All Things Open (ATO), Raleigh, NC 2018 – Day 1

Wow, what a blast this first day has been! I’ve had a lot of fun learning new things, getting to know new technologies, and making friends. The All Things Open Conference in Raleigh, NC this year has been absolutely awesome! The digital marketing company that I work for, Go Fish Digital, sent me this year, which I absolutely appreciate.

This was actually my first web development conference that I’ve been to. Last year, Go Fish sent me to the Internet Summit, which was also pretty cool! But I have to say, this was much more my speed, and I am truly enjoying it!

Worldwide Internet Connectivity

One thing that really hit me in the keynote was when Angela Oduor Lungati, from Ushahidi, Inc. mentioned the growth of access to the internet from 1999 to 2017. She cited a figure that nearly 4.x% of people had access to the worldwide web in 1999, and that grew to 54% or thereabouts by December 2017. I may have been off by a couple of numbers, but that was an astounding figure to think about. I looked around for statistics on that, and I found a coverage map that pretty much shows the same thing.

Then, Angela went ahead and connected how the open source movement has really helped change the face of her country in Kenya. She cited a change in data collection on a host of different social topics, like sexual violence, other forms of violence, social upheaval, and political unrest. She then explained how she helped form a system to combat those social problems in her country with the help of open source technologies. I’m struck that what we do as developers from day to day, can actually have an enormous social impact.

Some Familiar Faces

While I was at the conference today, I bumped into some old, familiar faces. I used to work for RENCI, at UNC of Chapel Hill, about 2+ years ago. While I worked there, I worked on the website, and interacted with the iRODS team. I got the pleasure to get to know and work with a truly amazing crew.


Holy cow, I struck it rich this year! The absolute loot that I hauled home. 🙂 Stickers, Books, Magazines, Linux toys, and tons more! We’ll see what happens on day two! 🙂


One of the most important parts of conferences is the networking part of it. I really appreciated the many businesses, and collaborations, that were there today. I look forward to the next few months/years, getting to know their software, and respective technologies. So, I comprised a list of companies and organizations I think will be really cool to watch in the web design space in 2019.

Without further adieu, a List of Open Source Companies and Collaborations to Watch in 2019.