[Linux-aus] LCA2014 update

Kathy Reid kathy at kathyreid.id.au
Tue Aug 28 19:16:13 EST 2012

All interesting points.

As a potential LCA201* bidder, what is stopping me putting in a bid?

1. Workload

Even outsourcing production, accommodation and many other items, there 
is a significant workload involved. At a rough estimate, based on 
experience at Ballarat 2012, it's equivalent to a 0.5 FTE workload for 
at least 6 months and closer to 12 months. Luckily (?) I don't have a 
family to worry about - but LCA organisation strains relationships, 
including existing relationships with employers. What would make this 
workload more tolerable? If I got accreditation or transferable skills 
out of it. For instance, if the core team got PRINCE2 foundation or 
PMBOK CMP certification or similar as part of the deal, that would be 
the tradeoff.

There's also an element here of 'non-technical' community work being 
undervalued compared to technical work. Event management is a discipline 
in its own right - just as PR, marketing and governance are. Do we value 
these soft skills as a community?

What would make it awesome (and what made LCA2012 awesome) - a great 
team of people. They're had to find, and harder to find if they get 
swamped two years in a row. In many cases, user groups are the harbinger 
of LCA bids, and in terms of a lifecycle, we don't seem to have the 
growth in the LUGs that was once there.

Great, motivated, skilled, good to work with people are also highly 
valued by paying employers - so they tend to have day jobs.

2.  Community

*takes deep breath and prepares for backlash*

Donna hit the nail on the head when she mentioned toxic community 
members. There were times during LCA2012 when I seriously questioned why 
I was giving up months of my life for a community which whinged and 
moaned about something as trivial as whether a t-shirt came in their 
size. Do I really, really, really want to give up half my life for 18 
months (6-12 months if we ruthlessly outsource) for a community which 
has people that do this?

On the flipside, there are so many *fantastic* members of this community 
that balance this out that it's still overall very positive.

But, evidenced by things like the apathy in voting for LCA council, and 
dwindling nominations - we must ask ourselves the very tough question
"Does the community still want linux.conf.au, and if we do, how must it 

Perhaps going without linux.conf.au 2014 as a test will see just how 
much we really do want this conference.

3. Transferable process and assets

linux.conf.au has been running for several years. Many aspects are 
repeatable. Some are even documented.

We just ran the 3rd (4th? I can't remember) BarCampMelbourne. It was 
easy - because we'd done it so many times before. We had everything in 
place. We re-used websites, branding, surveys. We even re-used 
stationery. Different year, different location, different team = less 
Perhaps we need to make the branding the same each year so that it's one 
more thing that's repeatable.
Ghosts helps with this - but each year is still a different conference 
and different location.

So, speaking as a LCA2012 core member, and LCA201* potential bidder - 
these are the barriers to me putting in a bid, and forces that would 
reduce those barriers.

Kind regards,

More information about the linux-aus mailing list