On the Saturday of Thanksgiving weekend, Lauren, Dave and I went to lunch and then to the Huntington Library and Gardens. As we were walking to the Sam Maloof exhibit, I was telling them why I will most likely not be attending SXSW Interactive this year, but will most likely be going to Mobile World Congress in Barcelona instead.
As I was saying this a tall man walking the other direction said, “MWC is a boondoggle. I used to work in wireless and I know. I went every year.”
I said, “And so is SXSW now and I haven’t been to MWC so it may just be a new adventure for me.”
He laughed, shook his head and walked on.
Dictionary.com defines boondoggle as:
“boon·dog·gle [boon-dog-uhl, -daw-guhl] Show IPA noun, verb, -gled, -gling. noun
1. a product of simple manual skill, as a plaited leather cord for the neck or a knife sheath, made typically by a camper or a scout.
2. work of little or no value done merely to keep or look busy.
3. a project funded by the federal government out of political favoritism that is of no real value to the community or the nation.”
Wikipedia defines the term as:
“A boondoggle is a project that is considered to waste time and money, yet is often continued due to extraneous policy motivations.”
Both SXSW Interactive and MWC are huge conference/exposition/party for their respective industries that takeover the cities they are held in. The last three years of SXSW Interactive has been expensive, overly crowded, hard to find people, sessions ok, and impossible to swim through the crowds. Now veterans of MWC describe the same but with the added fun and excitement of Barcelona pickpockets and laptop thieves but with excellent food.
If it was just a matter of being burnt out by the last few overwhelming years at SXSW, I would most likely find myself in the same position as the last 3 years where I didn’t register until the very last month before the conference when friends convince me to go and someone offers for me to be their roommate at the Hampton.
This year is different. This year my best friend, Erika, is due to deliver her baby on March 12th, and I have the choice between staying home and getting to meet the New Little One or spending 5 days overwhelmed in Austin, I am going to stay home and be apart of the Team Hope cheerleading team in and around the same time as SXSW.
I am still considering attending the developer days at MWC and making a small holiday of visiting Barcelona and northern Catalonia, but MWC is the last week of Feb / first week of March and babies do come early and they can arrive late.
Hmmm…. I am going to go to Barcelona, need to experience Catalon mobile boondoggle over Texas interactive boondoggle.
A few small tidbits bouncing around my brain from this week’s Qt Dev Days 2011 SF:
* One of the things that made me quite happy is that the grand majority of the presenters were using Linux OS of one sort or another on their laptops and a minority had Macbook Pros or Airs. To the best of my knowledge, none of the presentations I saw were run off a Windows laptop. A silly detail, but it still makes me happy. I have a special part of my heart reserved for Linux and Ubuntu, as it was my first toddlings around Ubuntu Breezy Badger that really kicked me deep into wanting to learn to program rather than just script sculpt.
* I am still curious what the Nokia “Qt for the next billion” slogan really means. Mr. Mathers said that it will not be to S40 but to smartphones and that the strategy will be revealed next year. Will Microsoft relent and allow Qt to have a publish to Mango project tab?
* Per the usual with conferences, the best conversations were had at breaks, in the hallways, and at the parties. I am still chewing on and thinking about a few of the ideas and challenges that some smart folk inserted in my brain during these conversations.
* And for the mild humor tidbit… If there is Qt Quick and Qt, I wonder if Qt Slow only uses Terminal and Vi/Vim?
Fri 12.02.11 – After a lovely three days at the Qt Dev Days 2011, a visit with family Kim-Hoffman and the newest family member Ms. Isabelle, dinner at In-n-Out with Jason and Ernie, and then lunch today in San Francisco with Faruk Ateş, it is now time to return home to SoCal.
Fare the well, San Francisco, I’m driving home.
Thurs 12.01.11 – A big congratulations to Min Jun Kim and Jason Hoffman on the birth of the lovely Ms. Isabelle on Monday Nov 28th. I had the opportunity to go meet Ms. I on her first night at home from the hospital along with Annie Lin, Ernie Hsiung and Jason Schupp. It was like Camp Camp had moved to San Francisco.
Thurs 12.01.11 – As the Qt Dev Days 2011 wrap up and are over, I present to you a summary of the photos I took over the course of the three days of the training and conference.
I really enjoyed and learned a good deal over the course of the Qt Dev Days. One of the best parts is the high ratio of nice and smart folks I met and the conversations were good. I attend at least 3-4 conferences a year and this one rates up there with Mobilism for my fave conference of the last 2 or so years in terms of content and inspirational conversation with other attendees.
Big thanks to Qt, Nokia, Digia, Futurice and all the other sponsors for putting on a great conference.
Even bigger thanks to all the lovely folk I met, the good conversations on mobile & development that were had, and letting me take your photos. Y’all rock.
See everyone next year, if not sooner.
My Qt Dev Days conference notes:
Qt Dev Days 2011, Day 1: Training
Qt Dev Days 2011, Day 2: Conference Sessions
Qt Dev Days 2011, Day 3: The Last Day