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Posted in: Learner News / Open edX

This post originally ran on the edX engineering blog on September 17, 2014.

This November, edX will welcome developers and open source community members to our first annual Open edX Conference. For two days, developers will gather at Harvard University’s campus to exchange ideas on edX’s open-source platform.

What prompted the first annual Open edX Conference?
We’re excited to meet the people we’ve worked with online, to learn about and celebrate the accomplishments of our diverse community, and to learn from one another about what is working and to brainstorm new ideas. We’re looking forward to facilitating more interaction between our community members as well. As Open edX grows, it’s important to establish a forum in which people can meet, collaborate, and interact.

Hosting this conference speaks volumes about the importance of open source as part of edX’s core values. The edX mission is to provide education to anyone, anywhere in the world, and opening up our platform furthers this mission. Fostering a strong sense of community promotes adoption and helps expand engagement with the platform.

What will the conference entail?
The conference will incorporate discussions about current and future developments on Open edX and why our work with the open source platform is important. We’ll host keynote speakers, facilitate discussion tracks lead by open source contributors as well as edX engineers, and feature lightning talks from attendees who would like to briefly share their work. We’ve also scheduled plenty of “unconference” time for open-ended discussions between diverse segments of our community. The post-conference hackathon will allow members of the Open edX community and edX developers to work side-by-side on new features.

Who should attend?
Primarily, this conference is for users of our Open edX platform, i.e., engineers who are developing cool features (XBlock, JSInput, etc), IT/DevOps professionals who are administering and maintaining Open edX deployments, and anyone who is using Open edX who wants to share his or her experience and learn from the community.

What will attendees take away from the conference?
We hope people will:

  • Make valuable connections with other community members
  • Put faces to names of the edX community managers and engineers
  • Build awesome software to help revolutionize online education
  • Generate ideas, partnerships, and energy to put toward future work

Our hope is that conference attendees will be energized by the excitement and passion of our inspiring community. ​Face-to-face connections make it easier for people to collaborate when they get back home, even if they are on the other side of the world from each other. We’re excited for all of our contributors to learn more about what others in our community are doing, so that within edX can work together with them more effectively. Everyone wins!

What initiatives within Open edX will you be sharing with attendees?
We’ll be sharing our recent progress on documentation improvements, streamlined collaboration methods, a new analytics tool chain, the latest APIs, and more breaking news from edX’s internal development team.

We’ll highlight some significant features created by users of Open edX, such as badging, improved hinting, and on-campus integration​. Seeing work like this coming from people outside of edX is exciting, as it truly demonstrates the power of open source to build bigger and faster tools than just one organization could.

Registration for the Open edX Technical Conference is now open; register online via the conference website. We’ll post updates there, as well as on this blog and on Twitter. Please contact the Open edX Community Team with additional questions.

We look forward to seeing you in November!
– Sarina Canelake, David Baumgold, and Ned Batchelder
Open edX Community Team


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