Hi Kohsuke and devs, thanks a lot for bringing up this topic.
By direct encouragement from Kohsuke I will contribute to this thread.
Just to set the context of my comment: Like CloudBees we (Praqma) have our
business model based pre-dominantly around Jenkins CI. Where CloudBees
focus on PaaS, we have our focus on business driven, sponsored Open Source
development and consultancy services related to tool support of software
development and verification processes (with Jenkins Ci as the natural
hub). We strive to support the Jenkins community in any way we possible
can. So besides our contributions to the pool of plugins we also found it
natural to help organize and fund some of the more costly community
activities - such as events.
CloudBees and Praqma entered a formal partnership a few month back. At
about the same time where we had our first vision of a Jenkins User
Conference in Copenhagen. We have debated the format of such a CPH user
conference together with CloudBees: Should it be an official JUC event
(just another city along with Paris, New York, San Fransisco and Antwerp)
and simply squeeze it into the program as with Herzelia and Tokyo or should
it be a CIA event. Or something in between?
As you may have noticed we had to settled on a different format than JUC
(and I realize now, that this is probably due to the relatively costly
format the JUC represent): So the CPH event in September is kind of a new
approach, and perhaps a trial of the new format.
- We use the term "User Event" instead of "User Conference" - Actually
we see the gathering very much as a conference, but we did this simply to
deliberately distinguish it from CloudBees' JUC format.
- We start at noon - so attendees are expected to have their own lunch
before they show up.
- We continue to late in the evening, but the conference meal will be
sandwiches - enough to fill everybody, but not in any way fancy (a note
hereto: The conference meal I had at JUC in Paris was the best conference
meal I had in my entire career ;-)
- When the event officially ends at the conference hotel (19:00'ish), we
have invited the participants to join us to a cafe or pub in the
neighborhood for more relaxed discussions and free drinks - This social
after-event has it's own sponsor (Programming Research in the CPH event).
- The token attendee give-away will be a mug instead of a T-shirt. The
sponsor value will be the same, but the production cost will be less than
half of what it cost to produce a T-shirt. And then we just hope, that the
attendees will like their mug as much a they would have liked a T-shirt.
In our case (CPH september) we didn't have a call for paper session - but
that is not necessarily part of the format we are suggesting, it was
simply because we had so many good speakers lined up in our network (Nokia,
Sony Mobile, Programming Research, Grundfos, CloudBees and Ourselves) that
this year with south short notice - we didn't need a CfP session.
The CPH user event is hosted and funded by Praqma and a generous sponsor
contribution is added from CloudBees (Thanks!!!) and as I mentioned - the
social after-event has it's own sponsor.
...And just to backup Kohsuke in the experiences he's sharing: Even though
we are trying to make this a cheap event (also for the attendees - signup
fee is only 25€) we are *still* going to loose a considerable amount on
money on hosting this event. And on top of that we are going to spend an
equally considerable amount of time on planning and executing it.
I'm not whining about it! Quite the opposite. We have a commercial interest
in Jenkins and we are happy to be able to 'pay-back' to the community. But
I think that two point are important for large events:
- Any event will need a commercial sponsorship to become a success:
Cheap is good, but moneyless as in 'driven solely be initiative' - is
probably not going to happen outside the CIA format.
- If a commercial sponsor should contribute - they would want the event
to be 'officially accepted and approved' by the community in order to shine
in the light of the Google doctrine: "Do No Evil"
As we in Praqma are developers ourselves we found that we had an urge to
fill in content that was developer oriented (as opposed to user oriented)
as well. But this represents a paradox; it's really difficult to mix such
different groups (users and developers) at the same conference unless it's
a big one with more tracks, so instead we have decided to host a separate
developer event along with the user event (a full day workshop on the day
before the user event).
One of the complaints or critics we often hear from developers who attended
hackatons (including ourselves) is that they are often not very well
organized: People meet with no specific agenda, they spend a day writing
code (often alone) on the same stuff as they would have worked on had they
stayed at home - at the end of the day they eat pizza together and break up.
We have internally worked on developing a good format for a well organized
It's a "Code Camp".
It's inspired by open space technology/discussions (the term 'camp' is also
used within the open space approach): Developers are encouraged to bring a
few topics or issues to the camp, which starts with a short introduction
where each develop gives a few words of explanation to the topics. Then
there is a vote among the attendees: What are the interesting topic that
should be worked on? The topics that gets the most votes win a time-slot on
the code camp. Then we break out into small groups - one per topic (no one
works alone, all groups are at least 3 participants).
Following up on the inspiration from the Open Space technology the good
topics are characterized by:
1) a real issue of concern
2) a high level of complexity
3) a high level of diversity
4) a real or potential conflict
5) a high level urgency.
- The camp has it's own wiki - each break out session will have an
appointed scribe, who captures findings, results, deliveries, discussions
etc on the wiki. This supports that the summary-sessions can be kept very
short, anybody who wants to know what the other groups worked with can find
it on the wiki - and so can people who didn't even attend the camp.
- The camp is well-organized although even though it's not specifically
The scribes can be recruited among more novice developers, who would like
to attend the Code Camp, but potentially would be intimidated by the size
of the brain trust. Or scribes could be recruited among once-was-developer
managers who tend to have strong opinions on direction, but due to rusty
code-fingers they lack to ability to actually contribute to the code base
(I'm sad to admit, that the description fits myself ;-).
At Praqma we run Code Camps like this internally among our developers about
every second month and we find them quite efficient - we'd like to share.
It could potentially also be a format for a Jenkins devroom at FOSDEM?
In order to bring down the cost, the Code Camp is hosted at Praqma Plex -
and we simply serve pizzas from the local joint. It's very cheap! Seats are
limited to 20 developers, together with scribes and facilitators we'll be
around 25 in total. The registration fee is purely symbolic; 15€, just to
make sure that no-shows are encouraged to unregister as opposed to just not
Like Kohsuke just announced that CloudBees is prepared to take
responsibility for hosting the San Fransisco JUC once every year. We at
Praqma are also prepared to commit ourselves the make both the "Jenkins CI
Copenhagen Code Camp" and the "Jenkins CI Copenhagen User Event" annual
This year it's in September - but like JUC in San Fransisco is piggybacking
on Java ONE we are also considering on having our events piggyback on a
larger one - and we have our eyes set on the GOTO conference (
http://gotocon.com) which would imply that the 2013 event probably will be
in May - not September.
And like Alyssa @ CloudBees we, here at Praqma, also declare ourselves
ready to assist any community driven initiative or CIA event that need
assistance in our region (Europe) with what ever is needed: Wiki hosting,
Money handling, Event registration, CfP, design of stickers, logos,
*Lars Kruse, M.Sc.*
Partner & Co-founder
+45 20 87 25 30
Allerød Stationsvej 4
+45 36 77 27 62
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