2019 Speakers

Below are some of the speakers and presentations lined up for the 2019 OLF Conference. More are being added, so please check back!

Rikki Endsley

Rikki Endsley

Photo by Faces of Open Source

Rikki Endsley is the Editor of Red Hat Developer. Previously she was a community architect and editor for Opensource.com; community evangelist for the Red Hat Open Source and Standards team; community manager for The USENIX Association; associate publisher at Linux New Media (Linux Magazine, Ubuntu User, ADMIN Magazine); a tech journalist (Linux.com, CMSwire, ITworld, Network World, etc.); and managing editor of Sys Admin Magazine, UnixReview.com, and Journal of Linux Technologies.

Keynote – How Will You Steer Your Open Source Career?

Tech trends, products, projects, and organizations change, so what does this mean for your career? In this talk, we’ll look at how different people have navigated their careers in tech over the past decade to pursue their passions, overcome burnout, advance, and survive. We’ll also look forward to predict what the tech landscape might look like and where it will take our careers a decade from now.

Jon “maddog” Hall

Jon “maddog” Hall is the Chairman of the Board of the Linux Professional Institute. Since 1969, he has been a programmer, systems designer, systems administrator, product manager, technical marketing manager, author and educator, and is currently working as an independent consultant.

Jon “maddog” Hall has concentrated on Unix systems since 1980 and Linux systems since 1994, when he first met Linus Torvalds and correctly recognized the commercial importance of Linux and Free and Open Source Software. He has been a tremendous friend to the Ohio LinuxFest, offering his support and appearing on our stage starting in 2004. He travels the world speaking on the benefits of Free and Open Source Software.

Keynote – Free and Open Source Software: Where Do We Go From Here?

It has been twenty-five years since version 1.0 of the Linux kernel. While we have made great strides in the Free Software movement, there are still places where we have not met our goals, and some places where it might be said that we are in danger of moving backwards. Let’s investigate these areas and see what can be done, and where opportunities exist.

John Mertic

John MerticJohn Mertic is the Director of Program Management for The Linux Foundation. Under his leadership, he has helped ASWF, ODPi, Open Mainframe Project, and R Consortium accelerate open source innovation and transform industries. John has an open source career spanning two decades, both as a contributor to projects such as SugarCRM and PHP, and in open source leadership roles at SugarCRM, OW2, and OpenSocial. With an extensive open source background, he is a regular speaker at various Linux Foundation and other industry trade shows each year. John is also an avid writer and has authored two books: The Definitive Guide to SugarCRM: Better Business Applications and Building on SugarCRM as well as articles on IBM Developerworks, Apple Developer Connection, and PHP Architect.

Keynote – Open Source in the Motion Picture Industry

The top 100 grossing movies of all time have some sort of visual or special effects (known as VFX) used in production. And open source is the powering engine behind this. In this presentation, you will learn about the use of open source in the motion picture industry and how you can get involved.

Alex Markley

I’m a Software Engineer with over 15 years of professional experience and have been making and sharing comedy online since the early 2000s. Last but not least, I am the project leader and principal contributor for the YerFace! project, which is now able to handle all of the facial animation for our CGI characters on my YouTube channel.

YerFace! From Computer Vision to Cartoon Animation

This is the story of our ongoing quest to convert regular webcam video to CGI cartoon animation, suitable for production use, using only Open Source software! Come hear the war stories, stay for the live cartoon character demo!

Amber Graner

Amber started her journey into open source in 2009 when she started blogging about her experience with Ubuntu. From there she went on to write for Ubuntu User Magazine in print and online in her You in Ubuntu blog. She co-authored the 6th and 7th editions of The Official Ubuntu Book and was a technical reviewer for the 1st and 2nd editions of Jono Bacon’s Art of Community. She was the first Community Manager for Linaro (Linux on Arm) and went on to architect and manage the Open Compute Project (OCP) and later became the Operations Director for the OCP Foundation. Currently, she is the Director of Community at Corelight, Inc. for the Zeek.org community.

Without Fear: You Don’t Need Permission to Contribute to Your Own Destiny

In this talk Amber challenges the audience to be proactive in open source. If you want to be part of a community or a project don’t wait for the invite, just jump in. If you have a passion for something, act on it. Don’t wait.

