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bart (450)

Journal of bart (450)

Tuesday August 19, 2008
11:47 AM

YAPC::EU first impressions

[ #37230 ]
I just came home from my first YAPC, in Copenhagen, a few days ago.

Overall impressions are good: I've had a very busy schedule, I've been to a talk for every single time slot, and there is not a talk I've been to that I considered a waste of time. So that is good.

To be honest: I didn't really expect catering, so that was a pleasant surprise, not in the least because Denmark is so expensive. What was even a better surprise is that the quality of the food was good. It was a lot better than anything I've ever been offered to eat on an airplane, for example.

I'm not going to discuss "the incident", not even while I was in the middle of it, because I had already largely forgotten about it. It's not that important.

But there still is something that irks me. I feel that some people who have been to YAPC more than once, use it to put themselves in the spotlight. I'm not going to mention names, I'm not even going to say about how many people I am talking, because I do not want this to degenerate into a mindless, meritless flamewar, plus, I am not the one who is going to draw the line of what is or is not acceptable. You have to think about that for yourself.

In short, I do think that not always the same people should be in the center of attention. Especially people of whom I think they don't really deserve it. I think it's time to put a stop to the ego-tripping.

So, for next time... Please don't always let the same people present the show. And don't let all the talks be given by all the same people every year, if they have nothing new to say. It is time for fresh blood.

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  • It is arguable. Those who are visible most of others are visible because they are active. Yes, sometimes such people might sit silent in the room instead of loudly commenting something, but if the comment is funny, why not?

    As for talks - everyone has an opportunity to submit a talk for the conference. If several people do that year by year, that is good, not bad. If there will be more new speakers, it will be possible to make a decision whose talks should be rejected. In fact, there were not too many talks

    • I agree. There are two issues at play here:

      • The pool of speakers is not unlimited. Submitting a talk proposal takes courage and commitment. So if you see some faces a lot, it is much more likely to be these are the people with the courage and commitment to propose a talk or several talks.

        And if someone is a good speaker, should they refrain from submitting a proposal just because they gave a talk the year before? That makes no sense at all.

      • The organisers of the conference are under some pressure to provid

      • things can turn into an old boys’ club.

        You've hit the nail on the head: that is precisely what irks me. It feels like an old boys' club.

        • Well, as htoug has mentioned, pretty much everybody who has submitted a talk got to talk. There was one exception, where a talk was rejected because it was obviously a commercial pitch.
          So if you have any hard feelings about the conference being an old boys' club, please consider submitting your own talk next time. If your submission will have any merit, I am sure you'll get your slot, and thus make your first step towards becoming an old boy yourself (just kidding).
  • The danish organisers copied the selection method used in Vienna: accept one proposal from every submitting speaker. This ensures that as many speakers as possible are permitted to talk. I am quite satisfied with the result.