Never been to SuseCon, what should I look out for?

What should I make sure to see/do, since I have never been to SuseCon

In terms of conference itself, and surrounding area?

I’m not a very exciting person when it comes to “surrounding area” so I’ll
leave that to others.

Training. SUSE training folks are there doing sessions. They are pretty
good and hands-on, so get into them.

Find what you want to learn, just like at BrainShare but a bit more
focused, and then go do it. Want to build an RPM SPEC file? I was in a
session last year on that. Want to test out your favorite app with
virtualiztion in LXC? Did that. Want to play with btrfs to see some
really awesome filesystem stuff? Did that a couple of years ago. Want to
setup a HA cluster in an hour? Did that. Pretty awesome, really.

Practice before and while at the conference, and then take that
certification you’ve been waiting on for a while. Testing, at least last
year, was free.

The conference coordinates some activities for everybody to attend. They
are nice too. Bring the family or significant-other and take them to
Disney World, or the Blue Man Group. Fun times for everybody!

Good luck.

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Great answer, thanks ab!

I would definitely concur with what ab said here.

The technical sessions are outstanding - in fact, the primary reason for being there. Whether delivered from the Training Services people, or by Product Managers, or by SUSE developers. You not only get great information directly from the source (the people actually creating a lot of the technology itself) but you also get access to them personally. Every presenter spends time in the Lab area as well, so that you can ask questions and give feedback in a personal setting, rather than in the session room, if that’s what you like to do.

Certifications are also huge - we offer the CLA and CLP (practicum) certification exams as a benefit of your participation in the conference - no additional fee. We figure that if you’re a dedicated enough user to spend a week of your time with us, we should invest in you as well!

Our Keynotes are pretty awesome as well. Nils (President) and Michael (VP Alliances and Marketing) do a great job. They really open everything there is to know about SUSE - company performance, standing in the industry, direction for technology, products, etc. And we also bring in some great industry speakers - we’ve had Linux leaders from SAP, IBM, Intel, Dell, Cisco present on stage. They are a great addition to the program.

Then you’ve also got the 20+ partners who sponsor the event. I love spending time walking through the Technology Showcase and seeing to what they have to offer. I am always impressed by the solutions they have to offer and the strength they bring to the overall ecosystem. I highly recommend talking to each of them.

And let’s not forget the fact that you’re surrounded by other people who love Linux! The personal interaction with SUSE users from all walks is invaluable. In fact, we’re doing more focused Birds of a Feather sessions and other activities this year to help bring people together and foster the sense of community.

And yes, of course we try to have fun… this year we have some great parties planned. The hotel property has some really fun party areas that we will definitely be taking advantage of. Feedback from last year was that DisneyWorld was fun, but people really wanted to spend more time with their fellow attendees and SUSE folks. So this year we’ll maximize the use of these party areas to make sure we spend LOTS of time together! It’s going to be awesome.

Thanks for asking! Sorry if I “talked your ear off…”