ClueCon 2023 Wrap-up

ClueCon 2023 was a success! The sparkling halls of the Drake hotel provided an all-new backdrop for this year’s conference, and throughout the week, we heard some great talks from many familiar faces from around the community of open source and telecom.

Each day brought fresh insights and new ideas. If you missed out, don’t worry – all the presentations will all be available soon on the FreeSWITCH YouTube channel, so be sure you’re subscribed.

Keynote presentation by FreeSWITCH founder and SignalWire CEO, Anthony Minessale.
Keynote presentation by FreeSWITCH founder and SignalWire CEO, Anthony Minessale.

A few other notable events took place during the week, some of which will also make an appearance on the channel very soon. You’ll find a recap of a few highlights below.

FreeSWITCH v1.10.10 Release!

We kicked the week off with a FreeSWITCH Release! This is a major release containing critical security fixes, adding Debian 12 Bookworm, OpenSSL 3 and FFmpeg5 support. As part of our continuing dedication to code quality, we have resolved static analysis bugs for MacOS in all of FreeSWITCH core and in most modules. We encourage all users to upgrade to v1.10.10 as soon as possible.

The Coder Games

Our annual hack-a-thon offered a fun and engaging networking event as attendees arrived for the week. We had some coding challenges available for those who wanted to flex their skills, and non-coding challenges for anyone who wanted a break.

Maker Challenge

This year’s Maker Challenge was all about connecting an Arduino sensor to a phone call using SignalWire. A panel of judges evaluated functioning prototypes to award prizes to the most innovative.

Hard at work on the Maker Challenge.
Hard at work on the Maker Challenge.

FreeCYCLED Hacks

In the most egg-citing event of this year’s Coder Games, we challenged attendees to an Egg Drop Challenge! Participants were given an egg, a set of materials, and a limited amount of time to design and build a contraption to prevent the egg from breaking when dropped from a balcony. In the end, after the judges conferred, “The House From Up” triumphed!

The winner of FreeCYCLED hacks, "The House From Up."
The winner of FreeCYCLED hacks, “The House From Up.”

Welcome Dinner at Giordano’s

We ended day one of ClueCon 2023 with networking, fun, and a classic Chicago meal! After (unfortunately) getting caught in the rain, everyone dried off, relaxed, and rested up for the week ahead with pizza, drinks, and great company.

The AI Roundtable

Evan McGee hosted an AI roundtable on day two, joined by Eli Yelluas Replicant, Diego Gosmar, James Tagg, Anthony Minessale, Kristian Kielhofner, and Jeff Pulver. They had a great discussion about where artificial intelligence was not long ago, where they predict it will be in the future, regulations and copyright, and popular tools such as ChatGPT.

Evan McGee, Eli Yelluas Replicant, Diego Gosmar, James Tagg, Anthony Minessale, Kristian Kielhofner, and Jeff Pulver.
Evan McGee, Eli Yelluas Replicant, Diego Gosmar, James Tagg, Anthony Minessale, Kristian Kielhofner, and Jeff Pulver.

Gigabit Reception

After day two, we celebrated our annual Gigabit Reception with a piano bar! Attendees sang along with the piano man, belted out their favorite songs at karaoke, and enjoyed some games and networking after a long day of presentations.

The Gigabit Reception.
The Gigabit Reception.

Casino Night

We brought back an annual favorite for this year’s conference, and added to it! Beyond just having Poker Night this year, we hosted an entire Casino Night. Including a Poker Tournament hosted by World Poker Tour Champion Phil Gordon, attendees enjoyed drinks, snacks, and casino games!

Dangerous Demos

We ended the conference day with Dangerous Demos hosted by James Body, where we had SO MANY great entries for demos that had to get dangerous in 3 minutes or less. There was some bribery, and a few that crashed and burned… and four crystal Dangerous Demos trophies were given out in the end.

A Dangerous Demo with James Body and volunteers.
A Dangerous Demo with James Body and volunteers.

The Grand Prize Giveaway

The Grand Prize giveaway marked the end of the conference! If you want your own, you’ll just have to attend next year…. (save the date for August 12th-15th, 2024!)

The Grand Prize.
The Grand Prize.

