Many of the world’s top open source experts converge on Raleigh Wednesday and Thursday Oct. 23-24 for the second All Things Open Conference.

Speakers include James Pearce, head of Open Source at Facebook, Dwight Merriman, co-founder of MongoDB and DoubleClick, and Jonathan LeBlanc, Emmy award-winning software engineer and head of developer evangelism at PayPal.

Conference organizer Todd Lewis tells WRAL TechWire that 1,000 people are registered for the event. “Open source plays a huge role in many companies in the area and throughout the world,” Lewis notes, adding, “more than 90 percent of all companies use open source technology.”

Open source is the backbone for WordPress, Open Office, Drupal, Ruby on Rails, Linux and MySQL, among other prominent and widely used programs. “A lot of Google is built on open source,” Lewis says, “video game consoles run Linux, and it’s in a lot of smart appliances.”

As the home of Red Hat, the Research Triangle is a hub of open source activity, Lewis notes. Wednesday, Bob Geolas, CEO of Research Triangle Park keynotes the afternoon session, followed by Gail Roper, city of Raleigh CIO and Jason Hibbets, director of OpenSource.com, who will explain “How Raleigh became an open source city.

Bob Young, founder of Red Hat and Lulu.com is also on the agenda.

The list of technology companies participating in this year’s event is certainly impressive. They include Red Hat, Facebook, PayPal, Docker, Twitter, GitHub, Cisco, Mirantis, Adobe, Qualcomm, IBM, Elasticsearch, Mozilla, Hewlett Packard, Cloudera, Citrix, Microsoft, MongoDB, Oracle, Acquia, Chef, Sonatype, Samsung, Mulesoft, Bitly, Percona, and more.
Lewis says the focus is on the use of open source technologies in the enterprise and applications in large company settings.

Pearce, for instance will discuss Facebook’s TODO project, which is intended to make open source software easier for consumers to use and help other companies find reliable open source projects and share tips about deploying open source technologies. The more than 30 companies involved in the TODO project include DropBox, GitHub, Google, and Twitter and the forum is open to others. In fact, TODO stands for “talk openly, develop openly.”

Jeffrey Hammond, a Forrester Research vice president and principal analyst, opens the Wednesday schedule with an overview of just how widespread open source has become.

“He’ll crunch the numbers,” says Lewis. One number Hammond will point out is that when company decision makers are surveyed, only about 40 percent say their firm uses open source technology. But when the IT staff actually doing a firm’s work are surveyed, that number rises to more than 80 percent.

“Those who have to get the work done and have to meet a budget often use open source even if the CIOs aren’t aware of it,” says Lewis.

One indication of just how far open source technologies have come is that even Microsoft, which was traditionally more focused on its proprietary software model, is on board and Microsoft’s Scott Hanselman, who works on the firm’s Azure Cloud, will discuss “Javascript, the Cloud & Virtualization” Wednesday.

Other speakers include Doug Cutting, creator of Hadoop, Lucene and other extremely popular technologies; Estelle Weyl, O’Reilly author and well known trainer and developer; Hampton Catlin, creator of the Sass and Haml languages; Dr. Angel Diaz, co-author of many of today’s WWW standards; Yehuda Katz, core team member of Rails, Ember.JS and jQuery and well known author; Ross Mason, co-founder of Mulesoft and founder of the Mule Project; Chris Aniszyzyk, Head of Open Source at Twitter; and DeLisa Alexander, executive vice president and chief people officer at Red Hat.