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student_mini-conference [The Plumbers]

Student Mini-Conf details (Tenative)

The LPC Student Mini-Conference will target students who are presently (or soon to be) involved in Linux Plumbing development. We want to prepare students to actively participate in the Linux Plumber's Conference, and feel comfortable with talking with other LPC attendees.

The LPC Student Mini-Conference will take place Tuesday, September 16, 2008. It will be held at the Portland State Business Accelerator in the Mt. Hood Conference Room. Ross Island Grocery and Cafe will cater lunch and snacks on Tuesday. We are booked for 8am-5pm, with a start time of 8:30am.


Student Day Marketing - text for generic marketing, plus the places we've spammed.


  • 9:00 - Registration
  • 9:30 - Professionalism for geeks - Brandon
  • 9:45 - How to get paid/credit for open source - Sarah
  • 10:00 - Linux social engineering: how to get along & work in the community - Randy Dunlap
  • 10:45 - Creating a development box - Mark Gross
  • 11:30 - Lightning talks
  • 12:00 - Lunch
  • 1:00 - Device Drivers - Kristin Accardi
  • 1:45 - Debugging - Steven Rostedt
  • 2:30 - break
  • 3:00 - Concurrency and race conditions - Paul McKinney
  • 3:45 - Future of open source - Jay Lyman (Open Source Analyst, The 451 Group)
  • 4:15 - open source career panel
  • 5:00 - Done!

Career Panel volunteers

Talks students are interested in

  • How to build a development box [2 votes]
  • Getting paid and getting credit for your open source projects [2]
  • Linux and open source careers [2]
  • Contributing to Open Source [2]
  • Debugging all of the pieces of the “plumbing” [2]
  • Concurrency and race conditions [2]
  • Introduction to conference going, mug shots of “famous” developers,

and the best way to approach them [2]

  • USB device drivers [2]
  • Porting Linux to a new processor [2]
  • Writing secure code [1]
  • Memory systems: virtual memory, DMA, etc. [1]
  • Graphics: adding new MESA features [1]

Possible breakout sessions

  • Kristen Accardi – writing a simple device driver – probably be a good talk to start with
  • Kernel debugging/general debugging tools – Brandon?
  • Paul McKinney - concurrency and race conditions (maybe RCS if there's time). (confirmed, needs a quad core box)
  • Eric Anholt (confirmed) - graphics drivers and adding a new feature to MESA
  • Mark Gross (confirmed) - how to make a build box - needs update OSCON slides for this talk
  • Kees Cook (something on security)
  • Val Henson - file systems and debugging
  • Deepak Saxena - Linux on embedded devices and porting Linux to new architectures
  • Career panel representatives:
    • Andrew Greenberg - the Tova company - Attention Deficit Disorder software test that uses open source tools
    • ? - Jive Software
    • Isaac Carroll - Google Hood River
    • Val Henson - Linux file systems contractor
  • Green Linux - Daniel Packer dp at

Topic Ideas

Morning 45 minute talks

  • Introduction to conference going
    • Mug shots and list of facts – Brandon
    • HOWTO not be a fanboy
  • How to get paid/get credit for your open source projects. Benefits of project-based education. – Sarah
  • What projects are out there? Both kernel and non-kernel projects, plus application building and how it connects with the plumbing.
  • Contributing to Open Source: Getting the source, patches, building, finding lists, wikis, etc… Although, most students are getting this already at OSU/PSU already, right?
  • The “warm-fuzzy-community” issues
    • How to deal with criticism constructively - overlaps somewhat with Kristin's talk at OSCON last year
    • Finding community support for your project
    • How to build a reputation - e.g. janitorial work, answering questions on the mailing lists, and asking intelligent questions

