10 June, 2013

oSC2013 next!

After Akademy 2013 in Bilbao, we will fly (via Berlin...) to Thessaloniki, Greece, where the openSUSE Conference will take place. Like I argued for Akademy, oSC is a relevant and useful event for the openSUSE folk.

History - oSC 10, 11 and 12

This year oSC takes place in Greece, a fact far more relevant than it might seem. The first three openSUSE Conferences I attended took place in Nürnberg. First in a conference center, the third was the legendary oSC2011 in the Zentrifuge, an old factory building creating an absolutely amazing atmosphere. Both events were largely organized by SUSE employees from the Nürnberg office but oSC11 already had a fair involvement of volunteers and a strong focus on BoF sessions and 'getting stuff done'. We had a lively marketing and ambassador team by then. I vividly remember the day before the event, when I rode a van full of crazy geekos by a few stores, buying everything from carpets and plants to lights to dress up the location. Every day we figured out who would staff the bar, organize stuff in the rooms - and moving the chairs was a matter of asking outside if a few folk would be willing to help out. At this event, there was already talk about doing the openSUSE conference in Greece.
Hallo with openSUSE, LibreOffice, Gentoo

First Prague

But going from doing the event in Nue and by SUSE people (with help) to doing it in Greece by volunteers (with help) seemed a big step and the team also had limitations as to the date and time: the event would have to be in May or June. As it was already September when oSC'11 took place, that was very close.

There came a different proposal from Michal and others in Prague, and with an office there, we decided it made much more sense to do it there and told Kostas that he'd have his oSC in Thessaloniki, but one year later. I joined Michal in scouting for a location in Prague and discovered a local community was about to organize another Linux event a mere two weeks after the openSUSE Conference! I proposed to merge the two, and the format of oSC'12 was born. Like oSC'10 two years earlier, this event tried to focus on collaboration and bringing communities together. I unfortunately had to scale back my involvement in the conference significantly after LinuxTag Berlin in May 2012 due to health issues and barely could make it to the event itself. Meanwhile, the Greeks had already started preparing the organization of oSC'13 and were present with a large team at oSC'12 to help run the show.

Greece in 2013

Feedback from the event did show that the openSUSE community wanted more 'Geeko time', so the Greek team has made sure that there will be a good openSUSE focus at the event. Of course, without compromising our open nature: there will be plenty colors besides green. Naturally, SUSE input will be lower than usual - the Nürnberg can't easily take a afternoon off to visit, even a bus trip is not enough. But we have made sure that many central developers will be there and there is a host of great sessions coming - a post about that on news.opensuse.org is coming soon!

Due to the internal changes at SUSE, I haven't been as much involved in the event as I would have liked but just seeing the conference team work has been amazing. It isn't just a Greek affair, mind you - for example, the logo and much artwork comes from the other side of the world, by the hands of US citizen Anditosan and Brazilian Carlos Ribeiro! And as with the Prague conference, Izabel Valverde again played a major role in handling travel support and sponsors. And we have Robert Schweikert and Henne Vogelsang, working on the program and website, Matt Barringer building OSEM (!!!) and some others.


I might be overusing that word - but I really, really think oSC'13 will be awesome. As far as it is up to the Greekos organizing it, there's no doubt! And like with Akademy, if you haven't booked yet - you should...

Have a lot of fun and see you in Greece ;-)

PS: note that the above is mostly my memory of How Stuff Happened™. There were plenty more people involved, pushing, making it happen. Thanks to all of them, as we're gonna have a great conference in Greece ;-)

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