The Linux Foundation is ecstatic to return to in-person events next month; we know how important these face-to-face gatherings are to accelerating collaboration and innovation in the open source community. 

We know you have questions surrounding health and safety at in-person events and want to pause for a moment to address these. Rest assured – your health has been at the forefront of every move and decision we have made as we make a safe return back to in-person events.  

Let’s start here with some items from behind the scenes.

  • The LF has a long-standing relationship with Dr. Joel Selanikio, a physician, former CDC epidemiologist and outbreak investigator, and consultant epidemiologist to the DC Department of Health and to FEMA for the COVID-19 response over 2020-21. Thanks to Dr. Selanikio’s council over the last two years, we have been able to take educated and well-thought out steps to ensure the safety of our community members as we navigate COVID-19. 
  • We are working closely with local Departments of Health to ensure we are following all local requirements and recommendations. 
  • We are continuing to monitor and follow all CDC, WHO and PHE/NHS (in the UK) guidelines, in addition to those of the local municipalities in which we are holding events.
  • We are checking in with our venues and vendors multiple times a week to ensure we are staying up-to-date on best practices and regulations.
  • Finally, The Linux Foundation Event Team have all been certified in handling Pandemic On-Site Protocols (by the Event Leadership Institute). The team is vaccinated, trained and equipped to handle safety protocols and procedures at our events and are more than happy to assist you onsite and ensure you are comfortable.  

Vaccines, masks and everyone’s new favorite phrase: social distancing.

  • As announced previously, in-person attendees will be required to be fully vaccinated against the COVID-19 virus. A vaccine verification app will be used to confirm vaccination status.
  • Additionally, masks will now be required for in-person attendance.
  • All event participants will receive a daily temperature check in order to enter the event zone and will receive a sticker to be able to enter and exit as needed.
  • Comfort level wristbands (in green, yellow, and red) will be provided for event participants to use if they choose to indicate their preference on social distancing comfort level. 

All of the above protocols are in place for LF and LF Project events (like KubeCon + CloudNativeCon) through November 2021.

We are working closely with each of our venues and their local jurisdictions to ensure we are following all local requirements and recommendations. Here are some items you can expect on-site at any of our events through November:

  • Reduced conference room capacity: space between you and your neighbors.
  • More physical space between speakers and attendees: so speakers can present without their masks (and you can hear them clearly!).
  • Wider aisles and thoroughfares through event spaces.
  • Sponsor booths spread further apart in the exhibit hall as well as wider aisles. 
  • Socially distanced areas for eating/drinking and mask breaks
  • Close organization with venues: to ensure rigorous onsite cleaning and sanitizing of all touch points, sneeze guards where necessary, and sanitation stations.

You can view a full list of onsite safety procedures on the Health and Safety page, under the “Attend” tab on all event microsites at events.linuxfoundation.org.

Quick Links

View Open Source Summit + ELC + OSPOCon Health and Safety page

View Open Networking + Edge Summit & Kubernetes on Edge Day Health and Safety page

View KubeCon + CloudNativeCon Health and Safety page

We are keeping our health and safety guidelines updated regularly, and adding to the FAQ as necessary.  If these resources do not answer a question you may have, reach out to us at events@linuxfoundation.org.

After much research and with guidance from Dr. Selanikio, we believe the combination of vaccination and mask requirements, along with the other protocols we are putting in place, provides a safe environment for our in-person event participants.

We understand that not everyone will be able to join us in-person due to a variety of factors, which is why we are delighted to offer attendees the ability to participate in our events virtually. To learn more about the different pass options, click on the “Register” tab on any of our event websites.

We hope this information brings you assurance that keeping you and all our event participants safe is top of mind – and will continue to be as we make each and every decision. A big THANK YOU to the entire open source community for your understanding during this fluid COVID-19 situation and this very challenging time in our history. We look forward to seeing you at our events this fall!

