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MeetBSD California 2012

I am a fairly recent newcomer to the FreeBSD community and had the opportunity to attend my first BSD related conference. This is the account of my experience at MeetBSD California 2012.

MeetBSD California 2012 was coordinated by iX Systems and hosted at Yahoo! corporate headquarters in Sunnyvale, CA. The Yahoo! facility easily accommodated the 100 – 125 attendees in multiple conference rooms for varying purposes across the two days allocated.

Conference Format

The conference was spread across two days. Day 1 revolved around speakers and presentations while day 2 followed what was called “The unConference” agenda. “The unConference” included lightning talks/speed geeking sessions and break out sessions. The topics of the second day were chosen by conference attendees as opposed to the organizers.

The Conference: Day 1

Presentations

Impressions

All of the speakers were knowledgeable on their topics and well prepared with slide decks accompanying their presentations some even including demos. Attendees participated with questions, comments, and general discussion. The environment was engaging and lively and provided much information to absorb.

In the large conference room, however, it was difficult for some in the back to hear the speakers. I think an audio sound system would have been an excellent idea for this conference.

The Conference: Day 2

Day 2: The unConference

The idea of the speed geeking session was of particular interest to most in attendance and broke up the monotony of a constant stream of speakers and presentations. This session was a set of speakers covering a topic with a group of individuals for approximately 10 minutes. At the conclusion of that 10 minutes, each group rotated to a different speaker who spoke on their topic for 10 minutes. The rotation was repeated until each group had heard all of the speakers.

Later, Conference attendees voted on subjects that would later become the topics of the breakout sessions. These breakout sessions enabled groups of interested attendees to interactively discuss subjects with which they had definitive interest. These sessions occurred at the latter part of the day. However, as the day wore on, I began to lose focus.

Overall Experience

In conclusion, my experience at the conference was extremely positive. The conference content was very informative and presented well. Additionally, much was gained outside the confines of the conference itself. I had the opportunity to meet and socialize with multiple individuals who are BSD enthusiasts and others with whom I’ve communicated with digitally previously.

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  1. December 20, 2012 at 3:48 PM

    Yes, even more so than with the other BSD conferences I have been to, at MeetBSD I actually met more people, and engaged with them more directly. I attended MeetBSD only 10 days after arriving home from EuroBSDCon where I had given a talk on our Global Server Load Balancer system. At MeetBSD I ended up talking to more than just the people sitting next to me in the various talks.

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