Brian Callahan bcallah at
Sat Feb 15 01:44:31 EST 2014

I simultaneously love and hate this idea.

On 2/15/2014 12:18 AM, Justin Sherrill wrote:
> One more 'future con' theme idea: this just-past con had Andrew Wong
> presenting from a developer's point of view - that would make a good
> theme.  "BSD and development" - have people talk about building
> working environments, or how they get set up for using a particular
> language.

This is great. There's always something to learn seeing how other people 
tackle a development problem. I think we could find enough variety, and 
make it *BSD-specific enough, to make this work. Or perhaps fit it into 
a larger "developer day," whatever that means for us.

> Development of a hardware item would apply too, and probably interest
> some sponsors who would want to talk about what they are building.
> People could submit pictures of their work environments, for contrast.
>   It would be sorta like

I hate this idea. This is tantamount to auctioning off our speaker slots 
to the highest bidders and subjecting our attendees to a day of sales 
pitches. I have no problem with someone wanting to give a talk about 
some hardware their company produces, but such a talk really has to be 
focused on why *BSD is the right fit for them. It's really easy to 
devolve into a sales pitch. So you really have to trust the person 
giving the talk. And I would be very uncomfortable allowing that 
person's company to be a sponsor, especially a higher-level sponsor. 
Other cons, sure, but not that one.

The stakes are higher with this than other talks/themes. Not every talk 
is going to be a home run, but people generally understand they may not 
love every talk on a particular day. Sometimes you even get credit for 
that: "Hey, I didn't love Person A's talk, but it's really cool that 
NYCBSDCon gave him/her a shot." Sales talks will annoy people and damage 
their perceptions on the day as a whole, not to mention the organizers 
will be to blame. Do that more than once and we'll be packing it up for 
good--no one will be coming back.

Sorry Justin, didn't mean jump down your throat like that. You were just 
the first one to bring up something relevant and I want to have 
something public (even if it's just an "I told you so" years from now 
after we've screwed everything up :) )


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