Breakout Session potential topics

  • How-to build and test development trees without breaking your box
    • Kernel,, etc
  • Investigating a bug and gathering data for a good report
    • Any project would do, the basic ideas cross all projects
  • Debugging all of the pieces of the “plumbing”
    • Common kernel bugs and how to recognize them (stomping the stack, dereferencing NULL pointers, dead locks, etc.) [1]
    • DBUS and how to inspect the messages on your system
    • enabling and using debugfs
    • useful files in /sys and /proc
    • Debugging Xorg
    • Debugging USB
    • etc
  • Project management- getting a real project done
  • System administration talk?
  • Interfacing with Hardware:
    • How to read a spec sheet.
    • DMA, registers, masks, debug, bus,
    • Kristen's PCI talk?
    • Memory talk - Ulrich Drepper paper
    • Processor porting - intro to embedded stuff - Deepak

Tuesday evening

Both Backspace and Ground Kontrol venues fell through. We will still suggest that underage students go to Backspace after 10pm.

Thursday Code Sprint

Thursday has no official planned event, but LPC attendees will be given a map and encouraged to explore Portland. If LPC attendees don't want to explore, they can come to a late-evening Code Sprint at the PSU Business Accelorator. Desert may be provided.

Idea: Why not host the Code Sprint at Backspace? It's a more central location, although it may be too small?


  • Pick broad topics - Done
  • Decide on the rough length of the day - Done
  • Outline schedule
  • Location - Done
  • Food - Done
  • Code sprint
  • Get speakers for memory talk and debugging talk

Open ARs

  • Ask Deepak to put the PSU bowling alley and gaming room on the Portland area map for LPC attendees.
  • Someone needs to get in contact with the U of O CS/ECE department to get recommendations for students to invite.

Brandon's ARs

  • Talk to OSU faulty and identify OSU students to invite. Done woo
  • See if I can email CS411 students, all CS students (Tina Batten), figure out U of O contacts, e-mail FIRST (Deb), Saturday academy kids?
  • Contact Deepak, Kees, Val, Daniel Packer, Raven Zachary on careers in open source, Dawn to find someone from Jive, Legion of Tech about having people register for LPC
  • Contact Scott about technology behind openid? Dawn Foster to give a talk on community building?
  • Contact Debian booth guy and forward details to Kristen
  • Get Kat's contact info from Kristen - Kat can get google non-sysadmin person to talk. Can also contact Greg Stein about getting Goog speaker.
  • Contact Leslie Hawthorn for access to summer of code blog and mailing list.

Sarah's ARs

  • Follow up with Backspace – have they told their normal Tuesday gamers the computers won't be available?
  • Ask topics-discuss and pdx-conf for career ideas (not just the big fish like Intel/IBM, but smaller companies in Portland or Corvallis) done – not too many ideas
  • Send email to the topics-discuss list, asking for what they'd like a starting developer to know done
  • Contact CS and ECE students through department email (done), psumsgs, virtual viking, etc.
  • Put up posters in areas students hang out. done
  • Give a 5 minute presentation at Bart's open source class - done
  • Ask Paul McKinney (done - confirmed) about giving talk, Bart, Anholt (done - confirmed), Andrew Greenberg, Isaac Carroll
  • Spam the pdxgeekchix list for talks
  • ask Sulamita for pointers on “professionalism for nerds” for Brandon's mug shot talk done, might not be too useful for student day
  • ask Mark Gross to give talk on building projects without breaking your box (OSCON talk)

Portland NW Youth Hostel Information

Hold put on the group center for September 16-19, 2008

  • 32 dorm style beds. Configuration is 8 bed dorms broken down into suite style with a combination of 4 beds 2 beds or 3 beds in a room.
  • 6 Bathrooms “Domestic Style” one person uses at a time
  • Kitchen
  • Dining room
  • 2 private rooms with double beds

Cost is somewhere around $22-25/person/night.

Contact at the Youth Hostel:

Britta and her phone number is 503-827-0405

Hold is under Jennifer Redman. Update Hold was canceled because they wanted a deposit for half the beds.