Early bird registration is open for 2024! We’ll see you next year.

Countdown to ClueCon Part 3: What to Expect

ClueCon 2023 is just around the corner! Hosted at the iconic Drake Hotel in Chicago from August 14th-17th, this year’s conference promises an array of networking events, thought-provoking presentations, and tons of fun that you won’t want to miss. It’s still not too late to register. If you can’t make it, be sure you’re subscribed to the FreeSWITCH YouTube channel to catch the livestreams!

Here’s what to expect from this year’s conference:

Monday: Kickstarting the week with the Coder Games

ClueCon begins on Monday with the Coder Games hack-a-thon. There are both coding and non-coding challenges available, so whether you want a break from programming, or you want to flex your skills, you can team up and build your way to some awesome prizes.

If you’re looking to do some coding this year, the Maker Challenge is for you. We’re challenging participants to work solo or in teams to connect an Arduino sensor to a phone call using SignalWire.

If you need a break from writing code, get ready for the egg drop challenge that will test your engineering prowess. You’ll be given an egg, a set of materials, and a limited amount of time to design and build a contraption that will prevent the egg from breaking when dropped from a balcony.

But it’s not all coding and competition – gain invaluable insights into various open-source projects each day of the week over lunch. Monday will feature a HOMER lunch & learn session.

If you’re looking for a taste of Chicago, join us for the Welcome Dinner at Giordano’s, where you can savor Chicago’s famous deep-dish pizza served alongside a fantastic view of the city.

Tuesday: Keynotes, AI insights, and celebrations

Tuesday brings the start of three days of presentations, and the stage is set for some groundbreaking discussions. First up will be the keynote by Anthony Minessale, FreeSWITCH founder, SignalWire CEO, and a visionary in the world of communication technology.

The day continues with more presentations, and at lunchtime, check out the Kamailio workshop hosted by Daniel-Constantin Mierla. Join this session to discover how config preprocessing can help to increase elasticity of your deployment and leverage better container-based infrastructures.

As the conference day comes to an end, get ready to ask your questions about AI during the AI roundtable. AI is having a big moment right now, and many leaders in the industry are implementing AI into their products, or thinking long-term about how to leverage this powerful tech. During this session, industry experts will discuss the intersection of artificial intelligence and communication technologies.

Don’t forget the annual Gigabit reception, a perfect opportunity to network, relax, and hang out with fellow attendees. One of our favorite networking events! Enjoy drinks, hors d’oeuvres, and games. Bring your favorite instrument if you want to take part in the annual jam session, or jump in with a mic for the highly-anticipated ClueCon karaoke.

Wednesday: A day of learning and luck

Wednesday will be a full day of presentations spanning various topics. At mid-day, enjoy the FreeSWITCH workshop over lunch, where you can explore how to make your first call to FreeSWITCH using Docker.

As the evening approaches, get ready to roll the dice at Casino Night! We’re going back in time to the 1920’s, the decade when the Drake was built. Arrive in style with fashion inspired by mobsters and flappers, get yourself a cocktail, and enjoy craps, roulette or blackjack.

This exciting event features the annual Poker Tournament hosted by World Poker Tour Champion Phil Gordon!

Thursday: Wrapping up with demos and prizes

As ClueCon 2023 draws to a close, the presentations continue, offering one last round of enlightening talks. The OpenSIPS lunch & learn provides insights into another powerful open-source SIP server.

At the end of the day, brace yourself for the classic Dangerous Demos competition hosted by James Body. This annual favorite showcases cutting-edge, experimental, and sometimes even outrageous demos that will leave you astonished. Will you impress the audience, or crash and burn?

And finally, the end of the week will bring the moment everyone is waiting for: the grand prize drawing for the custom-engraved MacBook. Will luck be on your side? There will be many chances throughout the week to gather raffle tickets, so get as many as you can!

Don’t Miss Out on ClueCon 2023

Whether you’re a developer, entrepreneur, or tech enthusiast, ClueCon 2023 is a must-attend event that will expand your horizons and connect you with like-minded developers. Get ready for an unforgettable journey at the intersection of technology and communication. See you at the Drake Hotel in Chicago from August 14th to 17th!

