Sep 06 2010

I was very excited to attend the third edition of USI (the conference organised by OCTO Technology). The first year was awesome with guest speakers such as Michel Serres, Neil Armstrong, Eliyahu Goldratt (physicist and father of the theory of constraints) and a lot more. I was honored to present a talk on XWiki that year. The second year was no less exceptional with other wonderful speakers such as Joël de Rosnay, Albert Jacquard, Daniel Cohen and a wonderful jazzman named Eric Lewis. That time I did a session with Tugdual Grall from eXo Platform on Wiki vs CMS.

So it was with trepidation that I was waiting for this third edition. And I wasn't disappointed! The new venue in the Bois de Boulogne was great with excellent food and a chic setting. I did a live podcast recording with the other CastCodeurs (Emmanuel and Guillaume since Antonio decided to go biking instead, shame on him :)). It was our first live recording so I guess we have things to fine tune for the future but it was good and the room was packed. Thanks everyone for showing up. I attended several excellent talks, starting with Chris Anderson (author of the Long Tail concept which I've reused at XWiki to explain how XWiki is a second generation wiki). Chris spoke about the economy of Free and how it changes the game (I recommend his book).

However the best talk for me was without question the one from Juan Enriquez. Juan was part of the team that sequenced the Human Genome and more recently he participated in creating the first artificial life. They were able to take an existing cell, remove all its nuclear material (DNA, etc) and inject some DNA constructed from a computer program. Once the cell was booted with this code, it started executing it, producing proteins as defined in the new DNA! At some point, Juan looked at the audience, filled with developers, and told us that we were the future, that we were going to be the kings of the future since we have the knowledge required. He said that his team had opened up a new playground for us, basically transforming a domain that was that of biology to information technology. Imagine the possibilities that this opens up! It's mindblowing. I think we also got out of this session completely jazzed up, full of energy, thinking about this potential future that we're not fully grasping yet. Personally this was a strong moment for me since I've always secretly dreamed of going back to the school benches to learn bioinformatic. I've never followed up on that dream but it tempts me even more now. I wish I could summon the courage to jump in the rabbit hole one day! :)

All in all, a great conference as usual where I was again happy to meet all the usual suspects: all my friends from OCTO and my open source friends. The conference ended with Fabrice Luchini, reading some extracts from Murray from his Theatre show and dazzling us with his verbal flow!

Created by Vincent Massol on 2010/09/06 08:33
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