2021 Speakers

We are excited about our lineup of speakers for the 2021 OLF Conference! Be sure to check back later as we confirm more speakers.


Mark Phillips

Mark Phillips is an Engineering and Technology professional with around 40 years in Defense and Aerospace spanning Australia and the US. He has consulted in multiple countries to include France, UK, Singapore, Canada, Sweden, Germany among others. Mark has spent much of his career pushing the boundaries of technology working in fundamental to applied research in the areas of Computer Simulation supporting Training, Test and Experimentation. Mark specializes on making ideas reality. Mark serves on the Board of Directors of the International Test & Evaluation Association (ITEA); and Educational and Professional development Organization as a Non-Profit and understands the importance of volunteering and giving back to the community to help the next generation step up and contribute.

Mark is an Engineering Fellow at Raytheon Missiles and Defense mentoring professionals and conducting fundamental and applied research into Defense and Aerospace. Mark is a graduate of the Royal Military College of Australia, has a Bachelor of Electrical engineering (Honors) from the University of New South Wales, a master’s in engineering (Modeling and simulation) from Old Dominion University and is a Ph.D. candidate in Engineering Management at Old Dominion University.

Mark lives in Tucson Arizona with his wife Sarah and two of their 6 Children.

Keynote – Where is the Secret Source?

It seems like only yesterday that Linux was a fringe operating system and the domain of hobbyists and academics. For that matter all free and open-source software affectionately known as FOSS was treated by many in the software development community as untrustworthy and not up to par with commercial offerings. This talk will take you on a journey not to reflect on the past but to learn from it and project a future that is still being written! I would love to tell you where the secret source is but then I might have to, well you know!


Kate Stewart

Kate Stewart works with the safety, security and license compliance communities to advance the adoption of best practices into embedded open source projects.

Kate was one of the founders of SPDX, and is currently the specification coordinator. She is also the co-lead for the NTIA SBOM formats and tooling working group. Since joining The Linux Foundation, she has launched the ELISA and Zephyr Projects among others, as well as supporting other embedded projects.

Keynote – Hobbyist code goes to Mars

Thirty years ago, Linus Torvalds announced the start of what would become the Linux kernel, and later explained some of his thinking in a book – “Just for fun: The Story of an Accidental Revolutionary” .   Linux has since evolved to be one of the most important open source projects in history for embedded applications.   Along similar lines, OpenEmbedded started off as a hobbyist project targeting handhelds, and evolved into the Yocto Project which is behind the scenes all around us.    Both projects are part of the open source software stack that Ingenuity is running on Mars today.   They illustrate the need for embedded applications to focus on getting things right – bugs are a lot harder to fix on Mars than they are on your desktop here on earth.  Incorporating software engineering best practices that have been learned since the early Apollo space mission is the next big challenge for all of us interested in creating safety critical embedded systems based on open source that we can all depend on,  on this planet, and others!


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 – They Did It Again

In 1991 Micro$oft’s main platform was the Intel x86.  While they supported the Intel 386 (which could support demand-paged virtual memory) they only supported it as a swapping system (because their main base was x286 and below).   This was one of the things that inspired Linus Torvalds to write his own kernel, based on a REAL operating system called “Unix”.   Years later, in 1995, the kernel developers ported to the DEC Alpha processor, a 64-bit system that (of course) supported demand-paged virtual memory.   It would be eleven years before Micro$oft actually supported a 64-bit address space.

Micro$oft brought out the best gift to GNU/Linux they could give: VISTA in November of 2006.   It was touted as “industrial strength, business ready”.  This was also known as the best gift that Micro$oft ever gave GNU/Linux.

Years later Micro$oft dropped support for Windows XP while hundreds of thousands of people were still using it.   Periodically Micro$oft does quietly bring out security patches for really horrible security holes, but functionality patches do not show up.   It is estimated that .6 % of all PCs STILL run XP worldwide, including 60% of the PCs in Armenia (as of August, 2019).