Modern day supply chains leave greater potential for vulnerabilities, and supply chain security should be a high priority for organizations. Vulnerabilities could be catastrophic, and lead to unnecessary costs, inefficient delivery schedules and a loss of intellectual property. 

In addition, over the last few years, supply chains have increasingly been exposed as a major weak point in organizational security. While security may be top of mind within company walls, you are only as strong as your most vulnerable supplier.

We are excited to bring the community a new event where folks can learn directly from experts who have been working on how to solve these vulnerabilities for almost a decade, to find out how to best protect their supply chain and mitigate potential disaster.

Anyone involved in ensuring their company’s supply chain is secure including security professionals, executive leadership and tech leaders.

The event is free to attend, and will take place virtually on August 18. It is comprised of nine sessions covering all aspects of protecting the supply chain, including talks on:

  • Generating SBOMs for IoT at Build Time
  • Securing GCC & GLIBC
  • Building Signing, Distributing SPDX SBOMs as Artifact Reference Type
  • Software Supply Chain Integrity with Sigstore

View all sessions, speakers and register to attend here.

After careful consideration, we have decided that the safest course of action for returning to in-person events this fall is to take a “COVID-19 vaccine required” approach to participating in-person. Events that will be taking this approach include:

We are still evaluating whether to keep this requirement in place for events in December and beyond. We will share more information once we have an update.

Proof of full COVID-19 vaccination will be required to attend any of the events listed above. A person is considered fully vaccinated 2 weeks after the second dose of a two-dose series, or two weeks after a single dose of a one-dose vaccine.

Vaccination proof will be collected via a digitally secure vaccine verification application that will protect attendee data in accordance with EU GDPR, California CCPA, and US HIPAA regulations. Further details on the app we will be using, health and safety protocols that will be in place onsite at the events, and a full list of accepted vaccines will be added to individual event websites in the coming months. 

While this has been a difficult decision to make, the health and safety of our community and our attendees are of the utmost importance to us. Mandating vaccines will help infuse confidence and alleviate concerns that some may still have about attending an event in person. Additionally, it helps us keep our community members safe who have not yet been able to get vaccinated or who are unable to get vaccinated. 

This decision also allows us to be more flexible in pivoting with potential changes in guidelines that venues and municipalities may make as organizations and attendees return to in person events. Finally, it will allow for a more comprehensive event experience onsite by offering more flexibility in the structure of the event.

For those that are unable to attend in-person, all of our Fall 2021 events will have a digital component that anyone can participate in virtually. Please visit individual event websites for more information on the virtual aspect of each event.

We hope everyone continues to stay safe, and we look forward to seeing you, either in person or virtually, this fall. 

The Linux Foundation

FAQ

Q:If I’ve already tested positive for COVID-19, do I still need to show proof of COVID-19 vaccination to attend in person? 

A: Yes, you will still need to show proof of COVID-19 vaccination to attend in-person.

Q: Are there any special circumstances in which you will accept a negative COVID-19 test instead of proof of a COVID-19 vaccination? 

A: Unfortunately, no. For your own safety, as well as the safety of all our onsite attendees, everyone who is not vaccinated against COVID-19 will need to participate in these events virtually this year, and will not be able to attend in-person.

Q: I cannot get vaccinated for medical, religious, or other reasons. Does this mean I cannot attend?

A: For your own safety, as well as the safety of all our onsite attendees, everyone who is not vaccinated against COVID-19 – even due to medical, religious or other reasons – will need to participate in these events virtually this year, and will not be able to attend in-person.

Q: Will I need to wear a mask and socially distance at these events if everyone is vaccinated? 

A: Mask and social distancing requirements for each event will be determined closer to event dates, taking into consideration venue and municipality guidelines.

Q: Can I bring family members to any portion of an event (such as an evening reception) if they have not provided COVID-19 vaccination verification in the app? 

A: No. Anyone that attends any portion of an event in-person will need to register for the event, and upload COVID vaccine verification into our application.

Q: Will you provide childcare onsite at events again this year?