(Stay up-to-date by making sure you’re signed up for the FreeSWITCH newsletter!)

Countdown to ClueCon Part 2: It’s All About the Developers

ClueCon is an event for developers, by developers, hosted by the founders of FreeSWITCH. When you attend the annual conference in Chicago, you’ll find yourself surrounded by fellow developers who are eager to delve into the latest technologies, exchange ideas, and discuss ongoing projects.

There are plenty of learning opportunities at ClueCon, and as a one track conference, you don’t have to miss any of it. Get three days of technical presentations, lunchtime workshops from your favorite open-source projects, networking opportunities with industry leaders, and all kinds of fun and games where you can flex your engineering skills at our annual hack-a-thon or the Dangerous Demos competition.

Join us in Chicago, August 14th-17th at the Drake Hotel for the conference that pre-dates the founding of FreeSWITCH!

Enjoy a week full of presentations about the latest technologies

Tuesday through Thursday will be filled with technical presentations by industry leaders and developers. Pop in and out of the conference hall as you like, or enjoy all the talks in this one-track conference.

ClueCon isn’t about sales talks – it’s about tech. As Anthony Minessale, FreeSWITCH founder and SignalWire CEO describes it, “bigger conferences are a little war of like a thousand sales people trying to sell stuff to each other… Our conference is a way to educate people.”

There are a few trending technology topics you can look forward to hearing about at this year’s conference:

AI: Artificial Intelligence continues to revolutionize various industries, and these talks will explore its impact and potential applications in voice and telephony. Gain insights into leveraging AI technologies and techniques to enhance your applications with intelligent features and capabilities. This year will also include an AI roundtable, so that you can ask questions to the experts who have been exploring the use of AI in telecom for many years.

RTC: We’re always discussing RTC at ClueCon, and this year will be no exception. Delve into the fundamental applications of RTC, industry essentials, troubleshooting and debugging, and related open-source projects. These sessions will provide you with best practices that allow you to create immersive and interactive communication experiences.

The cloud: The future lives in the cloud, and we’re always talking about it at SignalWire. At this year’s conference, you’ll gain insights into optimizing your applications for scalability, reliability, and cost-efficiency in the cloud environment. These sessions will also cover best practices for leveraging cloud services and managing cloud-based applications effectively.

We’ve also got a great lineup of lunch & learn workshops from all your favorite open-source projects. Whether you need updates on FreeSWITCH, HOMER, OpenSIPS, or Kamailio, you can find some in-depth sessions taking place over lunch, included with your ClueCon admission.

Each workshop will be offered on a different day over lunch, so pick one, or enjoy all of them each day of the week, Monday through Thursday.

Code your way to the prize at the Coder Games

Each year at ClueCon, we kickstart the conference week with our annual hack-a-thon: the Coder Games! Join us for this competitive networking event on Monday, August 14th. There are both coding and non-coding challenges available, so whether you need a break from programming, or you want to flex your skills, you can build your way to some awesome prizes.

If you’re looking to do some coding this year, the Maker Challenge is for you. We’re challenging participants to work solo or in teams to connect an Arduino sensor to a phone call using SignalWire. This challenge will require you to combine your knowledge of coding, hardware, and telecommunications to create a functioning prototype that you will pitch to a panel of judges for the chance to win an exclusive ClueCon prize.

If you need a break from programming, join us for our FreeCYCLED Hacks game: the Egg Drop Challenge! You’ll be given an egg, a set of materials, and a limited amount of time to design and build a contraption that will prevent the egg from breaking when dropped from a balcony. It’s not as easy as it sounds – you’ll need to think creatively, work efficiently, and test your design before the final drop.

If you miss out on the Coder Games, join us at the end of the conference week for Dangerous Demos hosted by James Body. You’ll be encouraged to build something impressive or disastrous that can be presented in three minutes or less.

Network with fellow developers and industry leaders

ClueCon is just as much about building lasting connections as it is about learning. In addition to informative presentations and educational workshops, every night of the conference offers fun and relaxed networking opportunities. Evening events are hosted in a laid-back atmosphere, so you can unwind while meeting fellow developers and sharing ideas.

