linux.conf.au 2010 – registration day

Since starting my new job last April, I haven’t been blogging much because I’ve been so busy! I decided to take this week to make up for my slackness by trying to blog about each day of linux.conf.au, which is why I’m in Wellington, New Zealand all this week.

linux.conf.au, for those who don’t know it, is the yearly Australia/New Zealand Free and Open Source Software (FOSS) community conference. A bit of a mouthful, but basically it is one of the best technical and geeky conferences you’ll ever go to, seriously :) I’m probably biased due to being involved in that community for so long. However, when you look at how competitive the paper selection process is (this year there were 69 papers accepted out of 255 submissions), the quality of conference extras (like the Partners Programme, the Open Day and that it’s in a different city every year) and the fact that many of the world’s smartest geeks attend year after year from all around the world, you have a compelling case for awesomeness!

Every year it is run by a different group of volunteers who bring their own ideas and surprises to the mix. It is a great formula for continually keeping the conference fresh and interesting — although it does mean each team usually gets pretty burnt out. :/

Having been on the organising team for lca2007, I can completely understand the pressure and commitment of the current team. Given we arrived in Wellington a few days early I decided to volunteer to help over the last few days, so I’ve been running around playing gopher :) This year’s team have done a great job already, and are super-organised, so I think this week is going to be amazing!

Today the conference registration opened so people could get in early, get their passes and schwag (thanks Grant!), and catch up with other conference goers. It was great to catch up with a bunch of people, who I usually see either online or at lca :) The shirts are pretty cool (and apparently the printing actually breathes properly), and the name badges are fantastic as they’ve printed a tiny book inside so you have maps, schedules and other useful information at your fingertips. They’ve also included most other material on a USB key so no unnecessary printing, nice! They’ve also included a nice hat, to keep the rain and wind off I guess ;)

This is the first linux.conf.au not run in a University, so it’ll be interesting to see how it feels in a conference centre. I’ve checked out the building and although you’d expect a conference centre to feel a bit sterile, it is an interesting and warm building and I found it a great venue for lca. Today at registration it felt pretty chilled out and normal for an lca rego day :)

There are great coffee places close by, along with great shopping (clothes, games and gadgets). The conference is pretty much in the centre of town, there is plenty of sightseeing only a short walk away (if you haven’t been there yet, go to Te Papa. If you don’t have time for anything else, go to Te Papa). Check out the conference pages on Wellington for more.

Most looking forward to

I’m pretty excited about this year’s lca. Some of the things I’m most looking forward to are:

  • All the keynotes look great, in particular Mako and Nat.
  • There is a miniconf about openness in the public sector, where Andrew Stott (Director of Digital Engagement, UK), Laurence Millar (previous CIO of NZ Government) and many other interesting speakers will be presenting. I’ll also be giving a talk on the principles and practise of open government based on my experiences to date in Australia :)
  • The Haecksen and Linuxchix miniconf looks cool. Sara Falamaki’s talk is fantastic (I’ve seen a version of it before), and I’m also looking forward to Elizabeth Garbee’s talk and Joh Clarke’s one on security.
  • Open Day looks awesome this year, great job Jayne!
  • On Monday night is a Martial Arts BoF I’m really excited about! Always fun to share knowledge, particularly when there are weapons involved!
  • I’m sure I’ll find more things to look forward to as I finish reading through the schedule tonight :)

Finally, for those of you not attending linux.conf.au, you can follow it online with the live streaming, which will be linked every day from the schedule. Please note the links will be available during lca only (Monday to Saturday including the Linux Australia SGM).

Update: after some prompting, I should also add I alwayss love the Ghosts dinner where we catch up with other previous organisers of lca to share war stories :)

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