A few days ago I returned -incredibly satisfied- from attending my personal 7th Southern California Linux Expo, which was the 15th edition of the event. I’ve read a thing or two about the beginning of Scale, and how it has grown by the years to become one of the largest and more important FOSS events, not only in the US but also worldwide. From my perspective I can tell that the event gets better by every year.
The first five events that I attended were hosted in the LAX Hilton Hotel, which was great for me because transportation was fast, easy and very affordable 🙂
Since last year, it has switched location to the beautiful city of Pasadena and its Convention Center has proben to be an excelente venue for such amazing event. I must confess that the first time I heard they were moving it away from LAX I felt a bit uncertaint and maybe a little discouraged because of the long distances to Pasadena. I’m now glad and relieved to know that my fears had no reason to be and SoCal is always warm welcoming area to visit.
It is very satisfying to see a lot of familiar faces of Scale crew working their a**es, giving the best of theirselves to deliver this world class convention. Many of them have participated since Scale first edition.
It is also a great satisfaction to say hello to my old Fedora and RedHat friends. I’ve know many of them since my first Scale in 2011 and some of them even earlier when I attended my first -and so far only- Fedora Users and Developers Convention FUDCon back in 2010 in Tempe, AZ.
Two faces I particularly missed this year and I couldn’t avoid to notice: one of them is my good friend Larry Cafiero -former Fedora contributor and Scale press rockstar- and the other was Lord Drachenblut -aka Mathew Williams- who left this world way to early after a long and painful battle with cancer. I’ve just met Matthew last year in Scale14x, my travel confirmation came a bit late and I was not able to book a hotel nearby on time for the event. I asked Matthew if I could crash into his room and he said yes with no hesitation. I had the lucky chance of get to know him not only during the event activities and booth duty, but also after hours and during the stay. It did not take me long to see what Matt was made of and the kind of person he was. Matthew worked a lot in communites and has earned a special place among many of the attendes, he is being missed.
As part of the booth activities, we wanted to do something as a tribute to him, so we had this signing book in which people spontaneously approached and wrote some words of comforting and something his family would keep.
In other order of ideas, one thing that was very significant for me is that this was the first time I got to give a talk -not only at Scale- but also at an event out of my country. Yes, I bragged a bit on becoming an international speaker but I felt so happy and confident to share a bit of my experience with Fedora to a foreign language speaking audience and also to give back a little of the many things that I have received by participating in this wonderful project. Thanks to Perry Rivera for asking me to participate and allowing me to share the stage with him. Thanks also to Clint Savage for taking it easy when I mocked on him. Great comeback BTW 🙂
Right after this talk we had our Fedora Meetup, in which we interacted with the audience listening on their experiences using Fedora and their suggestion on how to improve it. For Fedora we had Perry, Scott Williams, Brian Monroe and myself. We also had Adam Miller from Red Hat and some other RH folks who contributed to make a great exchange of ideas. This was one rich experience I will ever bear in my mind.
Talking about the booth duty, it is always very satisfactory to interact with the attendees. There is always young people eager to learn knew things and it is always very nice to help a bit with their initiatives. Being in SoCal, you can always expect a big latino audience. I met people from several countries and several american citizen with latino roots. Some of them appreciate and treasure to talk to a friendly person in spanish, and I found that quite satisfying as well.
Scale15x is a wrap now and I only hope that I could be there next year. I’m sure that I wouldn’t be disappointed because Scale is about setting the bar higher everytime.