She will share some of her own experiences in open source and offer encouragement and suggestions for anyone who wants to get involved in open source. She will explain how being part of an open source community helped her to become a stronger, more confident, and successful person in all areas of her personal and professional life. She says, “If I can do this, you can too.”

Zeek and Ye Shall Find: Introduction to Zeek, An Open Source Network Monitoring Project

Zeek is the widely used open source network security monitoring project (formerly known as Bro) used by the world’s most advanced, most attacked mission-critical networks. Zeek was created in 1995 by professor Vern Paxson at UC Berkeley. Today the project is hosted by the International Computer Science Institute (ICSI) in Berkeley. Zeek is incorporated into dozens of commercial products and is a core part of the curriculum for courses in digital forensics, threat hunting and incident response taught by organizations like SANS.

Cameron Hughes, Trevor Watkins, Tracey Hughes

Cameron Hughes is a software epistemologist for Ctest Laboratories, where he is currently doing applied research in AIM (Alternative Intelligence for Machines) & AIR (Alternative Intelligence for Robots). He is also chief knowledge engineer for Advanced Software Construction, where he leads the TAMI-2 (Transcript Analysis, Mining & Interpretation) project. Cameron is the lead AI Engineer for the Knowledge Group at Advanced Software Construction Inc., a builder of software-based knowledge components. He is the co-author of Linux Rapid Application Development, Robot Programming, A Guide to Controlling Autonomous Robots, and Build Your Own Teams of Robots. He has co-authored many other books and blogs on Artificial Intelligence and Software Development including titles on multicore, multithreaded, object-oriented, and parallel programming in C++.

Tracey Hughes is a software and visualization engineer. Her research interests are epistemological, knowledge, and information visualization. Tracey Hughes is the co-author of Linux Rapid Application Development as well as Robot Programming, A Guide to Controlling Autonomous Robots. She primarily performs epistemic visualization on systems developed at Ctest Laboratories and at Advanced Software Construction (ASC).

Trevor Watkins‘s research interests include developing systems using autonomous software agents and bio-inspired algorithms, and ethical hacking. He is currently working on a GNU/Linux operating system for libraries and museums called Black Squirrel.

More Artificial Intelligence help with journald and journalctl for Linux System Administrators and Developers

Journald has made some aspects of log analysis and monitoring easier, but the challenge of log entry and log analysis remains. In many instances system administrators, network administrators and dev-ops are responsible for anywhere from dozens to hundreds of servers. At the extreme end, things begin with thousands of servers. Keeping on top of log files remains a daunting task. The journalctl utility and basic automated facilities typically found in Linux that are built on top of journalctl only offer limited help. A useful log analysis process often requires human insight and judgment. So while automated log analysis methods are essential they must also be knowledge-based to be effective. In this talk, we preview Tami, an Artificial Intelligence based Linux utility and an approach that uses an autonomous epistemic agent to analyze entries in real-time. Tami is currently at TRL (Technology Readiness Level) 5. Tami is an automated epistemic agent that uses its a priori and posteriori knowledge extracted from systemd and journald to assist the system administrators, network administrators, and dev-ops with the burden of log file monitoring and system operational states.

Christian Trujillo

Christian is passionate about career development and helping others achieve their career goals while providing encouragement and motivation. Christian has a powerful story showing that it is possible to succeed regardless of the challenges we may encounter such us not knowing the language, having to adapt to a new country, working to graduate college, and succeeding in the tech industry. He has had many experiences during his career that allows him to share what works and what doesn’t while searching for new opportunities or wanting to advance and succeed in the career world.