A: Due to COVID-19 restrictions, we unfortunately cannot offer child care services onsite at events at this time. We can, however, provide a list of local childcare providers. We apologize for this disruption to our normal event plans. We will be making this service available as soon as we can for future events.

Q: Will international (from outside the US) be able to attend? Will you accept international vaccinations?

A: Absolutely. As mentioned above, a full list of accepted vaccines will be added to individual event websites in the coming months. 

Recently, the Linux Foundation Events team sent out a survey to past attendees of all events from 2018 through 2021 to get their feedback on how they feel about virtual events and gauge their thoughts on returning to in-person events. We sent the survey to 69,000 people and received 972 responses. 

The enclosed PDF document summarizes the results of that survey. Click on the embedded image to see the page advance controls.

LF-Events-surveyApril2021

Ultimately the good news here is that a healthy number of people feel comfortable traveling this year for events, especially domestically in the US. The results also show that about 1/4 of respondents like virtual events, and the vast majority of people who told us that they had attended in-person events before — another reason to keep a hybrid format moving forward.

Click here to read the February 2021 Linux Foundation Newsletter

Virtual event suggestions for open source communities

Introduction

With the COVID-19 pandemic affecting every aspect of life across every population and industry around the globe, numerous conferences, events, and meetings have been canceled or postponed. The Linux Foundation events team has been working in overdrive negotiating to cancel or postpone events that were or are impossible to operate this year safely. The health and safety of our communities and staff is our top concern.

The good news is that for those events that can no longer safely take place in person, virtual events still offer the opportunity to connect within our communities to share valuable information and collaborate. While not as powerful as a face-to-face gathering, a variety of virtual event platforms available today offer a plethora of features that can get us as close as possible to those invaluable in-person experiences. Thanks to our community members, we’ve received suggestions for platforms and services that the events team has spent the past several weeks evaluating. 

After researching a large number of possibilities over the last few weeks, the Linux Foundation has identified three virtual event platforms (and a small-scale developer meeting tool) that could serve the variety of needs within our diverse project communities. Our goal was to determine the best options that capture as much of the real-world experience as we can in a virtual environment for virtual gatherings ranging from large to small. After evaluating 86 virtual event platforms, and in the spirit of contributing back, we thought we would share what we learned.

Below is the shortlist of platforms we’ve identified for our potential use, based on which offered features that best replicate our in-person events of different sizes. We’re sharing our findings because these learnings might be a good fit for others in our community, or perhaps save you time looking at options. If you’re evaluating any platform, be prepared to spend a few weeks getting conversations started with salespeople, viewing demos, obtaining pricing, and negotiating features.

Why we chose the platforms listed

There are many virtual conferencing solutions offered in the market today. Each solution varies on price, features, scalability, and technology integration points. The list of every single platform and software solution we looked at, including open source-based solutions, can be viewed here. One of these other solutions might be a better fit for your organization’s needs. 

Finding a virtual event platform, however, is also just one piece of the virtual event puzzle. How you plan, structure, and execute the virtual event will be critical to achieving a successful community engagement. We stumbled across this great Guide to Best Practices for Virtual Conferences put together by the ACM Presidential Task Force, which we thought provided some great practitioner tips for communities running virtual events. 

Our goal was to find solutions for our events team that met the following three requirements: 

    • The ability to deliver the required content
    • The ability for attendees to network and collaborate with each other
    • The ability to deliver sponsor benefits in the platform for those companies supporting these events financially

Due to these requirements, we did not focus as much on web conference solutions, such as the now popular Zoom. However, if you are looking for a simple web solution, many of the typical web conferencing platforms are easy, quick options to set up a small virtual gathering. In many cases, you might not need all the features of the virtual events platforms.

There are even some wonderful open source options out there including:

    • Jitsi Meet, which has some very useful features like streaming, screen sharing tabs, sharing videos, and more that are not found in other solutions.
    • Open Broadcaster Software if you’re looking to record and stream session content, which can also be usefully paired with conferencing tools.
    • EtherPad, which many of our communities use and it’s exciting to see that there’s also video support to connect and talk while editing.
    • Big Blue Button that’s designed for teachers and students, but open source for anyone to use (and we know many of you have kids at home and might find this useful).