“If you ask people, they say they feel welcome there – which is one of our most important goals,” says Anthony Minessale. No matter if you’ve been a developer for years or you’re just starting out, you’ll find our networking events offer something for everyone.

After our first night’s welcome dinner at Giordano’s, we have a couple of other networking events to look forward to. The first is, of course, our annual Gigabit Reception. Come party with us in the 1920’s Drake Hotel for a 1920’s-themed evening reception. Hang out, enjoy some snacks, drinks, the annual jam session, and the always highly-anticipated ClueCon karaoke.

In honor of our prohibition-themed 1920’s conference this year, we’ll also be hosting a casino night. Join us for games of craps, roulette, black jack, and a poker tournament hosted by Phil Gordon, World Poker Tour Champion. Arrive in style with fashion inspired by mobsters and flappers, or come as you are.

Join us August 14th-17th at the Drake in Chicago! Get $200 off your ClueCon tickets with the code COUNTDOWN. We can’t wait to see you there!

Countdown to ClueCon Part 1: Summertime in Chicago

Our countdown to ClueCon 2023 has officially begun! With just two months left before the annual developers’ conference, August 14th-17th, we at FreeSWITCH and SignalWire are buzzing with excitement for our yearly adventure to the Windy City. 

There are a lot of reasons why you should attend ClueCon – informative presentations, one-of-a-kind networking events, community building – but there’s something special to be said about getting to explore Chicago in the summertime. (If you’ve only been to the most recent two October ClueCons, give it a try! We promise it’s better…)

Many updates are to come in the next two months on the specifics of speakers, schedules, and other details surrounding the business side of the conference. But to kick off our Countdown to ClueCon series, let’s talk about the home of ClueCon: Chicago. 

The Drake

Nestled in the heart of downtown Chicago along the Magnificent Mile, the Drake Hotel is an iconic landmark that exudes timeless elegance, located conveniently for daily excursions between conference activities. 

As the venue for this year’s ClueCon, this luxurious hotel offers a perfect blend of history and modern amenities. Many of our nightly activities this year will be 1920’s prohibition-themed, and as the decade when the Drake was built, this historical hotel will serve as the perfect backdrop for our Casino Night and annual Gigabit Reception.

With its breathtaking views of Lake Michigan and impeccable service, the Drake promises a truly memorable stay. Explore its opulent interiors, dine in one of the many nearby restaurants, or unwind with a cocktail at the famed Coq d’Or Lounge. The Drake will be the perfect base for your ClueCon adventures.

Not to mention, it may or may not be haunted…

The Magnificent Mile

The Magnificent Mile is a famous section of Michigan Avenue, rich with landmarks, cool restaurants, and all kinds of shopping. Boasting an impressive lineup of upscale boutiques, department stores, and luxury brands, the Magnificent Mile offers a pleasant walk towards Lake Michigan.

The Drake also happens to be located along the Magnificent Mile, so you’ll be right where you should be to explore Chicago’s downtown!

You can also head to the Chicago Riverwalk to check out the river. There, you’ll find waterfront cafes, wineries, monuments, museums, and boat tours, lined along a backdrop of public art. It’s also a good spot to get outdoorsy – try kayaking or paddleboarding! 

Culinary Delights

Chicago is renowned for its food scene, and you’re in for a treat during ClueCon! We’re hosting our Monday night welcome dinner at Giordano’s, so that you can try Chicago’s famous deep dish pizza. (If you really love it, you should also give Lou Malnati’s a try…)

For an elevated dining experience, Alinea, a three-Michelin-starred restaurant, will take your taste buds on an unforgettable culinary journey. And let’s not forget the mouthwatering steak options at Gibsons Bar & Steakhouse for a truly indulgent meal.

You can find Chicago’s famous hot dogs piled high with all the fixings or a classic Italian beef sandwich at Portillo’s, if you’re looking for something more casual. 

For your free days in the city

We also have a curated list of things to do in Chicago for when you’re not busy with ClueCon activities. Whether you’re into history, art, nature, architecture, food, shopping, or just wandering around and seeing the city, we’ve got you covered.

Chicago is rich with all kinds of museums, whether you want history, art, or nature. If you’re into music, there are a ton of music festivals throughout the city during the summer (and Chicago is home to Lollapalooza, two weeks before ClueCon). Aquariums, planetariums, boat tours… whatever you like to do or see on vacation, you can find in the Windy City!

