On Wed, Nov 30, 2011 at 09:23:25AM -0600, inode0 wrote:
On Wed, Nov 30, 2011 at 7:33 AM, Paul W. Frields
> I made a page for the Red Hat Summit/JBoss World 2012 event:
> It's only a placeholder right now. There are probably community
> members both inside and outside Red Hat who will be interested in
> working on this event, so on the page I've also included links to the
> previous Summit events.
Thanks Paul for getting this ball rolling early. As a veteran of all
the previous Summits I would encourage everyone to consider attending
if possible as the value of the event keeps me coming back to it year
For the Fedora community that doesn't strongly overlap the Red Hat
Enterprise Linux community it is important to understand that this is
an event that has a strong focus on enterprise linux consumers and the
role of Fedora at the event is mostly to support and encourage areas
where our interests and those of enterprise linux users have clear
Booth work for ambassadors at the Summit is a bit different than at
most other events as a result and ambassadors who are also Red Hat
Enterprise Linux users are especially valuable.
John, this is a fantastic summary of how the event works. I was
pressed for time early this morning, so I can't thank you enough for
writing it. At the risk of seeming like I'm a sales guy and not a
(minor) engineering guy, I agree with everything you wrote. I truly
hope to be at this year's Summit again. My new job makes it somewhat
worthwhile for me to be there, but it's not guaranteed unfortunately!
You summed up the focus well. The point of Fedora presence at the Red
Hat Summit is really to show how Fedora, as a community project
sponsored by Red Hat, fits into the Red Hat ecosystem. The visitors
to the booth may have somewhat different profiles and motivations from
those we see at other events. As a result, the Fedora booth at the
Summit benefits from being staffed by community members (@redhat.com
or not) who have a keen grasp of, and experience in, Linux in the
When I was FPL, one of my jobs was to have an effective Fedora
presence at the Summit. It directly benefits both Fedora and Red Hat
when Red Hat's customers and partners get accurate and consistent
information at our Fedora booth. The great part about working with
Fedora Ambassadors with enterprise experience at the booth was that
part basically took care of itself. ;-)
That's not to say a variety of people at the booth isn't helpful.
Maybe John can vouch for this too; my experience was the majority of
booth people did fit those characteristics. They typically took the
lead in talking to Summit attendees because of a shared background.
But there were always plenty of people looking for very technical
information, or background on a certain feature or bug. So there was
no lack of things to do for anyone willing and able to help at the
> Jared is the owner for the Fedora presence at the event and you
> expect to hear more from him in early 2012 to kick off the event
> As a reminder to any interested community members, the call for papers
> is open for the event. If your talk is selected, you receive a
> complimentary conference pass and one night's hotel stay, plus some
> other goodies. You can find the last Summit's selected presentations
> on the 2011 site.
So over the years I have watched many proposed talks from our
community be rejected and very few accepted. In some ways this is just
to be expected since there are many more proposals overall than there
are slots available.
Just as an aside, if you replace "our community" with "Red Hat
employees," this is also completely accurate! ;-)
A couple of suggestions, although take them with a grain of salt
that they are coming from an old invited speaker who has had several
proposed talks rejected over the past few years.
* Remember who will be attending from Red Hat when submitting a talk.
If you and Dan Walsh both propose a similar talk on SELinux who do you
think will be giving it? Fortunately for most attendees the quality of
talks from a group of Red Hat folks (really from all over the company)
is so high that much of the low hanging fruit in the area of talk
topics is always consumed by them. Fortunate for attendees, not so
fortunate for those of us who could give great talks about the same
topics. So my tip #1 is try to pick a topic that isn't covered
regularly by Red Hat folks.
* Remember who will be attending from outside Red Hat when submitting
a talk. That would be a large group of Red Hat customers and potential
customers from all over the map. Large and small businesses,
non-profit organizations, government agencies, academia, etc. While
certainly some of these people will be very interested in Fedora, they
are at the Summit to get more value from their relationship with Red
Hat and their use of RHEL and other products. So try hard to keep them
in mind and clearly connect the dots between your topic from
Fedora-land and how it matters to those attending. If it isn't clear
how it matters, it isn't likely to be accepted.
Paul, do you have any other advice to those of us who might be
submitting proposals? And feel free to disagree with the perceptions
I've expressed above if you don't agree with them. They are just my
impressions from participating in this process a couple of times in
Summit attendees by and large are there to drink from the proverbial
well, which means Red Hat employees do end up with a majority of talk
slots. Every year, however, the Summit does feature customers or
other non-Red Hat people giving talks as well, so don't let that
If I can offer one additional piece of advice, it would be to
concentrate on addressing a timely, important, typical, or broadly
appealing use case with your talk, using a *practical* approach. Keep
in mind many of the attendees are sysadmins or IT managers themselves.
The more an attendee understands and can apply your material directly
in their work afterward, the more compelling it's likely to be to the
selection committee. Your abstract should be detailed and reflect
this -- and then it's up to you to deliver what you promise!
Paul W. Frields http://paul.frields.org/
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