All the talks I attended were very good to excellent, with one exception. I didn’t like one that was at a more elementary level than its synopsis had led me to expect.
The sessions were more casual than those at OSCON or PyCon. It’s hard to explain why, but that’s the impression I came away with. Well, here’s one example: More than one presenter commented about how they had generated their slides the night before. I never heard that at the other conferences. It’s neither better or worse; just different. Although, maybe these presentations were slightly more survey-ish in nature. Hard to say. Spelling or layout errors were evident in two talks, including my hot button of “its” vs. “it’s.” Gaaaaaa! I also caught a “your” vs. “you’re.”
One in three presenters were female. I didn’t hear attendee statistics, but it also seemed that women were a high percentage (i.e., higher than in a typical software conference) of the entire assembly. I found the social atmosphere was a little more sophisticated (mature?) than in some other conferences I’ve attended. Probably not a coincidence.
No power strips in the session rooms. Hoo boy. I coaxed more battery life by turning down my display brightness, and turning off my wireless network, while in sessions. I rushed out to the public tables (which had power strips) to juice up between talks.
Speaking of power strips, some were daisy-chained between the public tables. And many MacBook power adapters were in use. We open source folks live life on the edge.
Hearing Ward Cunningham talk was a treat.
No tchotchkes were distributed at registration, which suited me fine. I wind up throwing away 80% of conference baubles. They’re a traditional revenue source (explicitly or implicitly), but vendors need to wise up and reevaluate their effectiveness. (For example, CDROMs aren’t appreciated anymore, now that most software can be easily downloaded.) They’re an outmoded conference tradition that can’t disappear too soon.
The Exhibit Hall had just four exhibitors. I didn’t see a whole lot of interest there, but, maybe there was and I just missed it.