The ClueCon team is familiar with Chicago and has plenty of suggestions for how to spend time in the city. If you’re looking for any guidance as you book your hotel room and plan your trip, feel free to ask us! 

And don’t forget – you get a special rate for staying with us at the Drake! Be sure to book your room by July 21st if you want our room block discount. You can get our special rate from August 11th-19th, so we encourage you to book an extra day or two to check out the city while you’re there.

Get $200 off your ClueCon tickets with the code COUNTDOWN. We can’t wait to see you there!

#ClueCon2022 Wrap-up

#ClueCon2022 was a huge success! We were so glad to be back fully in person this year, and want to thank everyone who made it possible – whether you were an attendee, speaker, sponsor, or you joined our livestreams. Below you’ll find a recap of the week, along with all the info you need for next year!

First and foremost, we kicked the week off with a new FreeSWITCH release! This is a minor release containing important bug fixes and stability improvements. Click here to view the release notes for v1.10.8.

As always, we started off ClueCon with the Coder Games hack-a-thon. This year we challenged attendees in the Maker Challenge to build their own Arduino car and live stream an epic stunt! We used sensors and cameras to live stream what was going on in the race track to a SignalWire Office. For FreeCYCLED hacks, attendees were challenged to build functioning projectiles that tested aim and accuracy by shooting various objects through different sized hoops. There were no rules about how this projectile had to function… all that mattered is how far the projectile could fly while maintaining peak accuracy.

A self-driving car hurtling toward the finish line.

Each year, the awesome presentations are a huge part of what makes ClueCon so memorable. Tuesday morning included our keynote presentation by Anthony Minessale. At lunch, attendees got to choose their workshop: Kamailio and its powerful iterators for management of SIP headers and body, or All Things Campaign Registry, depending on whether they wanted to learn about the recent version of Kamailio’s new tools for configuration files, or the current state of 10DLC messaging (The Campaign Registry) and messaging best practices. An open source roundtable ended the conference day, where we were joined by several open source experts from various projects. We heard about the latest developments, community building, financing projects, and got some questions answered.

Our open source roundtable! From left to right – Luca Pradovera, Fred Posner, Daniel-Constantin Mierla, Jachen Duschletta, Liviu Chircu, Michael Jerris, Anthony Minessale, Brian West.

Of course, after day two, we celebrated with our annual Gigabit Reception – as a Halloween party! Attendees dressed up in their best costumes for the costume contest, belted out their favorite songs at karaoke, ate pizza and enjoyed some games and networking after a long day of presentations.

A collection of some of the best costumes from this year’s Halloween Gigabit Reception.

Wednesday was another day full of presentations, and over lunch, attendees had the option to get an Introduction to QRYN with Jachen Duschletta! They learned how to set up, integrate and use QRYN – the open-source, high performance and cost-effective platform for logs, metrics and telemetry events designed for the next-generation of Telecoms and RTC Enterprises.

Evan Woolley hosted a panel for attendees to Ask a VC their questions about investing. Our top-notch investors spoke about some of the key things they look for in a growing company, or entrepreneur, before they make a move. We brought back a new annual favorite for that evening  – Poker Night! Attendees competed in a tournament, enjoyed some drinks and snacks, played board games, and won some cool prizes for their efforts.

Poker Night!

The presentations for ClueCon 2022 finished on Thursday, with plenty of familiar faces from the world of open source. We even got an update on the newest FreeSWITCH release from Andrey Volk, who called in from across the world to talk about the latest fixes! 

Thursday’s lunch and learn was led by Liviu Chircu of OpenSIPS, where attendees learned about Building STIR/SHAKEN services with OpenSIPS 3.3. The workshop included a live coding session and demo, and attendees brushed up on knowledge of leveraging the “stir_shaken” OpenSIPS module in order to build open-source, production-ready STIR/SHAKEN services.

We wrapped up the conference with Dangerous Demos, hosted by James Body, where we had SO MANY great entries for demos that had to get dangerous in 3 minutes or less. Participants even bribed attendees with Golden Tickets to win votes in their favor, to receive the coveted crystal Dangerous Demos trophies.

