A Dozen Roses for SCALE 6x

Rikki Kite

ROSE Blog: Rikki's Open Source Exchange

Feb 11, 2008 GMT
Rikki Kite

On a scale from 1 to 12, I'd give SCALE 6x a dozen roses because it was one of the best conference experiences I've ever had. The SCALE staff set the tone – they were professional, friendly, helpful, and wonderful hosts. Plus, they get bonus points for the ladies t-shirt in my attendee bag. SCALE also draws a wonderful mix of attendees, vendors, and speakers.

On Friday, February 8th, I learned a bunch from the Women in Open Source conference. Allison Randall's first talk, The Art of Conference Presentations, was a hard act to follow. I took notes and plan to make a check-list for any future public speaking engagements.

In the next talk, From the Keyboard to the Boardroom and Back Again, Emma McGratten offered a list of things she wished she'd known in first grade, including:

  • don't let others take credit for your work;
  • negotiate, negotiate, negotiate;
  • foster relationships, networks, and alliances with female coworkers across your organization and industry;
  • and articulate your goals and build a plan that will take you there.

Susan Kuchinskas talked about oxytocin in her Women and Open Source: A Match Made in Hormones presentation.

Stormy Peters spoke to a full room of men and women in her talk called What Does a Community Manager Do? When Joe “Zonker” Brockmeier recently accepted a position as openSUSE's Community Manager, my first thought was, “That's cool!” My second thought was, “What's a Community Manager?” It turns out that several of us learned that we juggle many community manager tasks in our jobs already.

Google's Catherine “Cat” Allman quickly stepped in for Addison Berry, who couldn't make it to the event. (Cat, thanks for the cool pink Google coffee cups! I'm using mine already.)

Drupal's Angela Byron talked about building websites with Drupal. I didn't know that I wanted to build a website with Drupal until she started demonstrating it. Not only is Angela a fabulous public speaker, but Drupal looks like a powerful, accessible CMS.

HP's Adaora Onyia discussed masculine vs. feminine communication styles in her talk called Hello, Can Anyone Hear Me? I wish I'd seen her talk earlier in my career because I picked up a lot of her lessons the hard way.

The final talk, Danese Cooper's Why Whinging it Doesn't Work, covered accenting the positives about women in open source rather than focusing on the problems. Of course, that's part of the goal of this blog, so I give her two thumbs up for the friendly reminder. Danese then moderated our Women in Open Source panel discussion at the end of the day.

I spent Saturday and Sunday at our Linux Pro Magazine booth and had the chance to meet many of our readers, and hopefully some future authors. A big thanks for everyone who checked in to see if I needed anything, including the SCALE staff, Ohio LinuxFest's Beth Lynn Eicher, Zonker, the Shopzilla.com staff, and Jono Bacon. I didn't have much opportunity to visit the show floor, but I was able to swing by the L.A. LinuxChix booth on my way out and pick up one of their cool t-shirts.

There are many other people I need to thank for making my first time at SCALE such a wonderful experience, but I'm recovering from jetlag and can't possibly name everyone in this post, so I'll conclude with a huge THANKS! to everyone at SCALE 6x. I hope to see you again at SCALE 7x, if not before then.

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