Selil, and I were talking about education before his panel talk. The thing that stuck me was his analogy of how education works. High school is about making people consumers. The Bachelor degree is about making sure people have knowledge and skill to make things. The grad schools after that are about focusing and specializing. Masters degrees are more skilled and focused than the Bachelor. The Doctorate degree is the pinnacle of focus. Thinking over some of the conversations I had at Derbycon, that makes a great analogy for our industry too.
Here is how I saw the the pyramid structure above fit to our industry’s conferences.
The Attendee badge holders really are the equivalent of the high school graduate. Some of them are just getting in to the industry, while others are just the consumers of what we have to say.
The Bachelor grads are mostly the vendors. They have things they make to be consumed in mass. This isn’t a bad thing. And some of them are groups, made up of people of different levels.
The Master and Doctorate students and grads would be the speakers. The specialized knowledge and content that the consumers are there to learn. Some of us are better than others, but we’re all the ones digging deep and submitting the talks. Yeah sometimes people at this level are at the con and not speaking for various reasons.
While I love Derbycon, and the people I meet, I think I’d like to see less of the consumers. I’m not saying become elitist and not invite them, I’m saying I want to see those of that have specialized in things enough to give talks to encourage others to get up and talk too. I know you can’t have a con with 2000 speakers, but I think we need to get people out of the consumer side and in to the skill and knowledge side.