It means that middleware applications such as those enable in-house developers to tap into and expose data on disparate heterogeneous systems (be it legacy) to be consumed, transformed and utilized by more modern interfaces, and enables to create an interconnected platform.

These systems makes use of industry standard protocols such as SOAP and WSDL, and is guaranteed to interoperate with other stacks, platforms and libraries. Given enough thought on some of these projects are certain to be fruitful for enterprise developers who works heavily on integrations.

For questions asked from the audience at the end of talks, shirts and hats were awarded. As for the unconference, I’m not sure how they selected members. If I remember correctly 25 people were selected from the organizing team. To my surprise my named was called out almost at the end of the day and I was awarded with a cap and invited to the unconference. I’m assuming my contact at foss.lk Suchetha Wijenayake who was on the organizing team must have given out my name.

The agenda can be found at the event website. I shall follow up with the events of the next days of the conference. Cheers.