Likes and Dislikes at conferences
Tell me all about the fails and wins of conferences you've been to. I am eager to learn!
*have everything in the same location so people don't run off for food or to go to their hotel room
*social events in a location that plays very loud music everywhere so you can't actually talk to each other
The most problem at last QtDD was wifi I think (at least at Munich). I (and others who I've asked) couldn't connect to venue default wifi and signal of Nokia hotspot was not too strong (for example there were some problems at Labs room).
win: free invitations to top ranked members in devnet forum :)
... even if they happen to work for Nokia;-)
chetankjain, yeah, you are totally right :)
Hehe. Free trips are always nice, aren't they? (Yes, I heard you, Tobias...) ;)
Wifi is always trouble, has been the same at every single conference I have been to. And I have been to quite some. So, that's definitely on the #fail list.
What else would you like to see during a cool conference? Some kind of coding competition? More fun stuff like Geocaching or a traditional treasure hunt?
Go wild! :P
The program of any conference is only secondary to me. Of course I try to see the most interesting stuff, but I mostly atend to talk to people. So some quiet places to sit and chat are always welcome.
Actually I do not mind bad wireless connectivity on conferences... it keeps people out of facebook, twitter, IRC, whatever, so they are more likely to talk with other people around them:-)
[quote author="Tobias Hunger" date="1290697043"]The program of any conference is only secondary to me. Of course I try to see the most interesting stuff, but I mostly atend to talk to people. So some quiet places to sit and chat are always welcome.
I tend to agree. Dirk called it the "hallway track" when he opened the MeeGo conference and I usually get most out of that too. Question is: if you run into someone you would like to have a longer (or less disturbed) conversation with than possible in the hallway - where do you go? Would it be a good idea to have a dedicated "hang out"-room somewhere? Ideally open 24h?
Coding competitions woulkd be a nice idea. What I saw on a C#/Java conference was also interesting:
They had a descrioption what should be done and showed it with different sollutions / frameworks / parts of frameworks. It was life coding always one at a time so people had the chance to compare. That was really cool and interesting...
[quote author="Gerolf Reinwardt" date="1290784530"]Coding competitions woulkd be a nice idea. What I saw on a C#/Java conference was also interesting:
They had a descrioption what should be done and showed it with different sollutions / frameworks / parts of frameworks. It was life coding always one at a time so people had the chance to compare. That was really cool and interesting...[/quote]
Oh, interesting! Did they display what people were writing publicly, so you could watch real-time?
They started with dispolaying a 1 page description of the app:
In that case it was a newsletter / serverside app with frontend for admin and normal user.
Then there were always two people in the front, one was coding via using a beamer (not with the beamer :-) ) and the other discribed, what they do. Sure, they prepoared it, had some papers with sollutions, but thed did the complete coding there from scratch (I think again, they already had a sollution). That also brought up discussions during coding :-) very nice. XP with 200 eyes and one pair of hands :D
They had 1 hour for coding, 10 minutes in front to describe, what and how they do it and 20 minutes in the end for discussions... It was a hard time frame
It was the so called herbstcampus in Nürnberg / Germany, last year.
You could compare sollutions done with QML versuse done by Graphics view vs "normal" sollution with old style GUI. Or compare QT to other solutions, or... Or do it without comparison, but with live coding and commenting
I think it would be nice to let developers show their products that they are working on even if they are not a part of any company, or the company that they are working on isn't in the exhibition, during the conferences there are lots of people so you cannot let everyone present something, but you may select a few, then make an announcement for the presentations.
The selection can occur two forms:
Before the conference, tell people to be registered as Qt Ambassadors then select few Qt Ambassadors for presenting their work that helped them be selected as Qt Ambassadors.
Put a box and let everyone write their names (maybe some Qt-questions) just like the competition to win a Nokia N8 that was at QtDD10.
Some rules may be applied, for example each presentation of any product can be 10 - 15 minutes long, rules about what the app does (no offensive, stealing user data or adult applications), using strictly Qt and Nokia devices etc.
[quote author="Milot Shala" date="1290910008"]I think it would be nice to let developers show their products that they are working on even if they are not a part of any company, or the company that they are working on isn't in the exhibition, during the conferences there are lots of people so you cannot let everyone present something, but you may select a few, then make an announcement for the presentations.[/quote]
That sounds like something that could fit into an unconference day for a possible lightning talk section...
Speaking of which: what do you people think about unconferences in general. I am a big fan but I hear regularly that it needs to be organized. Seems that a lot of people don't trust in self-sorting concepts.
As for me unconference event should be not organized, but watched by someone to be self-organized.
This might be just me, but my personal opinion is: Don't bother with giveaways. I am trying to unclutter my life, not to add more "stuff" to it, so I usually don't even bring the giveaways (nor most t-shirts) home, I just leave them in my hotel room. If those giveaways cost €10 to buy, reduce the conference fee by €10. For me to bring a giveaway home, it would have to be really, really awesome, something I would have been willing to spend my own money on, and that's probably unaffordable. Prerelease phones (like in London) would be much appreciated so that we can get started working on those before the public has them.
