The other Friday I attended Scalecamp, one of these 'unconference' jobbies - organised by the Guardian. I'm not a very conference-y person, but given that I'm in the big data game and have come up against (and overcome) many a scaling problem in the past, I thought it'd be good to pop along and see what was happening.
It was certainly very well-organised, with everyone knowing what they were doing - obviously quite a few of the organisers/attendees had done this sort of thing before, whereas I hadn't. I enjoyed a few of the talks and sessions, particularly the ones that touched on Hadoop and Memcached, because they're very useful/interesting to us. Quite a lot of NoSQL data warehousing dogma floating around the industry already, which I did my best to puncture - I probably had my most interesting discussions here.
I was also quite taken aback at how few Perl hackers I met there. Bar one or two exceptions, most of whom I knew or I've worked with already, it's all about Python, Ruby, PHP and Java these days. I felt about 5,000 years old.
Any negatives? Not really - I had to skip out when the talks had finished and so missed the sponsored beers, which was a bit of a pain. Also, some nerds really need to find where their shower is. Seriously - it's not difficult. BO is very much the elephant in the room (almost literally) at any gathering of geeks. In fact, I might do a lightning talk on it at some point in the future*.
In other news, I'm worried that I've developed an allergy to certain premium brand lagers. No, really..
* This is a joke.