I won’t attend OSCON next year


I greatly enjoyed OSCON 2008. But I won’t attend OSCON 2009, because its locale was moved from Portland to San Jose.

I lived in San Jose for six months, when I worked for a former employer. (Maybe it was nine months… That job is fortunately a distant fuzzy memory.) Deciding whether to attend a conference involves many tradeoffs; one of which is, of course, its location. My negativity about San Jose is sufficiently strong to move this decision into the “No” column. (If you’ve never been there, I have one word for you: Concrete.)

O’Reilly’s official reasons for moving it to San Jose didn’t sounded very convincing to me. Or to a lot of other people. Allison Randal makes a, “Bigger is better, and OSCON will forever keep growing at 20%/year, so we needed a bigger venue” argument. I don’t buy it, because (a) bigger isn’t better, and (b) growth won’t continue at the same pace. This would be true even without a terrible recession bearing down on us. Growth never continues at the same pace forever; if it did, Microsoft‘s revenue would now be greater than the combined GDP of every country on the planet. Simply extrapolating the past is how Conventional Wisdom fails.

Anyway. Whatever. My opinions are very distant from being interesting to anyone at O’Reilly. I was looking forward to it, but I’ll find other ways to use the time that would have been OSCON 2009.

5 comments
  1. Suzanne said:

    All of us at O’Reilly appreciate your comments. FWIW, we loved having OSCON in Portland, which is why we kept it there so long (normally we move it every two or three years). But, in addition to the growth issues, there were other considerations that Allison mentions in her post, and all of those factors played a part in the decision.

    Hopefully you’ll rejoin us at OSCON when we move it from San Jose to its next locale, wherever that may be. (Suggestions welcome.) Though maybe attending OSCON in 2009 will warm your fuzzy memories about SJ. 🙂

    Thanks again for your feedback.

    Suzanne Axtell, O’Reilly Conferences team

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