OSCON versus OSBC, True or False?

OSCON and OSBC are two big open source software events. I like both of them but I find them to be very different conferences. During OSCON, I had a conversation with Larry Augustine where we tried to define the difference between OSCON and OSBC. We debated whether it was different companies or people that made the difference but I didn’t feel like we figured it out.

I had this thought today:

True or false? People go to OSBC to meet with companies represented by people. People go to OSCON to meet with individuals who sometimes happen to work at companies.

You could obviously ennumerate a lot of specific differences between the conferences (panels vs lightening talks, sponsor keynotes, booth prices, type of speaker, etc) but I think it’s more than conference organization that gives them different flavors.

4 Replies to “OSCON versus OSBC, True or False?”

  1. I’d say thats a true statement. Persons at OSCON have association with projects, who may or may not work for a given company. When you see Brian Aker talk, for instance, you listen to him because of his involvement with MySQL and Memcahce, etc, not because he works for MySQL AB (now Sun).
    I went to OSBC 3 years ago and became physically sick. Overheard discussions were about how to pay O’Reilly to give them coverage, or how to partner with some other company…. it was business, not code, and it was sickening to be surrounded by so many people who didn’t “get it”. To the OSBC crowd F/OSS is just a means to an end, a new avenue to exploit. At OSCON its a philosophy and moral conviction.

  2. At OSCON, you have to remind the audience that community isn’t a substitute for making money, whereas at OSBC, you have to remind the audience that money isn’t a substitute for building community.

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