OSCON, Women in FLOSS, me and a puppet named Jack Adams
By Bubbva-Oracle on Aug 28, 2009
A month ago, I was lucky enough to go to a few bits & pieces of OSCON in San Jose with my exhibit pass.
While there I got to meet a TON of really cool, really clued in folks at the OpenSolaris booth. This was a different experience than I've had at other conferences doing booth duty. First of all, our booth was right by the front door, was large with couches for lounging, and we had a lot of cool stuff to give a way. Anyone that installed OpenSolaris (even just in a virtual box) on their laptop got a free t-shirt. We were also giving away install media and getting started guides, of course, as well as cool stickers for your laptop that said "Powered by OpenSolaris" (I got one myself!). The people that approached the booth not only knew what Sun did already, but were at least relatively aware of Solaris. Some hadn't used the OS in awhile, some wanted to know the big differences between OpenSolaris and Solaris, others just had questions about very specific technologies.
I got to show my lack of skills at Guitar Hero as I was pitted against Microsoft's Sara Ford in a battle of the operating systems. To be fair, I'd only played the game once before, and that was more than 18 months before. If it had been Tekken or even Wii Bowling, it would've been a different story, I tell ya!
(Photo by Pınar Özger)
I attended the Women of Free/Libre Open Source Software BoF (Birds of a Feather) session run by Kirrily Robert, which had an impressively large turnout - around 25 people, mostly women (the rest were "advocates" :). It was good to meet a lot of other women working in Open Source and just in technology in general. Like a sneak preview of the Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing conference, though surprisingly few of these women were familiar with that conference. We tried to keep it from turning into a venting session about some clueless and/or rude men we've all worked with in the past, and tried to give each other suggestions for things we've found has worked. Kirrily then had us all go around the room to discuss our favorite woman themed book. Mine, of course, was Women Don't Ask: Negotiation and the Gender Divide. I'm hoping she'll post the complete list soon, as I heard some very interesting titles come by!
Our Solaris Security BoF was just after that, so I couldn't stay for the entire Women in FLOSS BoF. When I got to our BoF room, I was dismayed at discovering the facilities team had taken away our projector! I had checked everything out the night before, to make sure our OpenSolaris laptops would work with their projectors and even confirmed with the A/V guy that we would have the same equipment for our BoF on Friday. Everyone I asked that was working for the site said we'd have the equipment, but apparently not. This started us off on a bad foot - but fortunately, many of us had brought laptops with the presentation on it that we were able to distribute through the small crowd so they could follow along.
I will admit, I was very disappointed by our small turnout we had at our BoF. The guys that were there (sorry, except for Sun staff, it was only male attendees) were very interested in our topics of discussion and asked a lot of great in depth questions. It was taped, so hopefully we'll have the video soon!
Speaking of videos, I was also able to help Jack Adams, a puppet, with his OpenSolaris security concerns and problems. This came out well, considering the lack of script. All that improv training at the Gaslighter Theatre comes in handy, even for technical talks. Good job, Deirdre, for putting this together! Enjoy!
(though I really should've taken off my badge, so you could see my "I HEART OpenSolaris" shirt better :-)