OSCON 2006 Wrap-up

Now that OSCON is over, I like to make an attempt at distilling my thoughts on the conference. Last year I wrote a lengthy post on my observations; this year it’s going to be short. I was a bit disappointed by this year’s OSCON – not that I didn’t have a good time and learn a bit – but the mood seemed more subdued, there wasn’t the excitement that was felt last year. In fact, many of the attendees I spoke to in the halls felt the difference too and several said that this would be their last OSCON. I can’t pin it down to a single change in the conference – in fact, prior to the conference I had expected it to be even better than last year as I had so many conflicting sessions that I wanted to attend. The absence of Paul Graham at the Tuesday night keynotes was disappointing but Kathy Sierra gave an excellent talk. The quality of speakers was roughly the same as last year and the topics were similar (lots of Perl, Python, Ruby, Ajax, etc). The variety of keynotes was good, though last year I left many of the keynotes feeling inspired and excited, this year I really didn’t feel that. So on the surface, this year’s OSCON should’ve been just as good as last year’s – but in some intangible way it wasn’t – if I didn’t receive agreement on this from others, I would simply chock it up to my imagination or melancholy. So 2006 might be the last year I attend OSCON as well … I guess we’ll see what happens next year.