I attend technical conferences several times each year as a part of my job, along with several hundred (sometimes several thousand) of my closest friends. If you are reading this, chances are that you probably do as well. And if you are like me, you probably find that these trips can be quite difficult for the family left behind. Nightly calls and emails are simply not the same as being there for the many necessary activities involved in family life – not to mention the human connection.

This week I have been in Portland attending OSCON and the Community Leadership Summit while my wife and my son are at home doing their thing. As we were talking the other night, it occurred to her that there are many, many other families who are chugging along this week without a spouse, many women and men who are functioning essentially as single parents, many of them with jobs themselves. She came up with a corker of an idea.

We are big fans of Matt Harding, of Where the Hell is Matt fame. His simple movies of doing silly dances with people all over the world are a testament to the global community we all belong to. My wife’s idea is to create a similar video showing all of us coming home from these trips and reuniting with our families, set to music – just a short reminder that even though we may not know each other or have exactly the same experience, we are all in this little boat together.

If you would like to participate, please send me email at jefro@jefro.net.

I have updated my open source conferences calendar with dates for many conferences in 2012 that were previously not yet announced. If you see anything missing or wrong, please let me know.

Also, in addition to a link to the Google Calendar version, there is also now a calendar embedded on the page. In the future I may provide this information only in a Google calendar and/or iCal, as the textual calendar is difficult to maintain. If anyone has an opinion on this, I’d be glad to listen. 🙂

NASA announced today that they will be hosting another Open Source Summit, this time in College Park, MD. This conference, which the organizers state will be “more workshop than presentation”, is a fantastic way to learn more about using open source within government. The difficult part is that it is only 2 weeks away! 

More info on this conference at http://open.nasa.gov/summit, registration at http://opensourcesummit.eventbrite.com/

For more information on open source conferences see the Open Source Conferences calendar. It also contains a Google Calendar to which you can subscribe.

Ottawa Linux Symposium, the venerable Canadian Linux conference, has changed its date this summer to avoid a conflict with another event. The new dates are July 11-13 in Ottawa. See the OLS website for more details.

Thanks to alert reader Jeremy, who noticed the old date on the Open Source Conferences page.