Make Smarter - OSCON, OpenGeo, Graphics, and More

The O’Reilly Open Source Convention was held in San Jose last month, and a lot of the presentation materials, as well as some videos, can be found online. A couple that might be of particular interest:

Speaking of presentations, the good folks at OpenGeo did a presentation at GeoWeb in Vancouver titled Introduction to an Open Source Geostack, which is online here, including sample data, software, and materials. Software covered includes PostGIS, GeoServer, QGIS, GeoWebCache, and OpenLayers. From a cursory look the installation instructions are for Windows with notes covering other OS’s. It looks like a great tutorial for getting started with open source GIS software.

I’ve talked about the great screencasts over at Screencasters.Heathenx.org before, but Episode 94 is especially good. While most of their tutorials use Inkscape, this one combines Inkscape, Blender, and GIMP to produce some really impressive results. Although there is some crossover, think of Inkscape as a vector graphics editor, GIMP as a raster graphics editor, and Blender as a 3D graphics and animation editor, all of which are FOSS and run on Linux, Windows, and Mac. It’s a great tutorial showing how to use the strengths of each package to do some fantastic work. Plus it gave me a leg up on Blender, which has an interface that scared me away in the past. If you want to see what Blender and some talented artists are capable of, take a look at this:

The free Blender Basics 3rd Edition can be found here.

Finally, InfoQ has a good agile presentation called The Dancing Agile Elephant: IBM Software Group’s Transition to Agile and Lean Development. It looks at the challenges in moving a software division (25k+ people)  to an entirely different approach to development. The agile part was interesting, but it was really cool just seeing how a group that size works.