At work, we use Linux (and Debian, in specific) for a lot of different things: everything from our phone system (running on Asterisk) to file serving and running some proprietary applications. I’m one of the people that finds, sets up, and maintains these systems, and I write code for our in-house use as well. I like to learn from others, and get to know others that may have things in common with me and with our environment. So going to conferences is a useful thing to do.
I’m hoping that some reader out there will have a good suggestion for a conference I ought to attend. Here are some that I’ve looked into and my thoughts on them:
- Usenix Annual Tech Conference: I went last year. There were some very good talks, but the audience size was not all that large. I got to meet some peers there, but I didn’t get to talk in-person to anybody I’d worked with online before. (LISA being in fall/winter means it’s too early to consider it just yet)
- LinuxWorld Conference & Expo: My general impression of LWCE in the past has been that its technical talks aren’t very technical; that is, they either cover things I already know or don’t care about. They are starting to publish their program this year, and I see a few interesting things though. There have traditionally been a lot of Debian folks at the .org pavillion.
- Debconf: It seems to be focused almost exclusively on developing the Debian operating system, rather than on using it. While I am a Debian developer and have been for quite awhile, I would find new uses of Debian to be more interesting than new ways to hack on Debian. Plus, the insanely early registration requirements means that it’s too late to go this year anyhow. (And my brother is getting married right in the middle of it.)
- OSCon: There look to be some interesting talks in the database area, and some about Xen and virtualization, and Simon PJ (one of the ghc hackers) will be there. So this would be interesting, though somewhat light on the admin side of things.
- OLS: Seems very focused on the kernel, and not much else. That is of interest, of course, but is one piece of many. Though there was a talk about Linux deployment at Nortel that sounded interesting.
My leading candidates are probably Usenix and OSCon. I’m interested to hear what people think, especially those that have attended some of these conferences.