[talk] Raul's meeting

George Rosamond george at ceetonetechnology.com
Fri Mar 4 09:34:59 EST 2016

Quick comment about it.

Raul did an excellent job in his bsd init/rc meeting on Wednesday. He
provided an overview and opened up the discussion. He didn't walk in
with all the answers, and he was upfront about that.

It's great to have meetings in which subject-matter experts (SMEs) talk
about this or that. We are fortunate in NYC to have a lot of SMEs:
speakers who are authorities on a particular topic, and could be
speaking at large conferences.

But there's a number of problems with only having SMEs speak.  First and
foremost, most people aren't SMEs, and a barrier gets created between
the active and passive participants. The SMEs talk, and the non-SMEs
listen.  Not a good dynamic IMHO, and it doesn't extend engagement.

Additionally, it's a poor example for other user groups and smaller
conferences. "We don't have Kirk to talk about UFS and CSRG, so we don't
have a meeting."  "We don't have someone from the relevant IETF or IEEE
committee to talk about that." Well, good luck then if you're not in a
handful of cities around the world.

So again, Raul did an awesome job, and I think his meeting is a more
useful model not just for other user groups, but also for NYC*BUG in the
future. He did precisely what most of us do on a regular basis: assess
and understand various technologies as potential solutions. That is
something I tried to convey at last year's BSDCan in the talk about NYC*BUG.

The meeting was decently attended, but should have been packed. It was
*us* addressing the systemd mess, but we didn't publicize it that way,
and Raul opened up a great discussion and debate.


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