Career Hyper-Growth

More often than not, fear is one of the main reason many of us miss out on great opportunities in our lives. Understanding your strengths and focusing on that, would help you always lead and approach every opportunity with confidence. Building your confidence will enable you to have better interviews, try new things, apply for positions you didn’t think you were qualified for, and achieve your career goals. During the Career Hyper-Growth talk, attendees will hear stories and real-life experiences that will show ways to get a new job, move up within your company, perform better during interviews, and have more success while seeking new career opportunities. Christian will walk you through how to advance your career by leveraging multiple tools like a home lab, social media connections, free training resources, etc. He will also talk about different ways to get more confidence while interviewing for new jobs, and tips and techniques to overcome the fear that will steal great opportunities. There are many that feel stuck at a position and don’t know how to move up, move sideways or move out. During this session, attendees will learn some insights into strategies to plan and achieve their career goals. Video preview

Cody Hofstetter

An entrepreneur at heart, Mr. Hofstetter’s background is originally in finance and he has been forming and buying companies since the age of 19. His main focus is as the Founder and CEO of an IT/Cybersecurity firm specializing in penetration testing, vulnerability & physical assessments, exploit development, forensic investigation, and advanced data recovery/destruction. Some of his other ventures include owning a finance/day-trading firm, a community focused healthy restaurant, presenting talks nationwide, is a certified personal trainer, lyricist & songwriter for several musicians, an upcoming TV series, and film in addition to acting credits. If you’d like to hear about other endeavors or have specific questions, he loves engaging and meeting interesting new people at any event.

Physical Security: An Overview from Deadbolts to Deathtraps

We regularly interact with numerous forms of physical security from front door deadbolts, garage openers, cameras, RFID access cards, to the security built into your car, and many more. In this presentation, we’ll be covering various types of physical security devices available, how they function, how to improve or break them, and of course, if you can legally build that home deathtrap you’ve always wanted to help deter burglars.

David Gilpin

David Gilpin is a Principal Product Manager for Linux and Virtualization at Oracle. David has a BS in Computer Science from Sam Houston State University, and has decades of experience with hardware, software, and networking.

Create a HA-NFS server using Gluster, Corosync, and Pacemaker

NFS storage remains a good solution for many applications, but providing highly available NFS storage with dedicated storage solutions can be quite costly. Commodity computing hardware (or cloud instances) are plentiful and can be quite inexpensive, but how can this configuration provide a HA-NFS solution? In this presentation, attendees will learn how to build a highly available NFS storage cluster through the use of open source packages (Gluster, Corosync, and Pacemaker). As a demonstration, the cluster will be built “live” using Oracle Linux, Oracle VirtualBox, and Vagrant.


der.hans is a Free Software, technology and entrepreneurial veteran. He’s chairman of the Phoenix Linux User Group (PLUG), BoF organizer for the Southern California Linux Expo (SCaLE), and founder of the Free Software Stammtisch and Stammtisch Job Nights. Currently, he’s a Customer Data Engineer at Object Rocket. Most likely anything he says publicly was not approved by $dayjob.

Personal Online Security, Privacy, and Password Management

Protect your personal privacy as well as cloud and web accounts by using unique credentials for every service. A password manager such as KeePassXC or Bitwarden enables use of different credentials everywhere. It simplifies using long, strong, random strings for unique credentials. Use a password manager for unique credentials (username, password, security questions and answers, birth date, shoe size, etc.) to build account separation for every site. Prevent use of stolen credentials to compromise other accounts.

Attendees will learn about:

  • using unique credentials to build account separation for every service
  • important password manager features
  • multi-factor authentication
  • subaddressing for unique email addresses
  • command line tools for random strings and dates
  • hints for speaking random strings
  • using a password manager for secure data escrow

Faris and Afnan Rehman

Faris Rehman is a second year student in Computer Science and Engineering at OSU pursuing a specialization in Artificial Intelligence. He owns and operates Rehman Analytica, a business analytics firm serving businesses in Central Ohio. Both academically and professionally, Faris uses machine learning on a daily basis in practical applications and theoretical research.

Afnan Rehman is a data scientist at JPMorgan Chase in Columbus. A recent graduate of OSU in Computer Science and Engineering, he pursued a specialization in data science and interned for two years during school at Vertiv to hone his skills. Now pursuing his masters at Georgia Tech, Afnan uses machine learning and data analytics both academically and professionally for a variety of applications.

Demystifying Artificial Intelligence: a Hands-On Introduction

This presentation aims to shed light upon the buzzword “machine learning,” exposing its concrete concepts and delving into a hands-on example of the training and testing of a machine learning model. Machine learning boils down to a departure from purely algorithmic computation, instead being a statistically-based, even feedback-sensitive paradigm. These decisions are based on parameters calculated and re-calculated by training data and feedback, and there are multiple types of “models” that can be used, each with varying mathematical properties and unique use cases.