Those elusive Dangerous Demos trophies…

The Grand Prize giveaway of the custom-etched MacBook Pro marked the end of the conference! If you want your own, you’ll just have to attend next year…. (save the date for August 14th-17th, 2023!) But there’s good news if this year gave you FOMO… Early Bird tickets are now available! These will be as cheap as ClueCon tickets will possibly get, so take advantage of the sale while you can! Get 2023 ClueCon tickets for just $599.99.

If you just can’t wait for next August, you can find all the presentations, panels, and demos on the FreeSWITCH YouTube channel!

We’ll see you next year!

Lucas Beeler – Hazelcast

Lucas is a principal architect at Hazelcast, where he helps Hazelcast’s most demanding customers architect, design, and operationalize enterprise software systems based around the Hazelcast platform. Before joining Hazelcast, Lucas held similar positions at GigaSpaces and GridGain, giving him a uniquely broad and deep understanding of the in-memory platform space. Lucas holds a B.S.E. in computer science from the University of Michigan.

Best Practices for Human Mobility and Real-time Machine Learning

In this talk, you will learn how you can apply real-time machine learning on multiple human mobility datasets to provide real-time predictions, using Hazelcast, the Open-Source real-time data platform. The talk will address these challenges and provide solutions and best practices on how to optimize real-time machine learning predictions on human mobility datasets in the following areas: scalability, performance, failover, reliability, and data recovery.

Jachen Duschletta – QXIP

Jachen is a Sr. Solution Architect and Developer at QXIP. Born in the ranks of QXIP’s decentralized efforts and co-author of the Meething dWebRTC platform, he leads HEPIC operations for the US and participates in the design and development of the QRYN framework and all of its polyglot integrations.

 An Introduction to QRYN 

Introducing QRYN, an open-source, high performance and cost-effective platform for logs, metrics and telemetry events natively integrated in HOMER/HEPIC and designed for the next-generation of Telecoms and RTC Enterprises.

Amy Negrette – DigitalOcean

Amy brings a spectrum of experience to Developer Relations at Digital Ocean. Most recently coming from the Cloud Consulting, she designed enterprise scale solutions while updating them with serverless technologies, trading in traditional web server API backends for Cloud Functions and Infrastructure as Code.

Amy came to Cloudreach looking for cloudier technologies. To find them, she left her dream job, supporting NASA’s efforts as part of ASRC Federal. She was able to stop fire fighting and prevent fires by design. She acted as a Git Resource in Ames Research Center’s IT Department and supported internal sites for Research Center Staff and public sites for Outreach and Educational Initiatives.

She also worked in the Silicon Valley Startup Scene. Initially as part of Citizen Sports, a small outfit working in the Fantasy Sports space which was then acquired by Yahoo! Fantasy Sports. Later as part of Get It Mobile that promoted user acquisition.

Simplify Application Deployments with DigitalOcean’s App Platform

Developers often don’t have the luxury of depending on a full staff of infrastructure engineers to help bring their code to production. However, shouldering them with infrastructure tasks is usually not the best use of their time. Managed services like DigitalOcean’s App Platform allows developers to deploy their application from a container registry such as Docker Hub. This talk will demonstrate how using App Platform simplifies deployments by taking care of the container orchestration and monitoring, allowing Developers to focus on building and improving their application.

Bao Nguyen – Bell Canada

A highly motivated guy who happens to know and like VoIP and FreeSWITCH

Advanced call flow automation using FreesWITCH and Python

How FreeSWITCH and Python are helping to bring back joy and effectiveness in call flow regression testing.

Sajad Sabri – NasimTelecom

Telecommunication Consultancy with interest in NGN/IMS, VoIP Solutions and IoT Research Who Published articles such as “Automatic detection of attacks to prevent disturbance in the performance of telephony switches” , “Face segmentation for use in Real-Time video coding and variable blocking to improve video ” and ” Improve Performance of RTP Relaying Sessions in IMS Transport Layer With LREProxy ”

 VoIP Performance under Pervasive Environment

We are going to check how can we consider VoIP as a part of Pervasive Environments and How can it help in daily activities in a company.