Where should I be this year?

It's time to decide what events I want to attend this year. Usually I figure it out a bit as I go but with multiple calls for papers deadlines coming up and invitations to speak coming up earlier than ever before, I decided it was time to create a plan for the year.

Every time I'm invited to talk or I see a conference that looks interesting, I struggle with the decision.

The main reasons for going are:

  • To meet with people. There's nothing that substitutes for a face to face meeting. It's especially important when meeting new people but it's really good for keeping up on existing relationships. There are very few business relationships that I have been involved with that didn't start with some type of face to face meeting.
  • To create new business relationships. See #1.
  • To promote GNOME and free software.
  • To energize myself. I find attending conferences a great way to get new ideas, meet with others with excited about similar topics and a great way to keep things moving. Although they usually mean a lot of time "away from work", i.e. my desk, I still get a lot done and have a lot of energy for new projects.

The main reason for not going are:

  • Time away from home.
  • Time away from my desk and the projects I'm working on.
  • Financial impact. Not just of travel but also conference fees if I'm not speaking. (That's one of the reasons I always submit a talk proposal if there's a conference I want to go to.)

So the things I consider are:

  • Who will be there? This is the most important fact to me. I want to meet new people and organizations we might partner with and I want to meet people I work with but don't get a chance to see often.
  • How long will it take me to get there? How much time will I be away from home and how many hours will I have to sit in an airplane or airport?
  • Will I have a chance to speak? This helps greatly not only in promoting GNOME but in meeting people. If you are on the agenda and speak, more people will come up and introduce themselves and their ideas. If I'm not speaking, will I have to pay conference fees?
  • How much will it cost? Sometimes the event will help with the cost. Several of the events below are covering my travel costs. Some events are quite expensive to attend if you are not speaking.
  • Can someone else do this? If there is a community member who would like to attend the conference and speak on behalf of GNOME, I'd love to have them go instead.
  • Frequency or how close it is to another event. In order to help with the time away from home problem, it helps to not have too many events one right after the other. Otherwise my family tends to go a bit crazy while I'm gone.

So I open up my proposed travel schedule to all of you. Any thoughts or input? Note that this is my conference travel schedule and there are still other trips that might come up like marketing hackfests and partner meetings.

Here are the relevant events I think are happening this year. Let me know if I left one out. I bolded the ones I think I will end up attending. This is not necessarily a commitment, just my first draft or proposal.



  • FOSDEM. Has great GNOME attendance and participation so others can help work on relationships.
  • Mobile World Congress.
  • TED. I'd be so excited if I ever got to attend this conference and I'd be ecstatic if I ever got invited to speak. (And then I'd spend months preparing!) Luckily for all of us, all their talks are on the web.
  • SCALE. I'm sad to be missing this one this year as it's one of my favorites, especially the Women in Open Source day.
  • FOSS 2010 Workshop – attending and participating.
  • IASA Denver – presenting at their monthly meeting. (I like speaking with and meeting the community in my area.)


  • OpenMobility USA – speaking, hoping to build relationships with GNOME's mobile partners.
  • OSBC – Open Source Business Conference – would like to attend and speak because it's a great conference to meet up with people.
  • WhyFLOSS Madrid 2010
  • EclipseCon
  • LibrePlanet – There's a track for Women in Free Software on Sunday that I'd like to participate in. GNOME has been actively working with the FSF on ways to encourage and promote women in free software. I also need a trip to the east coast if I'd like to sign the GNOME Foundation's bank's signature card. (And that'd be good because I could back up Rosanna and help with wire transfers.)
  • FOSS Nigeria 2010. I'm working to get a couple of GNOME folks to this conference to present and represent GNOME. Preferably people that live a little closer – at least people in Europe.
  • UKUUG Spring 2010 Conference
  • OpenExpo 2010 Bern





  • aKademy 2010
  • 2010 Community Leadership Summit
  • OSCON 2010. Lots of people to meet with, interesting talks, lots of side meetings.
  • GUADEC. Nobody should miss this one. 🙂 Seriously, this one has lots and lots of people I need to meet with not to mention the Board of Directors and Advisory Board meetings and lots of working groups.



  • Ohio LinuxFest 2010 – Attending, giving keynote!
  • Linux-Kongress 2010
  • Grace Hopper I'd love to see a booth at Grace Hopper for free and open source software projects, not just companies, so that students and women looking for new careers, hobbies or skills can get some good info. (I've been on a panel the last couple of years.) This is also a very energizing conference for me.


  • OSWC – 2010 – Some year I'd love to attend this conference but my impression is that it's already well attended by GNOME folks and October is a hard month for me to travel.
  • Boston Summit – I really want to get to the Boston Summit this year but October is a hard month for me to travel, especially on weekends. So we'll have to wait and see.
  • OSiM World. A good event for meeting people in a great location (London) for meeting lots of people. But in October.



  • The get things done month. 🙂

Thanks to these websites for the lists of events.

So once again, I open up my proposed travel schedule (and the criteria I use) to all of you. Any thoughts or input?

6 Replies to “Where should I be this year?”

  1. Neither UDS is on there, any particular reason why? It’s perhaps not the best for you personally to attend, but more representation from upstream GNOME would be a good thing I think. They will probably be in May and November.

  2. I like your idea on an opensource booth for Grace Hopper. I guess there never is one, because I think companies have to pay for a booth – plus, you have to make sure it’s staffed and usually you need signage or something else. Maybe a BOF or something? to talk about careers in open source?

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