Linux Foundation virtual event platform shortlist

These tools are designed for medium to large events with multiple concurrent tracks, in-depth attendee networking and collaboration needs, and robust sponsor requirements. The pricing for each of these will depend on the specific event details, such as number of conference tracks, the number of chat rooms/attendee collaboration spaces, length of the event, number of attendees, and number of sponsor booths.

All of these event platforms (with the exception of QiQo Chat) have all the following standard functionality:

    • Web-based (HTML5) supporting Linux desktops/browsers (and also Windows and Mac)
    • Registration integrations that will comply with GDPR and privacy regulation requirements
    • Webhooks or REST APIs to integrate with security systems like SSO (Auth0) and SFDC.
    • Can be white labeled for your community’s event branding
    • Speaker Q&A chat available within sessions
    • Attendee networking capabilities
    • Integrated scheduling tools and agenda builder
    • Attendee analytics: booths visited, session attendance, etc.
    • Gamification options to drive attendee engagement
    • Pop-up notifications throughout the platform (‘Keynotes starting in 5 minutes!’, ‘Visit [Sponsor’s] booth’)
    • Guaranteed uptime, redundancies and autoscaling

inXpo Intrado

Best for large events with high budgets requiring a virtual conference experience with few compromises.

InXpo Intrado has robust hosting capabilities and uses hyper-scale cloud providers for its infrastructure to provide highly reliable and resilient performance. The company uses its own platform for session broadcast and integrates with third-party CRM and registration platforms. It offers 3D virtual environments throughout the platform as well as robust attendee networking options and sponsor benefits, including virtual booths. 

Benefits:

    • Extremely customizable, very immersive event experience. 3D environments & virtual booths (VR representation of physical world exhibit hall that looks like a video game)
    • A good user interface for attendees to access all content
    • No limit on concurrent sessions or live sessions so you will not have to worry about maxing out session/attendee capacities on this platform
    • The solution provider uses its own network infrastructure backbone that is fault-tolerant enough to support 98% of 911 call centers in the US
    • Real-time translation and closed captioning capabilities without requiring third-party platforms or plugins
    • Works from within China — used by Chinese companies to run in-country virtual events
    • Extra layer of attendee privacy protection with optional ‘pop up’ message for attendees to confirm before sponsors can gather any information about the attendee

Additional Considerations:

    • One of the most expensive platforms we evaluated
    • Potential longer turnaround time needed for event onboarding and setup
    • Sponsor booth templates are customizable for a fee
    • Does not allow you to plug in your own open source video streaming/video conferencing solution

MeetingPlay

Best for any size event where attendee networking tools are a priority and sponsor ‘booths’ aren’t required.

This platform can accommodate events of all sizes but does not have a 3D virtual exhibit hall/booth capability. That said, the sponsor benefits built into this platform are robust, and they have excellent attendee networking capabilities. You can use Meeting Play’s own integrated video conferencing solution for content delivery, or use your own. 

Benefits:

    • Heavy focus on “attendee” experience
    • AI-driven content, chat room and attendee suggestions — based on initial questions you can customize and ask of all participants
    • Allow for gated content with in-app registration upgrade options (freemium model) similar to offering a free “hall pass” and then requiring a higher registration to attend sessions
    • Sponsor pages are very robust offering sponsors the ability to chat 1:1 with attendees, show videos/demos, sharing resources, and more
    • Option to use MeetingPlay integrated video streaming solution, or the one of your choice via your own account
    • Works from within China — they support a number of customers in China and have virtual machines in-country that they use to test before going live for an event

Additional Considerations:

