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OSCON 2006 - Opening Evening Speakers

User: jarcher
Date: 4/25/2007 3:19 pm
Views: 13161
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Tuesday's opening speakers were all very entertaining. Not including the awards given out to members of the open source community, Larry Wahl gave his 'State of the Onion' talk, Damian Conway gave a humorous spoof on the Da Vinci Code by the name of 'The Da Vinci Code Base', and Kathy Sierra gave a fascinating and inspiring talk on inspiring passion in your users by the name of 'Cognitive Seduction'.

This year's 'State of the Onion' took a meandering and many-turned allegorical comparison between 'family' and Perl 6 that was cute, inspiring, hillarious, and poignant. The take-away point seemed to be that much in the way you raise your kids not to handle specific problems in life, but to be able to handle life in general through specific skill sets, Perl 6 is not intended to solve any specific problem, but will have specific qualities that make it well-suited to solving myriad problems well.

Kathy Sierra gave her talk next, and really inspired with her discussion about what we should be focusing on with our software promotions. The take away points are 1) we need to speak the user's 'Legacy Brain', that which is the same as it was in cave-man's days, which means we need to get past its 'crap filters' with things that are novel; 2) we need to get our users past the 'I suck' phase of usage quickly, and make them proficient in what they want to do with your software; and 3) It's not about us or the software -- it's about the user. I suggest you read her blog at for inspiration.

Finally, Damian Conway of past hillarity and fame gave a spoof on The DaVinci Code, starting himself in the lead role and tracking down the mystery murderer with the help of product-placement-named heroines and internet celebrities, finally to discover the RIAA was to blame, and ending with a music video evangelizing music file sharing. Very funny, and it received a partial standing ovation.

I'm hoping O'Reilly has the evening available as a podcast sometime soon.