Beijing, day one (and before)

I have managed to get to the pre-conference meetings later than expected, because I have spent 45 minutes of my life showing a map in chinese to chinese people that were unable to tell me where the Sun office was (and I was in the right building). Let’s say that I was upset, to say the least.

The meetings were very positive and constructive, and the number of participants has grown with the hours. We have discussed marketing strategies to get to the next level of visibility, awareness and adoption. We have decided to share best practices at community level, in order to use the successful tactics in every market it makes sense to use them, in order to avoid “reinventing the wheel” every time. It’s a big effort, but we will try to make the structure work in a more efficient way.

The opening ceremony has been a little bit too long, especially for those still suffering from the consequences of jet lag. Four hours without a break, and we don’t call them coffee break without a reason, have been really hard to sustain. The simultaneous translation from chinese to english has worked perfectly, but the contents of the formal speeches was more or less the same (please come and invest in open source development in China and especially in Beijing, we are ready to support your efforts, we have software engineers, blah blah blah).

I understand the rationale, but let’s say that the organization of the opening ceremony of the Conference confirms how far away is China from international standards of communication. Two short speeches would have reached the same objective, without bombarding the audience with useless stuff. Anyway, in order to allow all the people that haven’t been able to attend the conference to have a summary of the main contents, I have shot a picture of the few slides that have been projected.

The lunch in the university canteen has been a real experience, and you can judge from the picture of the metal tray (the last time I used a metal tray for lunch or dinner I was in the army for my year of duty). Those that know me will notice the banana, which – in my specific case – makes the experience even worse (I just hate bananas, which I’ve always found disgusting).

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