End Users Meet Year End

There are a plethora of opportunities for geeks to meet and greet one another throughout the year: linux.conf.au, Linux Congress, OSCON, Linux Plumber's Conference, LinuxCon, the list goes on. There is one, however, where the focus is purely on the customer, so-to-speak — the end user. The conference in question, aptly named the End User Summit, is quickly drawing near, and the Linux Foundation is wondering who wants to be there.

The now-annual End User Summit, according to the Linux Foundation, "provides end users a direct connection and voice to the kernel community, and allows Linux community maintainers and developers direct access and knowledge sharing with the end users of their software — both of which accelerate innovation and adoption of Linux."

The gathering is intended to offer "the opportunity to learn about upcoming developments in Linux" and "[e]ducates end users on Linux advancements and best practices." It gives their thoughts on the subject a direct conduit to the powers that be. Of course, the same is true in the other direction — the powers that be have an opportunity to hear the feedback they need straight from the proverbial horse's mouth. It also provides the ever-desired opportunity to network with like-minded people, both users-to-developers and users-to-users. (Presumably, the powers that be are already well networked.)

The Summit takes place over two days, comprising keynote addresses, panels, and topic-specific tracks. This year's conference will convene November 9 - 10 in Jersey City, New Jersey — the following luminaries have already announced their attendance:

  • Inna Kuznetsova, VP of Systems Software, IBM
  • Brian Stevens, Chief Technology Officer, Red Hat
  • Leading Kernel Developers James Bottomley, Ted Ts’o, and Christoph Hellwig
  • Brian Clark, Chief Architect, New York Stock Exchange
  • Anthony Golia, Executive Director of Enterprise Computing, Morgan Stanley
  • Jon Corbet, Executive Editor, LWN.net
  • Al Gillen, Program Vice President of System Software, IDC
  • Jeffrey Birnbaum, Managing Director, Chief Technology Architect and Global Head of Architecture and Engineering, Bank of America

Like several of the top Linux conferences, the End User Summit has a limited number of spaces, and can be attended by invitation only — interested parties are encouraged to request an invitation. As for who should be doing the requesting, the Foundation describes "key attendees" as "CTOs, Architects and Technical Directors from Financial Services, Online Services, Health Care, HPC and other verticals." (Apparently, "end user" as in "used in the organization upon which your end is perched," not "used day in, day out on the desktop in front of which your end is planted.")

On the plus side, for those whose ends do qualify, the Summit is free to attend. Interested parties can find more information and may submit their ends for invitation via the Linux Foundation's website.

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