    • No 3D virtual exhibit hall or booth — sponsors receive a dynamic page that allows for real-time chat with attendees, downloadable resources, and a video player for demos or welcome videos
    • Looks more like a website rather than a virtual event
    • Only 2 concurrent live sessions at a time w/out additional fee. They recommend pre-recording most sessions and playing “simulive” (meaning it is played at a specific time, and speakers join real-time to do a text-based Q&A.) The platform has a limit of 8 concurrent live sessions at any one time
    • Collaboration spaces (used for sponsor booths, attendee ‘meeting rooms’ and any live sessions that have multiple speakers or require a two-way communication) are charged by the hour and by the number of attendees, which makes using these freely a bit difficult

QiQo Chat

QiQo is best for smaller technical gatherings that don’t need all the bells and whistles of an industry event focus. This is a great option for a focus on small group collaboration, such as developer meetings and hackathons.

QiQo acts as a Zoom wrapper for attendees collaboration and session broadcasting and is ideally suited for smaller events that have a more narrow focus, where communication and collaboration needs are more back and forth, versus one-way delivery. One unique feature of QiQo is it offers the ability to collaborate on Google Docs and Etherpad as both are both integrated into QiQo’s interface. 

Benefits:

    • Inexpensive
    • An affordable option for small meetings that only need an elevated video conferencing option for collaboration. Each live event on Qiqo comes with 10 Zoom breakout rooms by default
    • Great for small group collaboration in multiple workspaces – as a Zoom wrapper, it creates more of a virtual environment around an event with multiple breakout rooms for discussions
    • Includes a large number of built-in integrated tools for collaboration and productivity: Slack, Google Calendar, Google Docs, and Etherpad
    • While Zoom is their default, their support team will work with you to set this up with Jitsi or another video conferencing solution of your choice
    • Works from within China depending on webcasting platform availability

Additional Considerations:

    • Simple Zoom wrapper to add collaboration features on top of Zoom – can be used with other video conferencing tools as well
    • Very limited sponsor elements
    • A little more challenging interface and workflow than other options — a lot of options, but definitely let ‘out of the box’
    • Minimalistic approach for collaboration

Conferencing platform feature comparison

Conferencing platform feature comparison

Screenshots gallery

Conclusion

With over 40 events remaining this year under the Linux Foundation umbrella of events, we have several conferences that might go virtual. Each of these will have different requirements, so to support our diverse communities, we needed a range of options and features. We do think that this portfolio of options together meets most of our various community needs, and we hope you find value in us sharing them, along with the list of all the other platforms we examined.

blockchain

Blockchain has benefits all the way along the supply chain, said Sally Eaves, of Forbes Technology Council, speaking at Open FinTech Forum.

Blockchain and its ability to “embed trust” can help elevate trust, which right now, is low, according to Sally Eaves, a chief technology officer and strategic advisor to the Forbes Technology Council, speaking at The Linux Foundation’s Open FinTech Forum in New York City.

People’s trust in business, media, government and non-government organizations (NGOs) is at a 17-year low, and businesses are suffering as a result, Eaves said.

Additionally, Eaves said, 87 percent of millennials believe business success should be measured in more than just financial performance. People want jobs with real meaning and purpose, she added.

To provide further context, Eaves noted the following urgent global challenges:

  • 1.5 billion people cannot prove their identity (which has massive implications in not just banking but education as well)
  • 2 billion people worldwide do not have a bank account or access to a financial institution
  • Identity fraud is estimated to cost the UK millions of euros annually.

Blockchain for good

Blockchain has benefits all the way along the supply chain, she said. “Supply chains that are non-transparent, ethical or sustainable are prevalent, especially in developing nations, alongside high levels of illegal trade with no traceability or accountability.” Eaves is focusing on the transparency of blockchains and their integration with other technologies.

More needs to be done in the areas of AI development, blockchain, and cybersecurity with teams that are truly diverse and inclusive, she stressed. People also need to look at interoperability and changing the current approach of “siloed thinking.”  Eaves said she doesn’t believe just in using advanced technologies but in repurposing older technology as well. “I’m all about sustainable, environmental, and economic impact.”

