Yesterday, I had the privilege to present at Software Freedom Day – Cleveland on python, what it is, and who’s using it. I was hoping to get more in detail with my presentation, but other circumstances wouldn’t let me get that in depth. Therefore, I will have more posts here hopefully over the next couple weeks getting into python a little more for those interested.

When I signed up for the event, I knew only a handful of people there. Some of the guys (like Michael Letterle and Joe Fiorini) help me on the Cleveland Day of .NET planning committee. Joseph James Frantz, the lead organizer of this event, had heard my IronPython talk and wanted me to come and speak here at his event. I also knew Mat Kovach, as I usually see him running around with my buddy Martin Hebrank.

Upon my arrival at Gemini Center, I was greeted by Joe Frantz and met up with the guys who were already there. I also met Seth Keiper and Andy Halko. Joe gave a great keynote explaining what FOSS is and what Cleveland has going for it. After his keynote, Mike Masello talked about Firefox, or as his talked was called “The World’s Best Browser”. He went into various add-ons for it, and I would have loved to hear more about what he’s found.

After their talks, I went to hear Joe Fiorini’s presentation on Git and Github. I’m locked into a Source Safe world, so it was interesting to see what another source control program could do.

We had pizza, wings, salad, cookies, and pop for lunch. After lunch, I ducked into a presentation on VirtualBox. Being stuck on Vista Home Premium, which doesn’t support Virtual PC, I was a little cranky since I hadn’t wanted to get into VMware and just hadn’t had time to look at other options, but I missed working with a virtual PC, like I do sometimes at work. It was nice to see Seth’s presentation and after finding out that there’s a Windows client, it’s given me hope that I can do virtualization without having to upgrade Vista.

After Seth’s talk, I sat through Joe Frantz’s talk on Puppy Linux, another linux distro that can be boot off of media and run from memory. It’s nice when you want to toy around with a barebones linux setup without having to install it on your computer.

I missed Mike’s Microsoft and Open Source presentation, but I was able to double check the last few details on my slides. I also enjoyed talking COBOL with Joe Frantz. It was my first time seeing the language – business CS students would see it, but being an engineer, I wasn’t exposed to it.

My presentation was at the end of the day, and it went off without troubles for the most part. I wish I could’ve gone into more detail with python, especially since I had an audience of developers. Since I had to cut my presentation due to personal issues, I’ll have to make up for it in blog posts.

Overall, it was a great experience, and I’m glad I took the day off of work to present and attend this event. It was a diverse crowd – many of Cleveland’s technical groups were represented. For an event that was put together in such a short amount of time, I found it to be very well done, and I’m eager to see what they’ll pull off next year.

So… mark your calendars… October 30 & 31, 2009 – Software Freedom Day – Cleveland returns! Hope to see you there!