Conferences for Beginners, by Jim Brandt, David Adler, Randal Schwartz, Michael Schwern
This talk was to explain what people should do to take the most out of a conference, and it focused a few interesting points:
* Decide what you want to see beforehand
* Note down 5 points about each talk you see
* Report back to your boss (so that he'll send you again next year)
* Beware regarding security issues ("Don't use POP3 over the wireless!")
* Finding and using the networks (in this case, IRC, blog aggregator, SubEthaEdit and the Wiki)
* Meeting the Big Egos (how to go about approaching them)
* Some cautionary points
* And the post-conference activity (basically, keep in touch)
Opening Ceremonies, by Josh McAdams
Josh came on stage and he told us a bit more about the conference:
* There will be a DVD
* Over 60 talks
* Around 400 attendees, representing 13 countries
* 8 months planning
* Dozens of volunteers
* There's a job fair (with Acxiom, CheetahMail, Google, LiveText, Performics, ValueClick, Shopzilla, Follet Library Resources and a bunch of other companies; somebody already tried hiring me!)
Pretty good organization, I must say
Keynote, by Damian Conway
Damian got on stage with two purposes:
1 - Thank ValueClick, which is sponsoring Damian into going to 4 different locations as a speaker, this Summer, Chicago being one of them;
2 - Introduce Larry (Brilliant, Devout, Dedicated, Insightful, Witty, Inspiring and a lot of other adjectives I wasn't fast enough to write down).
Keynote, by Larry Wall
Larry has just become a grandparent and he has a thing for wires.
His talk was on Blindness and, appropriately, was based solely on pictures... O:-)
Larry spoke about the several forms of blindness and presented us with some sentences that I think we should all think about:
- "There are several forms of blindness. Look again. Think again."
- "Another reason we're often blind is because we're going in circles."
- "Something's you don't see unless you have courage."
- "Something's you can't see unless the timing's right."
- "Sometimes we don't see things until after we've taken the picture."
This was the morning.
But there was another talk...
After Larry spoke there's was a small break, but betweeen going to the bathroom, grabbing something to eat and talk to several people I ended up not being able to see Bill Odom's keynote
I did manage to say hi to him the day before