Mining costs, scalability, and performance are other considerations for blockchain, and some of the newer “flavors” of blockchain that Eaves is working on are “dealing with that head on,” she noted.

A particular project she mentioned is the Sustainable Asset Exchange, which addresses ethical mineral supply, ethical diamonds, food, and bamboo as a replacement for plastic, and how that can be traded fairly. Blockchain technology can be used as well as RFID and other technologies at every stage of the supply chain, she said.

All of this is geared at what Eaves called “a triple bottom line,’’ focused on sustainable development in economic, social, and environmental benefits and in bringing them together. “It doesn’t have to be an either or,” she said. “Sometimes, if we talk about one thing or another, we never look enough at how we can integrate them. And that’s what I passionately believe in.”

Headway is being made. Eaves cited research from Stanford University Business School that shows two-thirds of 193 early blockchain projects are expected to start demonstrating impact and tangible benefits in the next six months.

A three-way opportunity for change

Eaves went on to discuss opportunities from technological convergence. Another project she mentioned she is working on is in precision medicine, using blockchain security alongside machine learning to delve into pattern recognition to improve population disease management.

She predicted a rise in blockchain as a service; opportunities from science and technology pairings, such as genomics and blockchain; and opportunities to apply blockchain for social impact and to contribute to Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Blockchain and evolving sustainable business models

The last segment of Eaves’s talk focused on using bamboo as a sustainable replacement for plastic in manufacturing bicycles, as well as in 3D printing and building modular homes.

“We need to make the application of advanced technology accessible to all and make it feel like this is something that is valuable and relevant to our everyday lives – not just something for the few,’’ she said. Her goal is to use blockchain to create sustainable business models that combine profit and purpose and are real-world and relevant to everyone.

We need to have a “cross-fertilization of ideas” from different aspects of the economy and addressing non-advanced technology issues, Eaves said. “You can’t have the best ideas in the world and most advanced forms of technology if we haven’t got the basic infrastructure right,’’ Eaves said. Otherwise, “we won’t get to that point of acceleration.”

You can watch the entire presentation below:

Learn more about blockchain at the upcoming Hyperledger Global Forum. Sign up to receive updates:

Hyperledger Global Forum

Collaborate, connect, and advance your blockchain skills at Hyperledger Global Forum next month.

With over 75 sessions, keynotes, hands-on technical workshops, social activities, evening events, and more, Hyperledger Global Forum gives you a unique opportunity to collaborate with the Hyperledger community, make new connections, learn about the latest production deployments, and further advance your blockchain skills. In addition to previously announced keynote speakers, new keynote speakers include:

  • Frank Yiannas, Vice President of Food Safety, Walmart
  • David Treat, Managing Director, Accenture

Session Highlights Include:

Technical Track:

  • Approaches to Consortia Governance and Access Control in Hyperledger Fabric Applications – Mark Rakhmilevich, Oracle
  • Chaincode Best Practices – Sheehan Anderson, State Street
  • Lessons Learned Creating a Usable, Real-world Web Application using Fabric/Composer – Waleed El Sayed & Markus Stauffiger, 4eyes GmbH

Innovation Theater Track:

  • MyCuID: Blockchains, Credentials and Credit Unions – Julie Esser, CULedger
  • Live Demo of Omnitude ID Utilizing Hyperledger Indy, Fabric, and Sovrin – James Worthington, Omnitude
  • Giving Money Identity and Purpose – Raj Cherla, Spoole Systems Pvt Ltd

Business Track:

  • Panel Discussion: Hyperledger in Supply Chains – Kari Korpela, Lappeenranta University of Technology; Petr Novotny, IBM Research; Yu Zhang, Huawei and moderated by Allison Clift-Jennings, Filament
  • Panel Discussion: Where Are We Now with Identity? – Daniel Haudenschild, Swisscom Blockchain AG; James Worthington, Omnitude and moderated by Heather Dahl, The Sovrin Foundation
  • Financial Inclusion: How DLT Provides Hope For 1.7 Billion Unbanked People – Matthew Davie, Kiva

Take a look at the full schedule!

