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Recap of POSSCON

Note: This article was originally published at Planet PHP on 1 April 2011.
Planet PHP

Last week I had the distinct pleasure to be invited to the 4th annual Palmetto Open Source Software Conference (known as POSSCON). It couldn't be a better place to be this time of year; while the weather in Northeast Ohio is still cold and dreary, Columbia, SC was sunny and beautiful in the mid 80s during the entire time I was there.

But the weather wasn't the primary reason why I enjoyed my time at POSSCON. In all of the open source conferences I've been to, I think this one really was able to bring out the business folks to really engage in open source culture. And it wasn't just the normal spin of aofree and libre = gooda that you often see in the open source world, but rather a truly practical look at how embracing open source can make an impact on your organization. I saw this first hand when I did my tutorial about using SugarCRM as a platform; the attendees were really interested how they could make SugarCRM work with their organization, whether it was a business, local government, or non-profit group. This is what makes open source special; it enables people to build great things without making the software to do it a barrier to entry.

As for the conference itself, Todd Lewis, the chair of POSSCON 2011, really picked an excellent venue and put on a top notch show, all at a low price that could fit in anyone's budget. The show was professionally done from beginning to end, with only minor hickups with the wifi (which tends to be an issue at every conference). And from my understand the show has grown tremendously as a result of all of his and his team's hardwork, with a 50% increase in attendance from last year, which is definite good thing for what I feel is a going to be one of the top conferences to attend in 2012.

Thanks again to Todd, Aaron, and everyone else who made POSSCON such a success. I hope to invited back next year!