[Linux-aus] LCA2014 update

Chris Neugebauer chrisjrn at gmail.com
Tue Aug 28 22:52:08 EST 2012

On Tue, Aug 28, 2012 at 10:32 PM, Paul Wayper <paulway at mabula.net> wrote:
> No matter how well publicised any change to LCA is, no matter how many people
> here or anywhere agree that it's absolutely necessary to do something
> different at LCA in order for it to survive, there will be someone somewhere
> who decides that that's their own Custerian Last Stand and will vocally
> criticise the team because cutting that back is a personal affront to their
> very dignity.  We've seen this with many things that are, in relation to
> getting five days of awesome technical content from some of the brightest
> people in Australia and the world, trivial.  I fear to think what would happen
> if a fundamental change was made to LCA.
> Now, it seems to me that the only reason to try to make radical changes to the
> way LCA runs is if the whole bid process is irrevocably FUBARed.  That, to me,
> does not seem to be the case.

I think the bid process has been FUBARed for quite some time.  Since
LCA2010, we've had three conferences, and a grand total of three
unique bids.

IIRC, Ballarat and Brisbane bade for 2011, Canberra for 2013.

We should have seen the bid pool drying up *years* ago.

> So while I think there's lots of good ideas in this whole discussion about
> ways that LCA could be different, I think - personally - that some of the
> voices that have been most critical of changing LCA in the past are now the
> ones proposing radical changes that don't inconvenience them at all or
> detriment their experience at LCA.

For what it's worth, I'm putting my money where my mouth is.  I want
to run an LCA – not immediately after I finish with PyCon (as 2014
would be), but 2015 or 2016 would probably be achievable.  If anything
I've suggested doesn't get tried out before I get a shot at it, you
can be sure that I'll go out of my way to do what I've said.

> There are plenty of models for ways to run LCA that could be easier and
> cheaper.  Lots of them can be done by the actual team running LCA - I'm sure
> Linux Australia would look with interest at bids that proposed to make LCA a
> simpler conference to run.  There are also things that Linux Australia can do,
> especially when it comes to reducing the amount of learning each new team has
> to do of the mundanities of running a conference.  LA, and the LCA teams,
> already do a lot of things that make the next team's life hugely easier.
> These are not to be overlooked.

Likewise, LCA should be able to learn from what e.g. PyCon has done –
making a conference that's lean, can run effectively on a team of
absolute bare minimum size, and doesn't seem to lead to organiser
burnout (one of the 2010-2011 lead organisers is still on our team as
programme chair; the other still contributes regularly and
constructively to our internal discussions).  Just because LCA thinks
it has collected wisdom, it doesn't mean that everything it has
collected along the years is actually wise.

> And LCA has a reputation to maintain, a history of doing certain things.
> No-one would say that turning off the conference wifi would be a bold step
> forward in making the conference simpler.  Change happens, but with something
> as complex, interconnected and multi-faceted as LCA it happens slowly.

Likewise, nobody would say that turning the Wifi off would be a sensible step.

Some parts of the conference are necessary, some aren't.

We should look to the future of the conference with a critical eye –
figure out what's important, and what isn't.

Perhaps it's time LCA had a radical change to see what's broken and
what doesn't need fixing? (Not that that should happen for 2013, as I
think your conference is going to be epic! I just shudder to think of
who's going to have to attempt to top that.  So far, nobody wants to.)


--Christopher Neugebauer

Jabber: chrisjrn at gmail.com -- IRC: chrisjrn on irc.freenode.net --
AIM: chrisjrn157 -- MSN: chris at neugebauer.id.au -- WWW:
http://chris.neugebauer.id.au -- Twitter/Identi.ca: @chrisjrn

More information about the linux-aus mailing list