The model that attendees will learn about is known as k-NN, or k-nearest neighbors. A classical introduction to machine learning, k-NN is both powerful and extremely visually interactive, as it relies on a graphical representation of data as points in space. Attendees will leave with the ability to create clean training data and train, test, and refine a k-NN model using Python’s SciKit-Learn package.

Gary Grady

I worked as a Systems Analyst for decades and decided to take some time off to pursue my other interests including 2D and 3D digital art. I continue to program personal projects for both server and Android in various languages including Java, Python, and Golang.

Linux graphics software, so many choices

Whether you are just editing images or creating art, this session will provide an overview of available 2D graphics software for use on the Linux desktop. Let’s explore beyond the GIMP. We will look at Pinta, Krita, Mypaint, Tux Paint, mtPaint, GrafX2, Inkscape, SK1, Dia, Draw, Blender 2.8, Synfig, and even Image Magick. Find out what best suits your needs.

Greg Greenlee

Greg Greenlee is a DevOps Engineer. He has spent over 16 years in Technology starting from help desk and moving on to become a systems engineer to now utilizing DevOps methodologies in his current position.

Infrastructure as Code w/ Terraform

In this presentation I will introduce the practice of Infrastructure as Code. I will present to the audience what IaC is, why it’s needed and then proceed to showing how you can practice IaC using Hashicorp’s Terraform. I will walk the audience through the Terraform language (variables, data structures, iterations, conditionals) and how to use Terraform to begin building infrastructure in AWS. The presentation will end with a short demo of Terraform.

Max Blaze

I have been a supporter of open source software since the late 90s. After participating in Pittsburgh’s local LUG, WPLUG, I pursued computer networking and security in college, and then eventually received two graduate degrees in Telecommunications from the University of Pittsburgh. I have managed critical infrastructure at large institutions as well as small startups in the Pittsburgh area. Over the past 5 years, I have managed the cloud infrastructure that runs Duolingo, supporting over 300 million users. I specialize in the automation, monitoring, and cost reduction of large distributed systems.

Duolingo’s Microservice Journey

Applications built on a microservices-based architecture and packaged as containers bring several benefits, but also some pitfalls. In this session, Duolingo, a popular language-learning platform, describes its journey from a monolith to a microservices architecture and its experiences building a global product in the cloud.

Nathan Handler

Nathan Handler has been involved with the open source community for over a decade, primarily through his roles as an Ubuntu and Debian GNU/Linux Developer and a member of the freenode IRC staff. During the day, he works as a Developer Advocate and Software Engineer at Orchid Labs, where he is helping to build the natural internet by creating an open marketplace for bandwidth built on Ethereum, and an open source VPN client for all major operating systems.

Blockchain 101

Everywhere you look, you will see people talking about the blockchain. However, it can sometimes sound like a completely foreign language. In this talk, we will start by discussing what a blockchain is, why it has gained popularity in recent years, and some of the ways it is being used. The remainder of the talk will be spent examining the key components of a blockchain and some of the terminology associated with it. By the end of the talk, a person completely unfamiliar with the blockchain should be able to sit in on a basic blockchain discussion and comfortably follow along without feeling lost.

Nikola Novakovic

I’m a software engineer that got his hands on a computer when he was 9 years old. Ever since then I’ve fallen in love with software and building things. Currently I’m very passionate about machine learning, APIs, and start ups. In my spare time I like to train dogs, lift weights, and cook. I’ve built a decent number of projects using modern machine learning tools like tensorflow, sklearn and keras.

Demystifying Machine Learning

Machine Learning is something you’ll see referenced very frequently now in everything from marketing materials to sales pitches to job postings. With so much hype it can be hard to distinguish what people mean when they say Machine Learning. In this talk we will demystify Machine Learning by understanding its core concepts and applying that knowledge to real world examples.

