OSCON, Days 1 and 2

26 07 2006

davinci_codebase.jpgThe first two days at OSCON 2006, filled with tutorials and some keynotes, have gone by. Here’s my wrap-up.

Businesses Partnering with Open Source Communities: Opportunities, Perils, and Pitfalls, James Howison.
Nothing that I hadn’t already heard, or read. Still, James is a good speaker and knows his subject.
Rails Guidebook, Mike Clark and Dave Thomas.
Again, nothing new to me, apart for something about RJS, which I never used before. Useful for not letting things slip out of memory when you’re not practicing them daily, and Mike and Dave are very good teachers.
Ajax on Rails, Stuart Halloway.
Stu is a captivating speaker. Brilliant tutorial. I’ve marked his talk about Streamlined on my calendar. That’s one presentation you don’t want to miss if you’re using Rails.
Open Source Clue Training: How to Market to People Who Hate Marketing, Doc Searls.
We all know and love Doc, at least since the Cluetrain Manifesto. Still his talk left me with many “huh” moments and few “a-ah” moments. I guess I was again too jet-lagged to be able to really grasp it all. Note to self: find the slides and go over them once again.

In the evening we had a plenary session with three keynotes that would have been worth the ticket price alone.

First, Larry Wall delivered hist tenth “State of the Onion” talk. It was the second time I heard it—I think I my first one was at the 2002 ApacheCon— and sorry, but Larry isn’t my kind of speaker. It could be because I don’t care about Perl much anymore, but the parallel between language design and raising kids was just, hmmm… lame. Anyway, it had some good moments and I have heard much more boring stuff in the past. Plus, Larry is very human and likable.

Then it was Kathy Sierra and her “Cognitive Seduction” talk. Kathy is one terrific speaker. I found her speech funny and thought-provoking. What more can you ask?

The evening closed with Damian Conway delivering not a keynote, but an incredibly funny parody of “The Da Vinci Code”. You have to be a real geek in order to appreciate that kind of humor, but then that’s what the audience was made of, and we sure got lots of laughing out of it. He got a standing ovation at the end.

Today I get to present my talk, which is making me a bit nervous. I have the feeling I have too few material to cover 45 minutes, but that is something you always feel and it usually turns out not to be true. Luckily I have some demo material that I can choose to present or not, depending on the remaining time.

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15 10 2006
Agylen » ApacheCon US 2006 wrap-up

[…] Quality of the talks was uniformly good, with no letdowns, at least as the sessions I attended are concerned. What left me a bit disappointed was the level of the keynotes. Keynotes should be entertaining and provocative, while still being relevant to the conference’s main theme, in my opinion. That was not the case here, I think, so I suggested, on the feedback form, that ApacheCon should try to find better keynote speaker. When I was at OSCON, the quality of keynotes was awesome, with some exceptions. People like Damian Conway, Kathy Sierra, Robert Lefkovitz are really able to captivate and cheer the audience. […]

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