Hi, Bryan Varner wrote:
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.
I agree with Bryan. I am a firm believer that WalterCon has great potential as a tool to grow the developer's community. But I also think that for this potential to be realized there needs to be radical change on how this event is approached, from the small circle get together that it is now into a more organized and thought out event that caters to a wider audience with content that has *compelling* perceived value.
I suggested that WC be held in Europe this year because most of the active Haiku developers are there, so your chances of getting more of them under the same roof is much higher, increasing thus the possibility of putting together a program that can be *more* attractive to a *broader* target audience.
Thanks to SCaLE, the Google Tech Talk and GSoC, Haiku has received quite a bit of exposure beyond the small BeOS circle. It is now the time to exploit the momentum and give those developers who find the ideas behind Haiku attractive a compelling reason to attend the event.
Showing how far Haiku has come is cool for the regulars and old-timers. But potential newcomer developers have different needs. Haiku has to start sharing knowledge with those developers who may find the platform intriguing, as a way to lower their learning curve with the ultimate goal of helping them jump on the bandwagon. Waltercon is the single greatest opportunity to do so in both quantitative and qualitative terms.