SCaLE Trip report [1/2]: Server and Cloud

Jorge O. Castro jorge at
Wed Jan 25 15:13:05 UTC 2012

Hi everyone,

Robbie Williamson, Antonio Rosales, Clint Byrum, and Jorge Castro (me)
attended the Southern California Linux Expo this past weekend. I have
both client and server things to report, so here is the server part:

We sponsored the devops track and the speaker room, so our logo was
proudly displayed in a bunch of high traffic areas. Reports of final
attendance vary, but 1800ish seems to be the common middle number. We
attacked this show in a number of ways:

- The companies that support OpenStack took turns manning their booth.
Some companies didn't take this responsibility serious, which gave
Antonio the wonderful opportunity of running double shifts all
weekend. He was giving away live USB sticks of Ubuntu Cloud Live as
well as reminding people about the juju talk that we were giving on
Saturday. This ended working out very well for us.

- We ran a juju Charm School. This was attended by about 26 people.
The workshops at SCaLE were /before/ the talks, so these attendees
were people who were already immediately interested in working with
juju and not people who we had hooked via the talk. It went on for
about 3 hours, but Antonio had some good feedback on improving it (see
below). Mike Basinger about half finished a phpbb charm and started on
one for a project called Salt. Other than those 2 incoming charms,
this was mostly about answering people's questions and getting the

- We also did a normal juju talk on Saturday, which started off full,
but ended up swelling to people standing in the back and spilling out
into the hallway. I did about a 15 minute spiel and then we switched
over to the live demo with Clint and our infamous gource GL demo of
juju running. While switching Clint was deluged with questions, and to
our surprise they weren't the typical "How is this different from
puppet?" questions, they were quite specific and deep, which is a good
sign. As Clint continued the demo we let the audience ask questions
inbetween the EC2 lag. For about 30 minutes Clint fielded question
after question and at the end we had plenty of folks coming up to the
front to continue the discussion.

Overall I think the combination of our talks and tshirts ensured that
juju was being well represented, the real tests will come at Surge,
OSCON, and Velocity this year so I consider this show a good "warm up"
to the start of the year.

Pics here:

... and some takeaways, 3 things to sustain:

- Having Antonio at the booth talking about juju is probably a good
reason why the talk ended up so packed. I had also taken the time
earlier to go from booth to booth of every cloud related project to
convince them to send a person.
- Visiting specific project upstreams (like Ceph) and always being
present in a partner booth (like OpenStack) is a good way to show
those projects we care.
- Always be ready to move your demo to another method if internets
doesn't work.

3 things to improve:

- Antonio pointed out that since the talk was after the charm school
that we should have done a more introductory part of charm school
before getting deep into it. This, in combination with some "first
use" documentation Nick Barcet recently completed should help us out
tremendously in this area.
- From now on when we sponsor a show we should aggressively insist to
have the charm school after the talk, not before; the event was still
good and worth having, but it could have been more effective the other
way around.
- Even shows with a reputation for "good wireless" suck compared to
UDS. :) We could have been a bit more prepared, but managed to pull it
off anyway.

Jorge Castro
Canonical Ltd.

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