Last Conference Trip of the Year


ConFoo has now a West Coast version which has its initial dates this week in Vancouver. This is in addition to their spring show in in Montreal. This will be my forth time in Canada this year. Northeast PHP moved from Cambridge to Charlotteville, LinuxCon NA was in Toronto, and now a new ConFoo. Canada seems to doing very well even before recent threats of many Americans to move North.

2016 saw a lot of old shows in new locations — Zendcon, SCaLE, PHPTek. But many have anchored to their venues — RMOUG Training Days, Collaborate, FOSDEM, Ohio Linuxfest, All Things Open — and have improved greatly. And many new shows –Swanseacon, Scotland PHP, ContainerConNYC — have appeared and run as a smoothly as if they were old, long established shows with veteran crew.

For sheer pandemonium, nothing beets FOSDEM. This show has dozens of small rooms, short session times, and what seems like 99% of all the computer folk in Europe rushing around a university campus. Ironically Linuxfest Northwest is also a great many bodies rushing around a slightly smaller college. The energies at both events is very high and you will feel exhausted when they finish just from the hub-bub and frenetic pace.

SCaLE moved from slightly seedy LAX to posh Pasadena. The new venue is very posh, the content still amazing, but the local eateries are bit more upscale and I miss the old Carl’s Junior.
Northeast PHP was in very beautiful Prince Edward Island. Red sand beaches, lobster, and a a large developer community that caught almost everyone by surprise.

Scotland PHP sort of cheated. They had Arthur’s Seat looming over their venue and were next to a castle, the Scottish Parliament, and a lot of great single malt. That would be enough for many conferences but the organizers went to school on other events and put together a very smooth show with great speakers. The audience was friendly, very inquisitive, and asked a lot of tough questions.

I liked the St Louis location for PHPTek but it seems nobody else did. Next year the show relocates to Atlanta. Speaking of the south, All Things Open has grown from a few hundred folks to well over two thousand in four years. Todd Lewis and crew run very smooth shows and treat vendors and speakers very nicely. It is always a pleasure to be at those shows.

I will be travelling less in 2017 (hopefully). My counterpart, LeFred, has been a great addition to the team and has taken some of the travel stress off me. Sadly there are only two of us travelling and many new shows appearing on the calendar.

A big thank you to the organizers of the shows MySQL sponsored this year. The first hurdle is getting these shows into the Oracle Purchase Order system which includes a tough bunch of paperwork. Then each event has it own set of documents to be completed. This can be arduous for smaller shows and a nuisance for the bigger shows. But they did it well and with style. BTW if you want MySQL to sponsor you event, drop me a note and I will contact you.

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