[openbeos] Re: Waltercon 07

  • From: Bryan Varner <bryan@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: openbeos@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Fri, 27 Apr 2007 11:01:48 -0400

Apart from the name, which antedates Waltercon by quite a bit, I can't think of any substantial difference between the contents of the two events. But if anyone has the urge to organise a get-together, then by all means.
And in my opinion (which really isn't worth anything) that's part of the problem with WalterCon. If I'm going to spend a few hundred (or a thousand) dollars to go to a 'conference' I want to walk away having learned some valuable things, or at the very least made some valuable business / personal networking connections.

While I've valued the friends I've made and met at the previous WalterCon's I've attended, the investment in flying across the country, spending a few nights at a hotel, and going out for food and drinks with a few other developers has paid poorly in dividends. Frankly it makes for a bad investment professionally, and dragging my wife to a geek "get-together" isn't exactly her idea of a good vacation.

I can go out for food and drinks with people here, where I live. Why would I want to fork out crazy amounts of money to do that halfway across the country (or world) with people I don't know all that well if there's not going to be any substance to the conference? It baffles me that we sink time into making presentations on what Haiku can do, and then deliver them to the people who are -making it do that-. If the mindset for WalterCon were changed from "hey buddy developer / community member, let's go some place and have a beer" to more of a "let's recruit and educate people or businesses who -aren't- heavily involved in the community" then it would definitely be worth my money to go.

As it stands, the last WalterCon I went to (Vegas) seemed little more than an excuse to go to Vegas. While I met some interesting characters, nothing productive (of memorable value) came from the event. My knowledge of how to use some of the distinct features of Haiku didn't grow, I didn't learn anything about the kernel, I didn't even feel like I got a good, in-depth status update. The highlight of the trip (from a WalterCon perspective) was getting to talk to Karl from MagicBox.

I guess what I'm getting as is this: If WalterCon is supposed to be an event where people go to learn more about Haiku, to grow as developers, make connections with people and businesses, and grow the community both in size and collective knowledge, then the two I've attended have been a tragic failure. If it's goal is to be an excuse for us to ditch our families for a weekend, go someplace unfamiliar with people we may not know all that well, stay inside for inordinate amounts of time "geeking out" without any direction or productive output, eat, drink, and be merry, then it's a smashing success. I guess it all comes down to expectations.

- Bryan Varner

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