Now comes Windows 11, and once again Micro$oft is flexing its muscles to tell people what is good for them.   This talk will examine some of the issues around Windows 11, and why the real migration path for Windows 10 (and Windows XP users) should be GNU/Linux.


Dave Stokes

New Features in MySQL 8.0

MySQL, the ubiquitous database, has now been around for 25 years! But have you kept up with recent features such as hash joins, new locking options, table space cloning, JSON enhancements, dual passwords, and others. You can not take advantage of these new features unless you know about them and this is were you can get the details.


Kyle Jenkins

Working Within Your Genius: Improving Project Flow

The Working Genius model is a productivity model developed by Patrick Lencioni with the goal of accomplishing a simple concept: bringing more joy and fulfillment at work! When you and your team understand where your geniuses are and how to (and when not to) use them, it can improve meetings, reduce burnout, and dramatically reduce turbulence in getting projects done. In this session we will review the 6 types of working geniuses and how they bring projects from ideation to implementation. We will discover the hidden cause of burnout and how to keep meetings more focused and more productive as a whole, all with the goal of improving your life, both in and outside of work. (that’s right… ALL projects!)


Zak Kohler

A simple RISC-V multitasking OS for learning

Explore the line between hardware and software by writing code with absolute control over the cpu and peripherals. We’ll explore how to do this using a completely free and open source simulator (Renode), toolchain (GCC), and instruction set (RISC-V). Using assembly, we’ll initialize parts of the system such as CPU interrupts and privilege levels. Finally we’ll review the assembly code for doing a context switch, the key software which enables multitasking via timesharing.


Steven Pritchard

I Like GitLab, and So Should You

GitLab is an open-source DevOps platform that includes everything you need to replace proprietary solutions for code management and review, work tracking, test and release automation, and so much more. In this presentation, we will review the many features of GitLab, discuss how those features compare to other solutions, and demonstrate their use.

Infrastructure Prototyping with Bolt and Vagrant

Vagrant (from Hashicorp) is a great tool for prototyping infrastructure for applications. Bolt (from Puppet) makes it easy to orchestrate actions across systems using any combination of commands, scripts, or even Puppet code. One of the best features of Bolt is its inventory plugins. In this talk, we’re going to examine the bolt_vagrant inventory plugin which lets us use Bolt against Vagrant VMs without hard-coding IP addresses or, in some cases, even names. Best of all, you can test Bolt tasks and plans in a Vagrant environment, then move on to real systems by simply changing your inventory. This talk will include a number of scenarios, including code samples and live demos.


John Kimball

Everything I Learned About Team Building, I Learned From “The Last Dance”

Believe it or not, there are many insights that can be gathered from the 10 hour “The Last Dance” documentary when it comes to IT team building!


Chris Volny

Passwords are Dead: webauthn for more secure web apps

Modern web applications are poised to replace passwords with widely available cryptographic authenticators. The Verizon DBIR cites password misuse or brute force as responsible for more than 80% of all breaches year-over-year, so why do we still use them when alternatives exist? This talk will discuss authentication factors, introduce the FIDO2/WebAuthn standard, review current platform support, demonstrate integrating webauthn into a react and python application, and then discuss security posturing and system design considerations when implementing passwordless authentication systems.


Zach Underwood

Automating a Linux fest

This is intro/overview on how we automated the SouthEast Linux Fest using mostly open source software. We record speaker sessions, upload videos to youtube/other services, count people entering each session, show session info on displays outside of each room, record attendees votes on the session and more with automation.


Kara Pritchard

Now Hiring Open Source: Apply Inside

92% of hiring managers surveyed for the 9th annual Open Source Jobs Report (Sept 2021) stated they are having problems finding enough Open Source talent. 50% shared they needed to increase hiring for those roles. In this presentation I will share more results from this year’s job report as well as information from an 2021 IDC InfoBrief on IT Certification. There are many opportunities for learning new Open Source skills (a lot is even available for free). Demonstrating mastery of those skills through certification is one of the most stress-inducing experiences you can have outside of those job interviews. We’ll also have an open discussion on how the various certification programs can compliment one another, such Amazon, CompTIA, Google, The Linux Foundation, LPI, and Red Hat to help anyone trying to get into the field find their way. Employers are looking for you!