Other than that: Keep everything (presentations, booths, food) close to each other. Leave coffee/tea/one cold drink out all the time. Provide a (free) Internet connection that doesn't suck, and if that's not possible with WLAN, then by all means do it with switches and cables spread out over the place, I don't mind.
Geocaching would be fun, but between presentations, customer meetings, and booth duty, I doubt I'd have a single hour available at the Dev Days for that. Same with programming competitions, I don't see where there would be room for that in the schedule, without jeopardizing something else.
Having just taken part in the MeeGo conference in Dublin, one of the things which really was incredible, and indeed highlighted by many people, was the hackers' lounge in the hotel adjacent to the conference location. There was food and drink, some games consoles and the like, and ample comfortable chairs for people to lounge about in while the conference was quitened down. Possibly one of the most important parts about it: 24 hour access, and random non-planned sessions of various socially oriented games, such as Werewolf, which turned out to be so popular that there was always at least one game on. The community feel that this pushed into the people there was really quite amazing: Whether or not you were part of the game, you were still there, and felt part of something fun, more than just a bunch of people there for a conference about software.
First off, wow, so many panels this year! More on this later though.
Kalle: I gotta argue with the "no stuff" suggestion. 'Course, I may be biased, as the recipient of a shiny new N8. :)
Also, frequently the problem with the "good internet connection" is one of the back-end haul! For what it's worth, perhaps point the relevant part(y|ies) at http://www.tummy.com/Community/Articles/pycon2010-network (Unrelated, but I can also personally vouch that the guys at Tummy know what they're doing; they are right in my area and I know some of them. I didn't know that they did the PyCon network, though!)
So one gripe I had in SF was that the hotel folks seemed to behave as if someone was going to steal their coffee urns the moment that the main room wasn't crowded, and so took them all away! There were several times that I was off talking to someone between panels, and to my great dismay found that the coffee had already been removed despite the panels just getting started. To paraphrase w00t's blog, many programmers run on caffeine!
One thought I'd like to offer is that it seems like there are some "glue" technologies that have not really been covered sufficiently in panels (at least not in recent years). The big one for me is something like an "advanced best practices" panel - for instance, questions like "How should I design my QObjects to best ensure that I can use some of the more powerful QObject magic (scripting, D-Bus, ActiveQt, etc.) later on?", or "What is the best way to extend Qt functionality when a plugin class has not been defined?", or "How should I design a QObject class for maximum reuse? (e.g. maybe it will get used as a QRunnable, or maybe just as a QThread-spawned worker)".
The only other note that I have is one I think I already mentioned to you - I would put the rules for "Fact or Crap" right up on the top of the sheet, including "NO USE OF TEH INTARWEBS" in big letters; I saw several people who'd started looking before that was announced, and most of them looked chagrined when the announcement did get made.
translators (over headset) between native language and english. Even if I don't like the talk, I can learn a new language. Also the speaker doesn't have to go through the pain of translating their own speech and talking in an unrecognisable accent.
Free wifi obviously.
Lastly, the freebies. Sure, they could lower attendance fees but you assume it's always the attendant paying ;)
I like it when the speakers are enthusiastic and have rehearsed enough that they don't need notes. I do that whenever I speak because it gives my audience something of value. It's the worst when a speaker isn't prepared or reads his text in a monotone voice. That wastes my time and money.
At QtDD, I'd like more opportunities to see other people's applications in development.
Also, there has to be a way to provide reliable WIFI to the entire conference.
[quote author="tamhanna" date="1291429368"]
Being picked up from the airport AND THE HOTEL
Seems like an unnecessary expense. Is that why the fees are so high? I guess it depends on the country.
[quote author="tamhanna" date="1291429368"]
Speaker events in nightclubs / brothels / body sushi places[/quote]
How interesting. Body sushi conference. I won't ask.
[quote author="GordonSchumacher" date="1291232854"]One thought I'd like to offer is that it seems like there are some "glue" technologies that have not really been covered sufficiently in panels (at least not in recent years).[/quote]
I just got another good one: a panel covering the usage of the advanced data-related classes (QAtomic*, QPointer, QShared, QThreadStorage). It's not always clear which is the right one to use, and there's some unexpected gotchas.
[quote author="chetankjain" date="1290680403"]win: free invitations to top ranked members in devnet forum :)[/quote]
I think we need some "opera singing by the talented MC":http://developer.qt.nokia.com/forums/viewthread/2345. :)
She said she refuses to sing in public, so somebody has to take to the conference some loud speakers and plug them to the phone. :)
[quote author="disperso" date="1292147497"]She said she refuses to sing in public, so somebody has to take to the conference some loud speakers and plug them to the phone. :)[/quote]
I imagine that could be arranged. :)