Organizational Meeting 3/27/2008 McMenamins Market Street Pub - 18:00


  • Narrow the topic list
  • Start identifying potential speakers
  • Decide if we should have a special event Thursday (no LPC event) - this might be a good time for the here are the careers meet and greet pizza party.
    • Backspace
    • Maybe Ground Kontrol with no beer
  • Think about what to do about Tuesday evening – should all students leave at 10 or just underage
  • How to structure the program. General sessions in the morning and break-out session in the afternoon? We plan on going from 9 to 6
  • Identify a list of companies/ppl to come talk about the careers in Linux plumbing

Meeting Notes


Tuesday: The LPC event at Aura will kick out underage people at 10pm. We want to have somewhere for underage people to go, like a LAN party at Backspace or a gaming night at Ground Control. However, Ground Control serves beer, so it kicks underage people out at 7pm. Maybe we can promise them a lot of business and get them to not serve alcohol that night, or we could rent them? We should also invite LPC attendees, and we should strongly encourage all students to go to the event (so that the underage people don't feel left out).

Thursday: Let the students get dinner on their own (so they have a chance to eat with other LPC attendees). Host an after dinner code sprint for both LPC attendees and students. Provide dessert.

Can we get extra money for this from the LPC budget if we're inviting LPC attendees too?

Rough Schedule

  • 8:30-9:30 - registration
  • 9:30-10:00- LPC attendee mug shots, who's who, how to interact with developers and not get labeled a fanboy/fangirl
  • 10:00-10:45 - What projects are out there? Both kernel and non-kernel projects, plus application building and how it connects with the plumbing
  • 11:00-11:45 - Linux and other community aspects, where to find project infos, your first patch
  • 12:00-12:45 - Lightning talks - have students talk about what projects they've worked on/are working on/want to work on. This is a good thing to have before lunch, so that people can find others with similar interests.
  • 1:00-1:45 - lunch - have students edit the wiki with what they want to talk about
  • 1:00-3:00 - 30 or 45 minute breakout sessions with two different tracks. One track will be a lecture/hands-on session and one track will be an open hacking space/unconference format.
  • 3:00-3:30 afternoon break
  • 3:30-5:00 more breakout sessions
  • 5:00-5:30 - QA/recap, what could we do better next year
  • 5:30-5:45 - careers in Linux/Unix/Open Source

Organizational Meeting 2008-07-03 McMenamins Market Street Pub - 18:00


  • Formulate plan for coming months
  • Re-assign tasks
  • Discuss registration and marketing plan
  • Budget discussion

Proposed task list

  • Marketing - getting the word out to students at PSU, OSU, and U of O.
    • should professors invite specific students (we have five invitee slots)
    • update from Brandon on OSU student invitees
    • update from Bart on PSU invitees - do we need to contact other professors in the department?
    • has anyone talked to U of O professors? Do we need to contact Reed? (Eric Anholt might be able to help there.)
    • marketing to attract unknown Linux student contributers:
      • posters?
      • student mailing lists (e.g. psu messages, cs and ece student mailing lists)
      • student newspapers? (e.g. Vanguard)
      • contact student groups (e.g. PSAS, ACM, IEEE, SWE, etc.)
      • do we want to mention the CFP in these emails?
  • Student mini-conference speakers
    • Kernel summit invitations are out now, so people should know if they'll be free on Tuesday
    • List of potential speakers, is there anyone else we didn't think of
    • Who will contact potential speakers?
    • Who should give the morning talks? Who will contact these people?
    • Someone (maybe everyone?) needs to contact people to give 5 minute career talks at the end of the event
  • Finalize schedule once we know who can give talks. May need to shuffle things around or have longer sessions.
  • Budget - $3,000 allocated to us
    • PSBA - $500 + cleaning fee
    • catered lunch - ?
    • Backspace event - $600-700
    • presentations recorded by Boxpopuli - $400 setup + ?
    • Who is going to be in charge of the budget?

20 students is the go-no-go point.

student_mini-conference.txt · Last modified: 2008/09/04 21:27 by sarahsharp
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