Secure your spot now and save up to $150 with the current registration rate, available through November 25.  Register now >>

This post originally appeared on the Hyperledger website.

Watch the keynotes LIVE next week at Open Source Summit & ELC + OpenIoT Summit Europe.

Open Source Summit & ELC + OpenIoT Summit Europe is taking place in Edinburgh, UK next week, October 22-24, 2018. Can’t make it? You’ll be missed, but you don’t have to miss out on the action. Tune into the free livestream to catch all of the keynotes live from your desktop, tablet or phone! Sign up now >>

Hear from the leading technologists in open source! Get an inside scoop on:

  • An update on the Linux Kernel
  • Diversity & inclusion to fuel open source growth
  • How open source is changing banking
  • How to build an open source culture within organizations
  • Human rights & scientific collaboration
  • The future of AI and Deep Learning
  • The future of energy with open source
  • The parallels between open source & video games

Live video streaming of the keynote sessions from Open Source Summit & ELC + OpenIoT Summit Europe will take place during the following times:

Monday, October 22

9:00 – 10:20 (BST)

Watch keynotes from Open Invention Network, LF Energy, Intel, LWN.net, and The Linux Foundation.

Tuesday, October 23

9:00 – 10:20 (BST)

Watch keynotes from Vibrant Data, Microsoft, IBM, and Human Rights Data Analysis Group.

Wednesday, October 24

9:00 – 10:00 (BST)

Watch keynotes from Max Planck Institute for Gravitational Physics, IBM, and Mifos Initiative.

View the full keynote schedule >>

Sign up for free live stream now >>

For Kid’s Day at Open Source Summit, Banks Family Tech organized a 4-hour long workshop to introduce children to coding. (Image courtesy: S. Bhartiya)

The Linux Foundation strives to make Open Source Summit one of the most inclusive tech events in a variety of ways, offering activities such as the “Women in Open Source” lunch, a diversity social, a first-time attendees get-together, and more. They have activities focused on children, too. Not only does Open Source Summit offer free on-site childcare for attendees’ children, they also sponsor a Kid’s Day.

At this year’s Kid’s Day in Vancouver, the primary goal was to introduce the kids to coding via HTML, and very little computer knowledge or experience was required to participate. “The basics, typing, browsing the Internet and minor computer operation, are all your child needs to participate,” according to the website.

For this event, The Linux Foundation collaborated with Banks Family Tech, who organized the 4-hour long workshop. This workshop was geared toward children ages 9–18 and was open to children from the community as well as those of event attendees. The kids that participated actually ranged in age from 5-13 years of age, and, many already had some coding experience. Some had tried Scratch, and others had written scripts for games.

“We are going to teach how to go from nothing and become coders,” said Phillip Banks, founder of Banks Family Tech.

HTML workshop

The workshop focused squarely on HTML, one of the easiest computing languages. “It’s close to English and it’s not hard text and syntax to learn. It allows us to squeeze a lot of things into a day and get them excited so that they can go home and learn more,” said Banks. “After that, maybe, you can go to Python but HTML is so easy as they get a quick return by manipulating objects, text color and other things on a web-page immediately.”

This Kid’s Day event had a great mix of participants. While some of the kids accompanied their parents who were attending the conference, the majority were from the local community, whose parents learned about the workshop from social networks like Facebook. Khristine Carino, Director for Communications of SCWIST (Society for Canadian Women In Science and Technology), not only brought her own kids but also invited families from underrepresented minorities in Vancouver.

In the workshop, the children learned HTML basics like font tags, how to use fonts and colors, how to add images and videos, and how choose a background for their website. They also had the opportunity to share what they created with the whole group and learn from each other.

“It’s not so much about learning to code, just to be a coder; it’s learning to understand how things work,” said Banks. You can hear more in the video below.

Check out the full list of activities coming up at Open Source Summit in Europe and sign up to receive updates: