Herding Code 111: John Papa on the Open Source Fest at MIX11

This episode of Herding Code the guys talk to John Papa about the Open Source Fest he put together at MIX11.

  • Jon asks how the whole thing got started, and if John encountered any friction within Microsoft in getting this set up.
  • John describes the event and calls out some of the winners from the event.
  • There’s a discussion of the Glimpse project. Scott asks what it is, and Jon tries to give the sales pitch for it.
  • John talks about how many of these really cool project are hampered by marketing mistakes like poor project pages and unmemorable project names.
  • John mentions some of the areas for improvement – less background noise, bigger space. Some of that was due to overwhelming response – stopped counting at 500 attendees, ran out of food 3 times, etc.
  • Scott asks if a next step should be an open source conference for .NET. Jon mentions that there are some benefits to piggybacking with a "real" conference so the bosses will pay for us to go.
  • Scott asks if there’s any point to having sessions at a conference, since the real value at the conferences is in the networking and conversation. There’s a discussion about how an open space is cool, but something of this scale isn’t likely to self-organize.
  • Scott talks about how the ALT.NET Seattle event in Seattle is including open source hacking, proposing that larger conferences do this as well.
  • John mentions the Twitter list he’s created for all Open Source Fest participants.
  • We take a question from Tony Champion, asking what John would do differently in future events.
  • John and Jon discuss the difference between consuming and participating in a conference.
  • John pimps the Silverlight MIXer event he runs at MIX.
  • Jon asks if there should be venture capital folks at future open source fests. John said said that it was important to keep clear of any ulterior motives at this first event, but it’s possible that may happen in the future.
  • John and Jon talk about the difference between "official" events and sponsorship driven events.

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Herding Code 11: John Papa on the Open Source Fest at MIX11