LinuxFest Northwest badge

Infinity at LinuxFest Northwest

John SJ Anderson (@genehack)
may 19th, 2017

The first weekend in May, I had a chance to attend LinuxFest Northwest in Bellingham, WA. I also got to present a couple talks. I had a great time — read on for all the details!

This was my first time attending LinuxFest Northwest, and I am really impressed with how well organized this completely volunteer-run conference was. I’ve helped out with some conference organization in the past and have some idea of how hard it is to get everything put together just so. From the name badges, which contained a convenient printed copy of the schedule, to the always-busy expo hall, to the incredibly rapid posting of talk videos, LFNW knocked it out of the park.


Saturday morning, I got up and went for a run around Bellingham. I’d never been there before, and it was interesting to get a bit of the city under my feet. In some ways, it reminded me of my current home, Salem — both smaller PNW cities — but it also had some interesting differences.


I got a bit turned around on my run and was late for the first sessions, so the first talk I attended was “Flying Rockets with Free Hardware and Free Software”, which was a really great talk. The passion of the presenters for flying rockets was infectious, and the audience clearly was into it as well. Most of the questions went completely over my head, but it’s always inspiring to see folks talk about something they’re deeply into.

Later, Saturday afternoon, I presented “JSON Web Tokens Will Improve Your Life”, which seemed to be pretty well received. I got a number of excellent questions and have some ideas about how to improve the talk. Thanks to everybody who attended!

As seen at System76 cookout, apologies to Jesse Vincetn…

Saturday evening, I stumbled into the System76 cookout on the patio of the hotel where I was staying. I had a great time meeting the System76 crew and hanging out with them!


Sunday morning got off to a slightly late start – totally unrelated to the drinks System76 was pouring at the cookout! – but I managed to make it over to the venue in time to see System76’s Kyle deliver Lessons Learned from 11 Years Making Machines Born to Run Linux which was a really interesting look into how System76 is working towards being able to build and deliver their self-designed Linux laptops and desktops.

After lunch, I caught Stratic - the (super-modular) streaming static site generator which presented a novel approach to static site generation – tying together various, mostly generic, Node modules via a task runner to produce a static site generation system.

attendees at 'Logs Are Magic'

I finished out my Sunday by presenting Logs Are Magic: Why Git Workflows and Commit Structure Should Matter To You. This was the first time I’d given this talk, and I was extremely pleased with the nice-sized crowd who attended. I ended up being a little short on time, but the audience had a number of interesting questions and comments and we ended up filling out the hour exactly. Many thanks to all who attended, and particularly those that had questions and comments, or that spoke to me afterwards.

Wrapping up


After 2 talks in 2 days, I was pretty much wiped out. After the conference closed out, I retired to my hotel and enjoyed the lovely Bellingham weather. I had a great time at LinuxFest Northwest, and will plan on returning next year — hope to see you there!

Tags: culture technology conferences passions