Home, James

Since I didn’t actually come home from Debconf, but instead took a further week’s holiday and lazed around by the beach, I haven’t sat down to write anything about it yet.

Most importantly, I should say thank you to Joey Hess, Steve McIntyre and Stefano Zacchiroli for arranging the Debconf Newbies programme, without which I would have been stuck at work watching the videos again (though this does have the advantage of seeing three talks at once). Every year I am astounded at the generosity of certain companies who sponsor the conference, since I’ve experienced for myself the difficulty of trying to put a corporate price on free software – even more so to specifically sponsor newbies, who by definition probably aren’t as active in ways that interest sponsors than more established developers.

Right up to the day I flew I was nervous (as in any social situation) at meeting so many new people in one go, on my own, and long way from home – after all, it’s not really easy to back out and go home after that… But in fact, everybody I met was warm and friendly, and very supportive in all sorts of ways.

I got to see and hear many talks; in the first two days alone:

  • Supporting Debian machines for friends and family
  • Debian at a large Dutch university
  • Why is GNU/Linux Like a Player Piano?
  • Bits from the DPL
  • Packaging Python modules and applications
  • The Unity desktop environment
  • Collaboration between Debian and Ubuntu

And of course social events, like Cheese and Wine, Keysigning (handy for putting faces to names), many nights in the third hacklab, a day trip to Coney Island, a privileged viewing of the most nerdy organ in the world, and a trip up the Empire State building:

The campus was ideally suited to such a conference, and apart from the mugginess we had excellent weather. I discovered that I rather enjoy watching baseball and that one should repeat the application of sunblock after paddling. But what I enjoyed most of all was being in the same area as so many eminent Debian people, and being so inspired by them to be even more involved – technically and socially. I hope to see you all again soon!

One Comment

  1. I agree with most of what you’ve said in your post, but I feel compelled to say: “Cricket rules!” 🙂

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