“Peo­ple liked to stand up and talk. This is the best re­sult I could’ve asked for”

Mark John­son on in­ter­ac­tion

Linux Format - - OGGCAMP 2017 -

Jon Spriggs Linux For­mat:

Hi Jon and Mark, thanks for tak­ing the time to talk to us. As we sit here in the lovely Can­ter­bury sun­shine, Og­gcamp is com­ing to an end. How was it? Jon Spriggs (JS):

It was re­ally good − we sur­vived it! I went into it think­ing that there would be lots of lit­tle stress­ful mo­ments. I don’t know if it was ei­ther the awe­some­ness of the at­ten­dees or how amaz­ing the crew has been, but gen­er­ally there have been no “show stop­per” is­sues. The T-shirts ar­rived late, which was a bit of a con­cern, but they made it through the doors in the end. If any­thing, that made the T-shirts more de­sir­able! LXF: Or­gan­is­ing an event like Og­gcamp isn’t an easy task, is it? JS:

It’s fair to say that this year’s event took a lit­tle longer to spin up than in pre­vi­ous years.

Yeah I sup­pose so. So the build­ing that we hoped to use in 2016 − well, that agree­ment fell through. It was no­body’s fault. We were then on the back foot for 2016, which is why last year’s Og­gcamp didn’t hap­pen.

For 2017 we set our­selves a six-month win­dow to get ev­ery­thing in place, and the first task for Og­gcamp is al­ways the venue. Once you have this, you can then pick your date. This gives our at­ten­dees time to ar­range travel and ac­com­mo­da­tion.

It also gives us the time that we need to work with speak­ers and en­sure that they haven’t been booked al­ready.

We then have flur­ries of ac­tiv­ity, or­gan­is­ing the de­sign of the lo­gos for print and the web­site. Then we have a pe­riod of down­time while you wait for the as­sets to ap­pear, then you get the logo and you have to think about get­ting the T-shirts printed, which then re­lies on hav­ing the fund­ing to pay for it. So you plan “this bit” and then you wait for some­thing to fin­ish, then you stop. There were pe­ri­ods where you were less busy. Yeah it’s not a full-time job. I’m very for­tu­nate in that peo­ple know what Og­gcamp is. Once you have at­ten­dees who want to come and are ready to talk about their Mark John­son (MJ): JS: MJ: JS: MJ: JS: LXF: MJ:

My favourite talk of the event was Rachel Wong, who has never given a talk at an un­con­fer­ence. She got up and did a light­ning talk. In fact, I would say that this was the best talk of any Og­gcamp. This shows that we have an event where peo­ple feel com­fort­able stand­ing up and talk­ing to the at­ten­dees. This is the best re­sult that I could’ve asked for.

I’ve been to pre­vi­ous Og­gcamps as an at­tendee, and as such you’re not look­ing at the event crit­i­cally. You’re there to en­joy your­self.

How­ever, as an organiser you’re con­stantly look­ing at the el­e­ments that make up your event. Are peo­ple happy? Is there some­thing for ev­ery­one? In my talk this morn­ing, there was an 11-, maybe 12-year-old girl who came along and was en­gaged with the sub­ject of the talk. These are the next gen­er­a­tion of peo­ple who want to work in IT.

Be­cause we’re not a ven­dor or cor­po­rate con­fer­ence, we see a diver­sity of speak­ers who give more than just their sched­uled talk. They make an ef­fort to take part in the un­con­fer­ence ele­ment of the event. JS: MJ: and Mark John­son Or­gan­is­ers Jon Spriggs and Mark John­son worked hard to bring Og­gcamp back for 2017. sub­jects, then ev­ery­thing else is just about mak­ing it right for them. You’re not run­ning a con­fer­ence for your­self, but rather for those pas­sion­ate at­ten­dees. Linux Form

This year you have a rich mix of at­ten­dees, in­clud­ing those who are new to Og­gcamp. Og­gcamp is much more than just an un­con­fer­ence started by two pod­casts… JS:

Yeah, the com­mu­ni­ties that sur­rounded the orig­i­nal pod­casts ( and

have a wide range of in­ter­ests. I wouldn’t say that the spirit has changed, but the mes­sage has cer­tainly changed sig­nif­i­cantly over the years.

We’re very keen to bring as many dif­fer­ent threads and in­ter­ests here. Ian Hutchin­son from IF talked about us­ing the prod­ucts that they cre­ate for dig­i­tal rights and so on. I can’t imag­ine an­other con­fer­ence do­ing what Og­gcamp has achieved. Ubun­tuPod­cast) LXF: MJ: JS: Lin­uxOut­laws If there was one thing about Og­gcamp that you could change, what would it be?

The only thing that I would change this year is that I would have liked to have seen more at­ten­dees. How­ever, we had the right num­ber of peo­ple for the size of the venue, so it worked out pretty well.

Venues are unique, but they don’t make or break a con­fer­ence. While some peo­ple said they couldn’t come due to the lo­ca­tion, I had other who gen­uinely said to me that this venue is fan­tas­tic and wouldn’t have come to it if it were any­where else. MJ: We have mem­bers of the com­mu­nity who live just down the road, and they have trav­elled across the UK for pre­vi­ous events. So it’s great that for 2017 we’ve been able to bring the event to their doorstep.

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