We’ll explain basic concepts like linear algebra and loss functions, figure out when to use machine learning, and build an ML model that we’ll be able to use in real world apps. Here’s an in-depth list of what we’ll cover:

  • What Machine Learning is and where it’s being used
  • How to recognize when machine learning is necessary
  • Math 101
  • Linear Regression
  • Live Coding Session Salary Estimator

Patrick Shuff

Patrick Shuff is a Senior Site Reliability Engineer on the Video Delivery team at Netflix. Prior to that he spent ~6.5 years at Facebook as a Production Engineer working across various infrastructure teams with a focus on building and scaling large distributed systems as well as building and scaling high performing engineering teams. While he spent the early part of his career working on managing large Linux deployments and automating anything and everything in Python 3, he has spent the last several years on load balancing and video delivery teams working at the intersection of code, operating systems, and high performance networking.

Advanced Site Reliability Engineering (SRE): Networking

Site Reliability Engineering is the evolution of a role for scaling websites/infrastructure that involves the intersection of various computer science disciplines: software engineering, operating systems, distributed systems, and networking. Deploying a website in 2019 is easier than every but scaling it to a nationwide/worldwide audience is difficult and debugging problems require some level of networking knowledge. This talk goes over basic networking knowledge relevant to the SRE role operating websites and gives you tools to walk away for further debugging.

Topics to be covered include:

  • Overview of Linux Networking (sockets, routing table, etc)
  • Overview of LAN concepts (Ethernet, ARP, link-local)
  • Overview of DNS (DNS Records, Recursive resolution, etc)
  • Overview of TCP/IP (IP, TCP, 3-way handshake, flags, etc)
  • Overview of Internet Security (TLS, Certs, etc)
  • Overview of Linux Debugging tools

Robin Clower

Robin Clower worked as a teacher before a career change to software development, but he still loves education and helping people learn something new. There are few things more satisfying than seeing a student succeed and Robin has been chasing that high most of his life.

They don’t make ’em like they used to: Integrating Junior Developers into your team

Everybody has to start in the industry somewhere, even if they barely know what HTML is. Come learn tips and tricks to better integrate new members into your team from an “experienced” junior developer. We’ll cover methodologies for assigning work, how to foster open and honest conversations, and how to teach technical topics. All from the perspective of a fresh entrant to Software Development. By the end of the talk, you should feel comfortable in justifying on-boarding junior developers. You’ll be able to identify ways to integrate them into your existing projects and how to best help them become productive members of your team. Because at the end of they day, both you and your junior developers are interested in shedding that “junior” line from their title as quickly as possible.

Ryan Bales

Ryan Bales is the Director of Analytics Engineering at DialogTech. He’s an active member of the Cleveland technology community, CLE Data Science, and R Meetup groups. Ryan is a content contributor and class facilitator for the Python Data Science course track at DriveIT. When not writing code or trying to learn more about data science you can find Ryan trying to not lose at online video games. Ryan lives in Cleveland, Ohio.

Gathering Insights from Audio Data

Data comes in many shapes and sizes. In this session, we’ll look into the process of converting audio files into valuable data. We’ll go over the different types of audio formats and how format and type of audio plays a role in the quality of the outcome. We’ll go over different transcription options available today and provide a demo of converting audio data into text. We’ll review ways of storing and searching text data at scale using open source tools and Natural Language Processing (NLP) techniques. Going further, we’ll explore different techniques for building machine learning models on the transcribed text data. You’ll leave this session with a firm understanding of how to take audio data and convert it into actionable insights.

Scott Merrill

Scott has been using open source software since the last century. He has been running his own web sites for almost as long. He is a systems engineer at CoverMyMeds, working hard to automate himself out of a job.

Introduction to CoreDNS

CoreDNS is a DNS server written in Go. It’s easy to use, supports a wide variety of platforms, and offers a number of useful features for small and big sites alike. This presentation will introduce CoreDNS, cover a couple of major features, and show how to protect queries by using CoreDNS with DNS-over-HTTP.

Steven Pritchard

Steven Pritchard is a Puppet Certified Professional and is currently employed as a Senior Consultant at Onyx Point, focusing on Puppet, compliance automation, and all things DevOps. Previously, he also has spent time as a manager and as a business owner.

