September 29, 2010

PCG10 on PCG11

Since I've been blogging so much on PCG10, I thought it was worth to quickly gather all the ideas that I heard on PCG11 at PCG10. Probably I was able to catch only a fraction of them, but I count on the community to add the rest of the ideas as comments (or on the Pentaho Forums and Wiki, where they belong in order to get a good discussion going).

Improvement idea nbr 1: shorter twitter tag
I'm not sure if this idea needs much explanation or even discussion? The hash tag PentahoMeetup10 was annoyingly long for people tweeting from the room. If the name of the Pentaho Community Gathering doesn't change (see improvement idea 2) I vote for #PCG11.

Improvement idea nbr 2: rename the Pentaho Community Gathering
I've heard rumours (@julianhyde) that the name Pentaho Open World would become the new name. I'm not sure if this is a strategic hint to L. Ellison to make Oracle buy Pentaho. But then again, Julian  knows more about the company strategy than I do.

Improvement idea nbr 3: location
THE QUESTION at PCG10 was: "How will we ever top this location?". Indeed Cascais and surroundings were an amazing location! The hotel where the event was held, with a view over the sunny beach was fantastic! A tower of cupcakes and sweets in the room! Private espresso machines for PCG10! Nice little restaurants with fresh fish dishes right outside the door for a great lunch break! Webdetails and Xpand-IT even managed to organize a cloudless sky and +25°C temperatures. 

The question to ask might well be: "Will any one dare to organize PCG11?"

So how go about setting up PCG11? Do a poll in the community on prefered locations? Asking different contenders for a proposal and let the best win? I don't have the answer, but the organizer of PCG11 will have a hard time topping PCG10, that is for sure.

A name that came up quite a lot for PCG11, was Brazil. Quite a few Brazilians have been following the live blog, and it seems that there's a very active Pentaho Community out there. But Summer in Brazil is coming real soon, which brings us to improvement idea nbr 4.

Improvement idea nbr 4: timing

Another interesting idea mentioned was to go from a yearly to a half-yearly event. That would perfectly fit with PCG switches between the Northern and Southern hemisphere. We could have a PCG11-South and a PCG11-North. Or Up and Down? Or ... well whatever.

Improvement idea nbr 5: presentation formats
On PCG10, all 15 presentations were either slideshows and/or demo's with exception of Dan's (codek1) "presentation". He just went up front with a short prepared speech actually interviewing the audience on methodology. That resulted into a very interesting groups discussion. 

So this might actually lead to an idea for varying the format of presentations. Some idea's I heard:
  • groups discussions on a specific topic (who's interested can participate)
  • a "what sucks session" (proposed by Grumpy)
  • architecture sessions around a white board
There are many possibilities, and with 15 presentations in one day (a heavy schedule) a change of format is most welcome.

Improvement idea nbr 6: extending PCG to a full OSBI event
Based on Aaron's presentation at PCG10, where the idea was discussed that Pentaho BI server is more and more becoming a Pentaho BI APPLICATION server, which might/will also support JasperReports, BIRT, etc the discussion to invite also these open source projects to the community table. PCG would then become a true open source BI event. Personally I find that a very challenging idea, however it does raise some practical questions. PCG is growing quickly as it is, adding even more momentum would make organisation of the event just too tough for any of the partners to take on? How to balance the agenda between Pentaho / Non-Pentaho stuf, after all it's a Pentaho sponsored event?  

So, that's it, I've posted whatever I remembered from the nice talks with great people, if a faboulous surrounding, accompanied wit great food, wine and beer. It's the best way these ideas won't fade. Most of these ideas come from great minds and fine people in the community. I hope posting them helps to stimulate the discussion. One thing is sure: PCG will keep on getting better.