The Week that was oSC14

oSC14 Logo

So that was the week that was. As with almost all good things, openSUSE Conference (oSC) 2014 has ended :‘-(

A huge thanks to Svebor Prstačić and his fine crew from both Zagreb and Dubrovnik Universities. They did a wonderful job, and if there were any pain points they made sure that only they felt them. The venue was great with plenty of space, the two main auditoriums were almost too big ;-) Huge thankes to Jürgen Weigert and Christopher Hofmann for organising, directing, streaming, editing and uploading the videos of most of the talks. You can see the videos on openSUSE TV with an oSC14 playlist, huge thanks to Bambuser for enabling the live streaming.

One thing I love about having the community organise oSC is that we manage to get not just Geekos involved, but also our peers. As an example Jasna Benčić is normally involved with the Ubuntu community, but decided to help us out. Thank you so much for joining the fun and helping out, Jasna. Hopefully we can see you at another Geeko powered event, and who knows maybe you could give openSUSE a whirl on your machine ;-)

So it was all rosey, right? Well, not quite… Unfortunately we didn’t have as many people attend as we would have liked (I say “We” as I am a member of the openSUSE Board after all). IIRC there were at most 150 attendees which was significantly down on last year’s event in Thessaloniki :-( There are all sorts of reasons as to why this was this case, but I personally think there were two major factors:

  1. Reprecussions from the last 12-18 months within the project. There’s no denying it, we had some turmoil within the project over the last year and a bit, thankfully I think the troubles are behind us and we are on a positive track. The issue is that healing and recovery takes time, and unfortunately oSC this year landed at the start of the upward curve.
  2. Location. As wonderful a place as Dubrovnik is, it wasn’t the easiest place to get to for many people at least for a reasonable price. This is something we as the Board and future oSC organisers need to be mindful of. I know some people having to make 3 connections to get to Germany from Dubrovnik which is somewhat sub-optimal. Maybe if it the event was held a month or two later there would have been a wider choice of flights, but the downside is that the price would have sky rocketed. The crazy Greekos ended up taking a bus from Thessaloniki to Dubrovnik, going via Albania on the way there and Serbia on the way back, but that was partially down to them being lovely Greekos as much as cost ;-)

There was a good selection of talks, ranging from high level overview style to low level plumbing. With sufficient content to fill the schedule up. Slides from my two talks are available (PDF) ARMing Open Source and ARM based Data Center.

I appear to have gotten in the habit of ending up in various states of undress at conferences this year and oSC14 was no different. After many people pleaded with me to ensure I remained fully clothed (sorry darix et al) I ended up creating a Speedo Geeko, thanks Oliver for the speedos and Robert for applying the rear decals :-)

Speedo Geeko front Speedo Geeko decal application Speedo Geeko rear

One thing I would like to see in the future is that if we advertise the event starting on a specific date, then that’s when the event starts - not the pre event drinks. Sure the drinks/nibbles event is important but it should not be part of the schedule, look at how FOSDEM do it - event is Sat + Sun that is what’s advertised on the schedule. The all important Beer Event is advertised seperately. Another nit pick is that it would be good to have a social area, at oSC13 there was an area with tables and chairs, which was a great place to socialise. There was plenty of socialising this year but it was somewhat disjointed with people drifting here and there rather than having a hub of socialising.

This year I was quite please to have been able to work with colleagues to get a simple but effective giveaway, hopefully we can provide similar giveaways to other events and communities:

ARM & openSUSE sticker

One thing we weren’t short of this year was photographs, here’s a few albums for you to browse:

Thank you to everyone who helped out, those who attended, those who presented, those who sponsored, and those who watched online. We really couldn’t have done it with out you, and remember the openSUSE Conference is an event for ALL of the openSUSE community. If you attended or viewed the conference online and have some comments (please try and be constructive with any criticism) then do let us know, either email the Board directly or better still email the Project mailing list.