Lessons Learned from a Side Career in Management

Over the years I’ve been in management, reluctantly, more than once. I’m a technical guy, so management always felt like a thing that kept me from real work. This most recent time, I managed an amazing team for about 5 years.

Now that I’ve been away from that job for a bit (back in a strictly technical role), I find myself starting to understand what I did right, and a few things I did wrong. In this presentation, we’ll go through a few of my current thoughts, some anecdotes, and hopefully a few ideas for current and future managers.

Modern Puppet

Over the last several years, the Puppet language and ecosystem have evolved and matured significantly. We’ll discuss modern Puppet language features such as strong typing, native iteration, and how Puppet abstracts data from code. We will also demo the latest in Puppet development tools, and we’ll show how Puppet testing works in a CI/CD environment. Finally, we’ll discuss whether or not configuration management is still relevant in a containerized world.

Steve Ovens

Steve is a dedicated IT professional and Linux advocate. Prior to joining Red Hat, he spent several years in financial, automotive, and movie industries. Steve currently works for Red Hat as an OpenShift consultant and has certifications ranging from the RHCA (in DevOps), to Ansible, to Containerized Applications and more. He spends a lot of time discussing technology and writing tutorials on various technical subjects with friends, family, and anyone who is interested in listening.

Computer Hardening: First Things to Consider

In this talk we’ll start to look at some of the things you should consider when initializing a Linux based computer for the first time. We’ll cover topics such as file permissions, compliance auditing, centralized logging, protecting from rogue USB devices and more.

Terry Howald

Terry is the release engineer for all motion control products at Kessler Crane, Inc. When he’s not hunting down elusive bugs in his company’s products, he’s looking for ways to include open source tools in his work environment. He’s a big fan of Debian, and looks forward to the day when he only has to support Linux applications.

FreeCAD for Newbies (cuz I’m one too)

On occasion I’ve wanted to create 3D models for mechanical drawings and 3D printing. However when the time came to produce, I’d end up sketching something on paper because I’m always in a hurry. I always told myself it would take too long to learn CAD software. With the release of FreeCAD 0.18, I’ve decided to bite the bullet and learn 3D modeling. Come hear about my trials and tribulations as I get started in the world of 3D parametric modeling with FreeCAD.

Tim Quinlan

Tim Quinlan is a Senior Technical Account Manager for Red Hat’s Global Partner Success team. He is focused on enabling industry partners to deploy and maintain all things related to OpenStack and RHEL.  Since 1996, he has applied Linux geekery in a wide array of industries including retail, energy, rail control, and manufacturing before coming to Red Hat.

Getting Started with Infrastructure as Code

Cloud Computing popularized the idea of “pets vs. cattle” for Virtual Machines. VMs are scaled up and down as needed, as long as there is hardware available. Can we apply Infrastructure as Code to achieve this type of elasticity with hardware in our physical data centers?  Production-grade IaC relies on out-of-band management hardware. How can one get hands-on experience with IaC without access to a server-grade lab with baseboard management controllers and the associated networking equipment?

This technical session will cover the fundamentals of IaC and include a live demonstration of IaC techniques to deploy a minimal learning lab using OpenStack, KVM, and VirtualBMC on a single laptop. Familiarity with system administration, virtualization and networking is recommended.  Attendees will come away with a better understanding of:

  • IaC hardware deployment and configuration
  • Configuration templates
  • Baremetal as a Service
  • Virtual Networking

Holistic System Automation with Ansible

For years Linux admins have automated server builds. But what about everything that needs to happen before and after the server is built? How many requests are filed to provision resources before an automated build begins? How many times must application owners come back to arrange testing and production pushes? These tasks are repeatable and therefore codeable; but if each group has disparate processes and tools any attempt at holistic automation is difficult at best.

DevOps revolutionized the way applications are developed and deployed. The arduous Waterfall Model was replaced with flexible Agile methodologies. Is it time for traditional IT shops apply the same techniques? This session will cover techniques to streamline the entire system lifecycle and include a live demonstration of cross-function automation with Ansible. Attendees will come away with a deeper understanding of:

  • Agile methodologies
  • Cross training and team building
  • Ansible to enable cross-functional pipelines