The Open Source Community Atmosphere
One of the first things that struck us was the remarkable open source community atmosphere at the Airflow Summit. Giant tech players such as AWS, Google, and IBM took the stage, proudly discussing their collaborative contributions to the open-source world, particularly in the context of Apache Airflow. It was refreshing to witness these industry giants set aside competition and focus on the common goal of advancing open-source technology. This spirit of cooperation benefits everyone involved, although achieving such harmony can be challenging, especially in profit-oriented companies.
While the majority of attendees hailed from North America, where Airflow enjoys widespread use, we recognized the importance of active European participation. As a result, we pledged to organize a meetup in Prague to foster greater involvement from our side of the world.
During the event, we had numerous interactions with key contributors to the open source community and our vendor, Astronomer. These conversations provided valuable insights into our evolving needs and a glimpse of upcoming developments, including a new Terraform module and open-sourced LLMOps infrastructure.
Our Talk and How It Went
Our presentation took place on the second day, just before lunch – not the easiest slot to captivate the audience. Given the depth of our topic, we opted for a high-level overview, which proved to be a wise choice. The audience’s engagement and understanding of our perspective on decentralization and Data Mesh were evident from their reactions.
We also took the opportunity to highlight our partnership with Astronomer, a key differentiator between our solution and those of other presenters working on similar challenges. While some focus on existing developments, we invest in licensing and building a strong relationship with Astronomer. This approach results in lower engineering costs and improved maintainability.
The Q&A session following our talk was lively, with questions centering on our trust in engineers/analysts from other teams and how we securely access numerous services seamlessly. These discussions continued throughout the day, reinforcing the sense of a global community working on similar problems.
Other Talks That Left an Impression
The Airflow Summit wasn’t just about our presentation; we were also inspired by other remarkable talks. One standout was a keynote on the rational approach to security in open source, which provided valuable insights into ensuring the integrity of open-source projects.
Another memorable session featured a presenter from the group that owns Foodora. While his solutions bore a striking resemblance to ours, it was evident that he leaned heavily towards technically challenging approaches, which, while impressive, may pose challenges in terms of long-term maintenance. Nevertheless, his presentation underscored his profound expertise in the field.
The Unicredit team’s presentation showcased their ability to drive a financial institution towards open-source technology adoption, even in a tightly regulated industry. This highlighted the open source community’s agility in adapting to stringent financial regulations.
Beyond the conference, Toronto itself left a lasting impression. The city boasts a vibrant atmosphere, friendly people, a plethora of activities, and captivating street art. Our stay, just a block away from Yonge-Dundas Square, Toronto’s equivalent of Times Square, allowed us to immerse ourselves in the city’s bustling events and activities.
Downtown Toronto dazzled with its skyline of skyscrapers and bustling business centers. We ventured outside the downtown area to explore Ontario Lake, Queen’s Park, the iconic CN Tower, and the city’s prestigious universities.
While Toronto’s airport is substantial, it may not match the meticulous maintenance of airports like Frankfurt or Prague. Nevertheless, the overall experience in Toronto was truly gratifying. The local culture and people exhibited a unique charm distinct from Europe, making our visit all the more memorable.
Our journey to the Airflow Summit 2023 in Toronto was a remarkable experience filled with insightful discussions, inspiring talks, and a taste of Toronto’s vibrant culture. We look forward to sharing more of what we’ve learned with our community and continuing to contribute to the thriving open-source ecosystem. Together, we can drive innovation and collaboration across borders, further enriching the world of technology.
Written by Filip Kunčar and Stanislav Repka