Want to find more technical conferences? Here's my hotlist.
The other week my arch-nemesis, Adam Kennedy, asked how the
hell do I find out about all these conferences. This was a
reference to Manifest, where I
did some photography
and generally had an absolute blast.
I wish there was some central repository of events that was kept
up-to-date, provided an API and iCal feed, and contained rich meta-data.
There's none that I know of; in fact, the closest I've found is
Facebook, where one can use the API and
Query Language to exttract information on people and events. I
would give a talk on a few practical applications, but as it depends
heavily on friends willing to disclose their interests and activities to
facebook, my augmented social life currently only rocks only if I'm
living in Portland or Edinburgh.
The way I normally find out about conferences is still through good
old-fashioned word-of-mouth. The ones I would like to attend in the
coming year that I'm presently aware of are:
- Yet Another
Perl Conference Asia (YAPC::Asia), 10-11 September 2009, Tokyo,
- The world's biggest Perl conference. I've never been, and I'm
missing it this year due to an already full travel schedule. I'd
love to attend next year.
September 21-23rd 2009, Portland OR, USA
I've never been to Linuxcon, but it's in Portland, and I love Portland.
- Grace Hopper Celebration
of Women in Computing, September 30th - October 3rd 2009, Tuscon AR,
- Most of my friends and associates have probably heard me soapbox
about how we have appalling gender equality in IT, and especially in
FOSS. The Grace Hopper conference provides an extensive
programme on women in computing, and I'm incredibly sad I won't be
there this year. ;(
- Open Source Developers'
Conference (OSDC) - 25-27th November 2009, Brisbane, Australia
- OSDC is a beautiful melting pot of developers from different
languages, with healthy competition between speakers. It also features
the world's best lightning talks. This year OSDC is in beautiful
BrisVegas, making it the perfect place to spend a few days afterwards to
- Large Installation
System Administration Conference (LISA), November 1-6th 2009,
- LISA has been on my list of conferences to attend for years now, as
apparently it's the sysadmin conference to go to.
- Linux.conf.au - 18-23rd
Jan 2010, Wellington, New Zealand
- LCA is, in my opinion, the world's hardest conference to speak at.
They have a huge number of submissions each year to their
call-for-papers. LCA2010 is happening in Wellington, New Zealand, which
features the world's second-best coffee, most civilised Perl Mongers
(sponsored beer at the meetings), and is choc full of awesome people.
- Social Linux Expo
(SCALE), 19-21st February 2010, Los Angeles, USA
- I only learnt about SCALE toady. Last year's speaker list contains
at least half a dozen people I'd cheerfully fly across the world to see,
so this has shot very high on my desired conference list.
The System Administrators Guild of Australia, August 2010
SAGE-AU was my first conference speaking experience, except that I never
spoke. I was pulled in as a last-minute replacement speaker for Randal Schwartz,
who was having troubles making it to the conference, but eventually made
it. Enchanted by the idea that I could speak at conferences, the
next few SAGE-AU conferences became the start of my speaking career.
SAGE-AU also has the best conference dinners ever, which makes me
super-sad I missed the conference dinner at DreamWorld
- Open Source Bridge,
June 2010, Portland OR, USA
- I missed Open Source Bridge this year, and I cried and cried,
because it sounds like the best conference I've never been to. Not only
is it in Portland, which I love, but it's organised by a team including
Selena Decklemann, whom I love,
and has a awesome list of
speakers. Nothing is going to stop me from attending in 2010.
- Yet Another Perl Conference,
North America (YAPC::NA), June 22-24th 2010, Pittsburgh USA
- I've never made it to a YAPC::NA before, but I had such a blast at
YAPC::EU that I'm now convinced that I have to go.
The O'Reilly Open Source Convention, July 2010, Portland OR (Hopefully),
- I've been to two OSCONs now, and both of them have events that
represent some of the best experiences of my life. For those of you who
have noted that OSCON is expensive, then consider submitting a talk
proposal (speakers get in for free), or tutorial proposal.
Tutorial presenters usually qualify for travel assistance, and for me
this makes OSCON one of the most cost-effective conferences in the world.
- Yet Another Perl Conference
Europe (YAPC::EU), August 2010, Pisa, Italy
YAPC::EU was my first YAPC this year, and I had an absolute blast. The
thought of attending again just thrills me with excitement. Plus, if
Italy makes coffee anywhere near as good as they make in Lygon Street, it
will be worth it for the caffeine alone.
There are more technical unconferences than I could possibly poke a
stick at, and I'd go batty trying to list them all. Instead, I only
want to make a few special (and local) mentions here.
- BarCampMelbourne -
12-13th September 2009, Melbourne, Australia
- The last Melbourne BarCamp rates as one of the best unconferences
I've ever attended, and I expect the next one will be even better!
There are only limited spots, so now's the time to sign up.
- StixCamp, Victoria,
- Last year was the first ever StixCamp in Australia. Grab a bunch of
geeks, get them to bring tents and camping equipment, and take them out
to a beautiful winery in central Victoria. Mix in high-speed wireless
Internet, some amazing food, and a wonderful atmosphere, and you have an
experience not to be missed.
- BaaCamp aka KiwiFoo, New
- An invite-only event; the running joke is this should be called
FontCamp (Friends of Nat Torkington
Camp). BaaCamp sports an absolutely fascinating mix of people, superb
catering, and late-night Werewolf
games. Plus, it's in beautiful New Zealand. I've only been to a single
BaaCamp, but would love to be back for a second.
I have more enough than enough interests to keep me occupied, and many
of these have associated expos, conventions, festivals, and the like.
Again, there are more of these than I could possibly list, so highlights
only are below.
- Penny Arcade Expo (PAX) -
4-6th September 2009, Seattle, USA
- PAX is a gaming festival, and I would dearly love to be there year,
but unfortunately I'll be missing out.
Pirate Parade - 21st September 2009, Melbourne, Australia
- Come dressed as a pirate, yer scurvy dogs, and let's plunder
- Manifest the Melbourne
Anime Festival - August 2010
- I love Manifest. It's a huge celebration of anime culture, with the
cosplay competition being the highlight of the weekend. I've been lucky
enough to have a camera at at both Manifest
2008 and Manifest
2009. There's also a single-day Minifest that happens each year in
- San Diego Comic Con
22-25th July 2010, San Diego, USA
- I've never been to SDCC. I keep hearing amazing stories every year.
It had better not clash with OSCON.
If you'd like to see me at a conference that I haven't mentioned
above, it's quite likely because I haven't heard about it! Drop me an
e-mail and let me know, especially if
there's an open call for papers.