And the second year of OSCON Austin, as always was a great conference but certainly and noticeably smaller then any OSCON I had attended before, this was a sentiment I heard shared by many.
I am not sure exactly if you could say it was one contributing factor, because there was many at play. It seems the Austin location has done wonders at promoting Open Source through the wider Austin tech scene, however there is no doubt that the location has ben a hinderance to many people who attend OSCON and not not 100% sponsored to attend. This year the dates have changed again, so that is now both 2016 and 2017 conferences had different dates then previously OSCON’s. This years dates clashed with so many other Open Source tech conferences on during the same week or the weekend before/after that it would be impossible to list them all, because every other person I spoke to seemed to bring up another conference clash.
There was smaller attendance last year, but this year felt like half the size of a normal OSCON. The ignite night was held in a smaller room and definitely not the normal extravagance, no less an amazing night with great talent. The booth room felt like it was half the size and maybe smaller, even the stalls seemed smaller in size and not as many people staffing them. The main OSCON party was its normal spectacular, and an enjoyable evening with great discussions late into the night.
The tutorial days this year I actually attended, as normally in the past I have tended not. This year however there was the Inner Source day, the day was packed with tips and lessons learnt from the field. The day was also held as a big discussion day rather then lecture style talks. This added to the ability for attendees to also share their experience and tips.
Next year Austin goes back to Portland, so Portland here we come, it will be interesting to see if the ticket sales return back to the previous Portland conferences.