ApacheCon US 2006 wrap-up

15 10 2006

I’m writing this while sitting at the Austin airport terminal, waiting to board my plane to Detroit and from there back home via Schiphol. Weather conditions are: overcast with slight rain. As the plane is quite small (Canadair Regional Jet) it might be a bumpy ride.

I was reflecting on the ApacheCon US 2006 that ended Friday. Overall impression was rather good: I got to meet and hang around with a whole lot of people, some of which I had the occasion of seeing face to face for the first time, like Dave Johnson, who says he’s been reading my blog since the beginning. Hi Dave!.

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.

Maybe they are too expensive for ApacheCon, I don’t know. But if we can find some company to sponsor them, we could maybe recapture some of the audience that, according to the people I spoke to, has been dwindling with respect to previous editions.

267825487_20159a7d83_m.jpgAs far as my own talks are concerned, I think they went rather well. I was a bit nervous on the first one, since it was the first time I was presenting it, and the audience was small, a fact the tends to put me down and even more nervous.

The second one went really smooth, instead. Having presented it already twice makes me much more confident and pleasant, I think. Audience was bigger, and asked a number of fairly relevant questions in the end.

One last note: Google’s motto is “Don’t be evil”, but Fitz is totally evil when playing foosball, especially when coupled with Geir.

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