Blog Archive

Informational Update for Conference Participants

Public Health officials continue to investigate an outbreak of gastrointestinal illness associated with attending the Open Source Bridge Conference at the Eliot Center in downtown Portland from June 23 to 26, 2015.

We have determined that Salmonella caused gastrointestinal illness among conference attendees. Laboratory tests helped investigators identify a distinct Salmonella strain (Salmonella typhimurium) in six attendees who became ill between June 26th and June 30th. In addition to these six cases, 45 other people reported having symptoms consistent with Salmonellosis. They were among more than 220 conference attendees who responded to a Health Department survey that conference organizers shared last week.

The Health Department is continuing its investigation to identify the source of the bacteria that caused the illness. There is no indication that this outbreak spread beyond people connected to the conference. We are monitoring illness in Oregon to assure this is the case.

Salmonella is a bacteria that causes people to develop diarrhea, fever and abdominal cramps (also known as gastrointestinal illness). Most people start getting sick one to three days after infection, though that can vary from twelve hours to seven days. While it is common for people to recover without treatment, they are often ill for several days, a week, or sometimes longer. The elderly, infants, and people with an impaired immune system are more likely to have a severe illness.

There is no vaccine to prevent salmonellosis. Avoiding undercooked animal products (eggs, poultry, or meat) is a good way to avoid exposure to Salmonella. It is also important to avoid cross-contamination between raw meats and ready-to-eat foods like produce. In fact, large outbreaks of salmonellosis have been linked to produce like bean sprouts and cantaloupes, and to poultry and poultry products. As with all foodborne illnesses, outbreaks can also occur when there are breaches in good food handling practices. For more information on good food-handling practices, go to:

The Salmonella bacteria can be passed from person to person by contact with stool (feces) of a person shedding the bacteria (sick or well). Therefore, to prevent spread to household members, please wash your hands with soap and warm water after using the toilet. If you or someone in your household develops diarrhea and works as a food handler, healthcare worker, or in a childcare, please contact your local public health authority for testing and do not go to work while ill. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimate about 1.2 million cases of salmonella infection occur every year in the United States. A useful Q & A and lots of other Salmonella information can be found at the CDC’s main Salmonella website:

There are many causes of gastrointestinal illness. If you feel sick, we recommend you seek care from a healthcare provider, who will work with you to diagnose the cause and get you appropriate treatment.

Feeling sick after the conference?

UPDATE 2 July at 13:25pm: We’ve talked further with Multnomah County Heath department. They are developing a questionnaire that will help us identify possible sources of illness. We’ll send this questionnaire out to attendees and post information about it here next week. You are still welcome to call the health department and make a report, but you can also wait and complete this survey. In the meantime, if your symptoms are severe, please seek medical care. If you do, we suggest you ask for a stool sample analysis as that is the only way to determine what made you sick.


We’re hearing that a number of participants are having symptoms of gastroenteritis starting just after this year’s conference. If that includes you, we’re so sorry you’re not feeling well!

The cause of gastroenteritis can be bacterial (e.g. from eating contaminated food) or viral (e.g. from being in close proximity to someone with norovirus). We don’t know which was the cause in the case of Open Source Bridge. If you are sick, please report your symptoms to the Multnomah County Health Department by calling 503-988-3400. (More info about reporting here.) We’re working directly with the health department to try to determine the cause of the illness so we can support those who are sick and also prevent this from happening again in the future. The more information they have the better.

We probably will not be able to determine the cause of this particularly bad round of “conference crud,” but that doesn’t mean that we won’t take steps to prevent it from happening again. Next year we’ll increase training for all volunteers handling food and will increase awareness and access to hand washing and sanitizing for all participants.



Friday, June 26

All good things must come to and end but great things can live on in hashtags: #osb15 (#osbridge for an evergreen hashtag).

Our Friday schedule is entirely in unconference format. What does that mean? Join us at 9am in the Hacker Lounge for a kick-off session and collaborative scheduling. Each of you is welcome to propose a topic for discussion, a question you’d like to answer, or project to work on together. If you’ve never participated in an unconference before, we’ll walk you through it during the kickoff. Today’s activities are open to all registered attendees, including Community Pass holders, so invite a friend!

Please take notes today and share them on the wiki! Unconference sessions aren’t recorded in any formal way, so we rely on you to document what happens for everyone who couldn’t join us in person.

