Monday, April 26, 2010

The triumph that was the 11th annual LinuxFest NorthWest...

If you weren't there at Bellingham Technical College this weekend, you missed what is fast becoming the seminal event for Whatcom County's technical community: LinuxFest NorthWest. Don't let those unassuming penguins fool you. At any given hour on Saturday or Sunday, there was more driven, ambitious, brain power in any room at BTC's Haskell than a month's worth pass-thru I-5 traffic in Bellingham.  Coming to Bellingham's annual geek get-together were attendees from Eugene, Portland, Seattle, Olympia, Vancouver, Tri-Cities, etc.  The presentations (or at least the seven hours (1,2) I attended) were brilliant, inspired, and practical. The networking between geeks was great. And the salmon served by BTC's Culinary School at Saturday's lunch was tasty as well.

If there is a hope of Whatcom county becoming a bright light in the technical community of the Pacific North West, it will start at LinuxFest NorthWest.  This weekend, hundreds of people passionate about technology met to exchange ideas, business cards, and flippant thoughts in Bellingham. We ought to do it every quarter - I guarantee there would be that much demand. Congrats to the sponsors, volunteers, and organizers of LinuxFest NorthWest. Maybe #11 was the best yet.  Personally, I would have liked to have seen a greater Whatcom County business and educational presence there. It is not as if we don't have any: CHM2Hill, Logos, DIS, Anvil, FiberCloud, BlackRockCable, WCC, WWU, SPIE, POB,  COB, WC. We have plenty of technical consumers in Whatcom Couty - but I didn't see them in the sponsor list or manning any booths. TAG manned a both as they did last year.  Personally, if I were the Bellingham Chamber of Commerce or any other group concerned about driving technical employment in Whatcom County,  LinuxFest NorthWest is one event I would trip over myself to help sponsor. At least, I would think, twice per year.

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