Evan Leibovitch

Beyond Tech Skills: Being an Open Source Professional

Making a career in open source software and working within its community requires more than just coding and technical smarts. Participating in group discussions, working with employers and clients, as well as acting in the best interest of the community as well as yourself, require awareness and consideration.
This talk will address concepts of the ethics of open source, and the “soft skills” needed to master being part of a large organization or community.
They will cover issues such as codes of conduct, professional conduct, conflicts of interest, and interpersonal skills specifically in the context of open source software.


Greg Greenlee

Kubernetes Fundamentals

You’ve heard of Kubernetes but you still aren’t quite sure what it is. You know your apps are deployed on it but you aren’t sure how it works. In this session we will touch on the basics as to why Kubernetes is needed, how Kubernetes does what it does, its benefits and the components used to make up the Container management platform. In this session the audience will be introduced to Kubernetes. We will go over: What is Kubernetes? Why do we need Kubernetes? What are the components of Kubernetes? The steps needed to deploy an app using Kubernetes? The audience will leave with an understanding of the essentials of Kubernetes using live demos.


Adam Wanninger

From Engineering to Product, a Developers Tale

Hi, my name is Adam. I was formerly a lead engineer and recently I’ve transitioned from engineering to product. This talk is for any engineer that is interested in leveraging their technical background to drive strategic decision-making at their company It’s my goal that anyone who attends this talk will be aware of career paths they can take which allow them to use their engineering background to benefit their companies, customers and stakeholders. Attendees should be excited to see this talk because most engineers have had a moment where they’ve thought to themselves “why are we building this?” and perhaps even “I think we can do it better another way”. This talk is for technical persons that want to learn how they can make an impact on their companies and customers for the better.


Don Vosburg

Control your Linux world with Uyuni

Tired of every Linux flavor requiring yet-another-management tool? Got more systems to manage than time to ssh into each one? Wondering how you can automate? Patching systems blindly got you down? Were you sad when the Spacewalk project shut down? Then this session is for you! Meet Uyuni, the open source, multi-linux management tool you can deploy anywhere. Manage your systems regardless whether you use openSUSE, Fedora, CentOS, Debian, Ubuntu, AlmaLinux, Amazon Linux, Rocky Linux, RHEL, OracleLinux, or SLES. See it in action with a live demo! Learn how you can join the Uyuni community and contribute! Learn how it relates to other open source management tools. Get your questions answered!


Robert Sirchia

Getting started writing Policies for Kubewarden

This session is designed to get a user started in writing Kubernetes policies in Rust. To do this we are going to leverage Kubewarden. Kubewarden is a policy engine for Kubernetes. We will, touch on what is a policy.

In this talk I will go in to how we are going to leverage Rust and Web Assembly to write our policy. What tools you will need to develop a policy. Build out a sample policy and test it on a local Kubernetes cluster using Kubewarden.

Attendees to this session will have the basics of what is Kubewarden. What is a policy. And how to get started writing their own policies in Rust.


Liang Yan

Accelerate Your AI Cloud infrastructure: A Virtualization Perspective

In recent years, the popularity and success of artificial intelligence have made AI cloud a new infrastructure. While having a huge advantage of cloud computing, the virtualization requirements for hardware accelerator become quite challenging. We’ll take a deep look at different kinds of challenges and their solutions. First, we’ll look at the hardware accelerators used in AI cloud, such as GPU, field-programmable gate array, Tensor Processing Unit, and other application-specific integrated circuits. Then we’ll focus on NVIDIA GPU Virtualization, the implementation and optimization in a real enterprise environment, and give a demo. Finally, we’ll examine the technology trends in the future, such as the container and artificial intelligence of things areas.