You can power your session ideas with carbs and coffee (or tea). We’ll have hearty oatmeal from Pacific Foods and delicious fatty sugar bombs from Voodoo Doughnuts (along with gluten-free pastries from Petunia’s). Lunch will be at noon, on your own. We encourage you to get outside (hisss evil daystar) and visit a local food cart. Not sure where to look? We made a map of some of the larger pods.

Make sure you’re around (if your travel plans allow) for the wrap-up session at 3:30. You’ll have a chance to share feedback on the conference, the unconference, and talk about what you’ve learned. Let us know what worked and what didn’t, so we can build an even better conference for next year.

If anything you brought to the conference has since gone missing, don’t forget to stop by Lost & Found at the Registration desk.

Thank you times infinity!

Thank you organizers! For all your hard work planning and coordinating every last thing we needed to be here, at this conference this week. The 2014 organizing team: Christie Koehler, Reid Beels, Melissa Chavez, Kirsten Comandich, Amy Farrell, Chris Freeman, Edward Groth, Lauren Hudgins, Amanda Lane, Jonan Sheffler, and Kurt Sussman.

Thank you volunteers! The hours you put in made this event run smoothly, and created the space for all of us to participate. Open sourced blessings upon your hot pink clad hearts.

Thank you speakers! Your talks shared valuable lessons, great tricks, and all the nuts and bolts of how we do our work. You built the frame for all the other conversations that we participated in. We’ve learned a lot from you.

Thank you sponsors! We love your support for open source communities and the work we do together. Our party sponsor was New Relic and our Advocate-levels sponsors were Mandrill and Rentrak.

Thank you attendees! You’re the reason we’re here, and we love the energy you bring to learning, sharing, and teaching others. We hope you’ll spread the ever more inclusive open source citizenship everywhere you go.

See you next year for more talks, more hacking, more discussion, more Lego table, more sparkle ponies, more melty metals, more charming music, more snacks, more board games, more friends, more sticker swaps, more you!

For those of you who are lucky enough to have energy and a ticket, enjoy AlterConf on Saturday.

As always, maintain homeostasis, and drink water.

Thursday, June 25

We were wrong about the evil daystar’s hellfire on Wednesday. Half of the day was cloudy and there were even a couple rain droplets. On Thursday the temperature will get in the 90s, creeping up to over 100 degrees on Saturday. But that won’t be our problem. That will be AlterConf‘s problem.

Here is Thursday’s schedule

Stephanie Morillo pictureOur keynote begins at 9am in the Sanctuary. Coming across the country from the Bronx, Stephanie Morillo (@radiomorillo) is a Dominican-American musician, writer, and technologist. She frequently writes about race, class, her experiences learning to code, and working in tech. She helps others learn to program, sings melancholic songs, and dreams about well-written documentation because the world needs it. She recently did an interview on the Less Than or Equal podcast.

Opening Up The Current Open Source Blueprint

Accessibility, diversity, and open source holding itself accountable to its own standards of what it means to be an open community.

Thursday’s Menu: Breakfast is fresh and dried fruit and nuts and oatmeal from Pacific Foods. Lunch is catered by Thai Garden. Cookies by Sweetpea Baking and Petunia’s Pies & Pastries (gf). All food is vegan unless otherwise noted.

Open source collaboration for tackling real world environmental problems” was originally scheduled for Wednesday, but one of the speakers, got grounded in Philadelphia under the threat of tornado. The talk will be presented by co-speaker Mathew Lippincott at 4:45 on Thursday in B304.

It’s the big day! It’s the day of The Doubleclicks and the #OSB15 party! The Doubleclicks will rock your socks off (with consent, of course) at 6pm in the Sanctuary.

You don’t even have to go anywhere for the party; it’s at the Eliot Center. We begin the celebration at 7pm. Party food is catered by the Cuban restaurant Pambiche, with dessert by Back to Eden Bakery. We’ll be serving beer, cider, wine, and nonalcoholic beverages.

Libate lightly if you plan to take part in the OSH Park Intro to Soldering workshop. We’ll also be playing tabletop games supplied by Guardian Games, picking locks, practicing Japanese calligraphy, and solving cubes. Thank you, New Relic, our party sponsor.

