Contributed by jose on from the view-from-inside dept.
I though it might be interesting for deadly.org readers to have some insight look at the BSDay 2003 event. Please feel free to post this text.
As organizers of this event we have unique - and quite different from others - view on the whole thing. First of all I believe it is important that together with Edu-Tel we proved that commercial companies are willing to invest (at least in Poland) in BSD systems in different areas including education. We took the risk of organizing such event without even knowing how many people would come and without any business plan: we knew exactly how much resources and time it would take, we knew the additional costs like hiring a conference place, printing conference materials etc, but that's all." Keep reading for the rest of the story.
"It seems that even during recession there are small companies offering some sort of BSD support in Poland. Again this is a very good sign and a tendency I hope to see growing. I also hope that other commercial organization in Poland will be now more open to invest in BSD related actions. However we still have a long way ahead of us to build the proper knowledge regarding BSD in both management and IT groups.
I hope that everyone who joined BSDay 2003 had great fun and is willing to come next year. We certainly had a lot of pleasure to host this event and being able to exchange ideas and knowledge with other BSD developers and the rest of BSD community in Poland.
But the story would not be complete without some pitfalls we had. First of all I was really surprised then only one talk was strictly about OpenBSD - it seems that a lot of people doesn't know or understand security mechanism like W^X. This is certainly a area that needs a lot of improvements in terms of PR ;-). Secondly it's a pity that some people where starting stupid flame wars - what was interesting is the fact that all the flames where coming only from FreeBSD people - guess the polish FreeBSD FAQ should be updated with information on how to behave during events like conference ;-). On the other hand guys from NetBSD community were great.
Last but not least I must admit that I have never seen such hostile community as polish BSD groups. We had a really disappointing experience with one of developers of some security-related FreeBSD project who after submitting paper he only co-authored started very specific "negotiations" regarding his payment. The most sad think is that one of arguments used during our "discussion" was that his project is a freeware! There is no problem on earning on open-source security related projects: look at snort or tripwire. However to do that you also need a business vision - I guess it's easier to count on and wait for conference organizers to support your home budget ;-). He also gracefully forgot about the second author of "his" whitepaper. Because of this guy we had to change conference program and reprint invitations. It's a real pity because such people not only create bad press for FreeBSD community but also for the rest of BSD world.
Anyway I think that BSDay 2003 was a move in right direction and I would be very pleased if other people - especially in Poland - would follow this idea. The good news it that we hope to organize BSDay 2004 next year. This year we were surprised by the number of submitted whitepapers. It would be great if we could extend next BSDay conference from one to 2 days event.
At the end we have a lot of great fun and we learn a lot and we met a lot of great people. This is what really counts. So if you are willing to organize BSD event don't hesitate and start working. I will be very rewarding project.
Alex Czarnowski " This looks kind of interesting, now I wish I had attended BSDay2003. Make sure you also see Jacek's report.
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