Three weeks of travel are finally over. I enjoyed most of it but it took it’s toll. One of the reasons I didn’t feel the summit was as successful for me personally than it could have been.
During the four days in Berlin I spent mostly in the halls of LinuxTag, I had the energy and ease to walk around and talk to people although the preparation of the whole event had taken quite some effort from my side. Luckily, all went smoothly, including our Friends of Qt dinner. It was unfortunate that it collided with the Social Event the LinuxTag organized, but I could no longer wait for the date at one point and had to fix the restaurant.
I had good conversations with colleagues, friends and new contacts. Especially, the folk at the VLC booth was fun and good to talk to. And there were all those who manned the stands of the French OSS startup scene. France was this year’s focus or partner or whatever initiative at LinuxTag. Together with Till Adam I joined a semi-boring networking dinner where I learned very interesting things about French radio broadcasting.
But that was by far not all I learned. During those events I usually act like a sponge: I absorb everything that might be interesting or worth knowing if not right now then maybe at one point. I can’t put my finger on anything specific but it will be useful.
Of course, I did not get half as much sleep as I would have needed (discipline, dear!) and I was really really happy about the bathtub in my room when my back had passed the point of the usual strain.
To sum it up, I was pretty tired when I returned to Oslo where Chani joined me and I tried to clean up my work before leaving for Gran Canaria. I hoped to have more time for sight seeing or other fun things with her but that was just an illusion (next time, Chani, promise).
Before the conference started, I had two days off for recovery I spent on Gran Canaria passing my first diving license. It was a brilliant thing to do and I had most of my strengths back for the Desktop Summit.
Which then hit me harder than expected. There was still something to organize left, roll ups had to be placed in the conference hall and the party details needed some checking too. And I was still feeling my presentation could need some more preparation (will I ever get over that?). All in all it went well and I am happy with the reactions I received after my talk.
My feeling about the conference is mixed. There were a lot of very technical talks I simply didn’t have the brains for and there were quite some that were interesting for me but collided with each other. I put all my hopes on the videos. When the BoF sessions started I was no longer perceptive at all.
Unfortunately, the sponge approach has limitations. I did not have enough time to move all the new things from temporary storage to more permanent areas of my brain which inevitably led to a loss of concentration and more confusion (I do remember talking about our year of birth before now, Marius, it was not a déjà-vu). In case you wanted to talk to me about anything but didn’t manage — or worse: had the impression I was not interested — please, bear with me and ping me on IRC or so…
I really had a hard time meeting a critical amount of new people due to my personal state and the non-optimal conditions of the summit. It would have helped me personally a lot if the area of the summit was more limited so I could have run into random people more easily.
Altogether I do believe that a summit like this is beneficial and that the organizers did a hell of a job. Chapeau! Still there is some room for improvement. Maybe a bunch of geeks does better with a less elegant place than a conference center? Or maybe it was just me being slightly overworked?
Time for holidays finally.
In other news, I have a fresh openSUSE install on my desktop now (all for you, Will!) and am surprised by how quickly I had it up and running.