Announcements & Reminders

The usual reminders: observing our Code of Conduct and Recording Policy helps keep this a fun and welcoming event for all.

Keys go missing, phones go missing, but sooner or later they end up at Lost & Found. Stop by the Registration desk to see if we have yours. If you need help with anything else, find a volunteer (you can identify them by their badges or the bright pink shirt).

Hashtags! Most people seem to be using #osb15, but we do have a few #osbridge rebels.

The cutoff for nominating a worthy citizen of open source for the 2015 Open Source Citizenship Award is 4pm. People don’t get recognized enough for their contributions to open source. We are not thankless!

Thank you sponsors!

Thank you to this year’s sponsors for supporting Open Source Bridge, including advocate sponsors RentrakMandrill, and Sumana Harihareswara; you sparkle ponies, and other Citizens and Friends.

And as usual, drink some water. This means you, #teamovercaffeinatedhummingbird. Especially at the party. Don’t become hungover owls.

Wednesday, June 24

Yesterday was marvelous. Thank you to all our amazing speakers and volunteers. There’s already an excellent article about Kronda Adair’s keynote in the Portland Business Journal.

If you haven’t noticed, Oregon is unfortunately suffering from a drought and you can expect more relentless beaming from the daystar. We’re starting to get used to it. Remember to drink water. Not just coffee, you overcaffeinated humming birds. Water.

Here is Wednesday’s schedule

Carina C. Zona’s keynote begins at 9am in the Sanctuary.

Carina C. Zona (@cczona) is a developer, community builder, advocate, certified sex educator, and whimsical gluten-free baker. Carina is the founder of @CallbackWomen, an initiative devoted to getting more women onto the podium as programmer conferences’ speakers. She has also been an organizer & instructor for many tech women’s organizations, including formerly serving on Railsbridge’s core team.

Consequences of an Insightful Algorithm

Content Notice: this talk addresses problems in how developers deal with sensitive topics such as grieving, PTSD, depression, miscarriage, infertility, surveillance, racial profiling, sexual history, consent, and assault.

We have ethical responsibilities when coding. We’re able to extract remarkably precise intuitions about an individual. But do we have a right to know what they didn’t consent to share, even when they willingly shared the data that leads us there? How do we mitigate against unintended outcomes? In this talk, we’ll learn how to build in systematic empathy, integrate practices for examining how our code might harm individuals, and net consequences that can be better for everyone.

Wednesdays’ menu: Fruit, nuts, and Organic Steel-Cut Oatmeal from Pacific Foods, lunch by the Ethiopian restaurant Bete-Lukas, cookies for the afternoon break from Sweetpea Baking and Petunia’s Pies and Pastries (GF). Everything is vegan unless otherwise noted.

Feeling tense about your upcoming talk? Schedule a massage sometime between 3:00pm and 5:30pm. (If you can’t get one on Wednesday, Charise will be back on Thursday). You can also ease some tension with yoga at 5:45pm.

BoFs (Birds of a Feather) happen Wednesday in two time evening time slots: 7:00–8:30 and 8:30–10:00. We have a sign-up whiteboard in the Hacker Lounge. Sign up as soon as possible to get your preferred time. Stop by and add yours, or see what’s there.

Announcements & Reminders

Nominations for the 2015 Open Source Citizenship Award are open. Show someone in the community how much you appreciate them with a nomination.

There is still availability for childcare, free for all attendees. Please ask at registration if this would help you attend the conference.

We need party volunteers for Thursday evening. Help us have fun. Use the app to schedule those times, or check in the volunteer lounge. If you are not registered for Thursday and would like to attend on that day for free, sign up to be a party volunteer.

There’s a bike glove on the loose! See if you can apprehand it. (wah wah). If you see our little wanderer, please bring it to Lost & Found at registration.

Hiring? Looking for a job? Write your information on our job board in the Hacker Lounge.

Don’t forget to read and review the Code of Conduct and Recording Policy. Did you know our policies are on Github and can be forked for your own events and organizations?

Hashtags are #osb15 and #osbridge.

Thank you sponsors!

Thank you to this year’s sponsors for supporting Open Source Bridge! They are: Party Sponsor New Relic, Advocate sponsors Rentrak and Mandrill; you sparkle ponies, and other Citizens and Friends.

Get some sleep and then get excited!