Well the OpenStack conference has come and passed, and I promised that i would share some of my thoughts, so lets start with the first two. I plan to make these as short as possible.
(Let me first say that i have only ever been to an international VMworld conference, both in the US and in Europe, so my comparisons are based against those experience).
This was a smaller conference, in numbers of course, i am not sure about the size of the venue, although i do assume it is smaller than the Moscone Center in San Francisco. I did hear though,a number of comments,of how this has grown immensely over the years, and the record attendance this year was ~4800 attendees. The cost of the conference of course is much cheaper than that of VMworld, and i really do no it want to go into the logistics and financial parts here.
OpenStack as a company(if can even really call it that) is relatively tiny, i would assume less than 100 people, compared to VMware that is now in the range of 10,000-15,000 employees, that means it is leaner, and Les fat associated with it.
If my memory serves me correctly, all ATC's (Active Technical Contributors) received a full discount and the conference pass, and i gather presenters receive the same.
There is a travel support program, where a potential attendee can request subsidy from the foundation for their costs, if they are not able to attend due to lack of funds. I think this a great initiative, and show how much the community means hear, and how the foundation do try their best to make the extra effort to allow those who really would like to attend,but cannot due to financial issues. It was pointed out in the keynote, and i would also like to state that VMware contributed to the budget for this fund this year, so my hat goes off to them.
I was pleasantly surprised to see that there was a large number of female participants – and as opposed to a VMworld conference they have major technical skills, something that I do miss at a VMworld conference. (This is not intended to be a derogatory remark for either of conferences – I just found it a pleasant surprise).
The session slots were set for 40 minutes each, unless they were specific workshops and those were longer. Sessions started exactly on time, and usually there was enough space for whomever wanted to attend, although i do know that there were some sessions that were SRO (Standing Room Only - you learn new abbreviations every day, when you are limited to 140 characters). I do think that the session length was a bit short, seeing as many of the presenters did not have enough time for Q&A at the end of their session, not all mind you. I guess it is a balance of how long you can keep the audience interested until you lose them.
I would have preferred to have the option of providing feedback for sessions – and not only a general survey at the end of the summit – maybe something that will be added to the next summit in Paris.
More to come in the upcoming posts.