Red Hat Summit 2019 is just a few months away, and we talk a lot about reasons that you might want to attend. But, in the interests of balance, we have also compiled a few reasons you might not want to attend Summit. After all, somebody has to stay home and mind the cats.
10. No interest in hands-on experience
We put an emphasis on training and hands-on experiences at Red Hat Summit, with labs, Power Training course add-ons, and booth demos. You can attend Summit without doing any of the hands-on activities, but it’s one of the things Summit attendees can look forward to every year. Summit is an opportunity to not only talk to experts about Red Hat’s technologies but to see how things work first-hand.
This year, we’ll be featuring training on Ansible, Red Hat OpenShift, Linux container security, DevOps culture and practices, and a preview course for RHEL 8.
9. Boston is so boring
We know, what is there even to do in Boston? I mean, once you’ve done the Freedom Trail, seen Fenway Park, hit a few other historic sites, seen the Sam Adams brewery, gotten some quality seafood, maybe hit a couple of museums, gone whale watching… there’s really just not that much to do in Boston.
Granted, Red Hat Summit has plenty to do on its own with its hands-on labs, breakouts, keynotes, and expo during the day, and evening events to bring attendees together. But if you come early or stay a day or two after Summit, we hope that you can find something to do.
8. Top-down IT planning has always worked for my company
Whether you're a CIO or front-line operations staff, if your IT operations and application development are run in a top-down fashion, odds are you won't get much out of Red Hat Summit in 2019. As Jim Whitehurst, Red Hat's president and CEO, likes to say "planning as we know it is dead."
Red Hat believes in giving employees the tools and services they need to take action and respond to business challenges on their own rather than waiting to be told what to do, how to do it, and what to do it with. And that attitude is reflected in Red Hat Summit's breakouts, labs, and keynotes. If your team doesn't have the ability to effect change, you may not want to waste the money sending them to Red Hat Summit where they'll hear about others doing just that.
7. Culture is boring
You’ve probably noticed that Red Hat doesn’t just talk about the technology that solves business problems -- we also recognize that it’s people that get the job done. You can have the finest technology in the world, but without the right people who are empowered to get things done with processes that make sense, you might as well try to run the business with a TRS-80 and an abacus.
We get excited about the technology of open source, but also the culture that helps make it thrive. Culture plays an enormous part in open source projects and is influential in how successful a project is at attracting and retaining contributors. As a result, we think it’s important to learn and talk about the cultural aspects of developing open source and doing technology, and not just the tech itself. (Though that is, of course, also important.)
6. Boston traffic is horrible
Okay. For real, y'all, this can be the absolute truth and we won't even pretend any different.
However, Red Hat Summit is held at the Boston Convention and Exhibition Center (BCEC) which you can get to via public transportation. And there's plenty of hotels within walking distance of the BCEC, so you don't need to spend much time in a car in Boston unless you really, really want to.
5. Transformation, schmansformation
You’ve heard of "digital transformation," but want nothing to do with it. The old methods really are the best, and there’s no point in looking to new technologies or techniques that can speed up developments or deployments.
If your business is sticking with the tried and true, and staying away from hybrid cloud, Linux containers, Kubernetes, automation, continuous deployment / continuous integration, serverless, and other newfangled developments? You might not get a lot out of this year’s Red Hat Summit, where we are focused on expanding the possibilities for businesses looking to get more out of technology and to transform their business.
4. No interest in Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8
Red Hat released Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8 Beta in November 2018, and it’s likely to be a major topic at this year’s Red Hat Summit. You can guess that RHEL 8 is going to be a major topic of discussion at Summit this year, with roadmaps, breakout sessions, and labs about its most interesting new features.
With that in mind, you might want to sit out Red Hat Summit this year if the RHEL roadmap isn’t important to your business.
3. Nobody has our problems
One of the best parts of Red Hat Summit, like any good conference, is the "hallway track." The pre-programmed sessions are important, of course, but being able to talk to people from other organizations faced with problems like our own can be an invaluable experience.
Red Hat Summit brings together subject matter experts, partners, and Red Hat users from around the world. While every organization is unique, it’s also true that we see the same problems over and over again. And we have some impressive and innovative customers who are at the forefront of helping to solve common technology problems. But if your business has solved all its problems, or you have nothing to learn from others, then Summit is really not that worthwhile.
2. Open source is just a fad
Sure, it looks like open source has won mainstream acceptance, but that's just in the short term. Yes, more than 90% of companies in the Fortune 500 rely on Red Hat. Even some of the companies that used to say really unkind things about open source seem to have found it in their corporate hearts to jump into open source. And, yeah, the industry has embraced open source technologies like Linux containers, Kubernetes, and open source languages like Python -- but you’re sure that open source will run out of steam any day now.
That in mind, why would you want to go to Red Hat Summit? Red Hat is notoriously focused on open source, stubbornly staying the course of developing its technologies upstream instead of pursuing open core or proprietary products. If you have little love or interest in open source, Red Hat Summit is best avoided.
1. Nobody wants to hear from developers
A number of sessions at Red Hat Summit are led by the developers who work on Red Hat Enterprise Linux, Red Hat OpenShift, Red Hat Ansible, Red Hat Satellite, and so on. And you’ll also find Red Hat developers running some of the labs, on the expo floor at expert stations, and elsewhere. If you prefer not to interact directly with subject matter experts, Summit is definitely not the event for you.
So that’s 10 reasons you might not want to go to Summit. But, if you want to learn from others how they’re solving their IT problems? And if your business is using open source, interested in RHEL 8 and hybrid cloud? If you want to talk to developers and subject matter experts? Then you should think about attending Red Hat Summit. You can even save a few bucks by taking advantage of early bird registration before March 4 and another $100 by using the registration code RHBLOG19. See you in Boston!
About the author
Joe Brockmeier is the editorial director of the Red Hat Blog. He joined Red Hat in 2013 as part of the Open Source and Standards (OSAS) group, now the Open Source Program Office (OSPO). Prior to Red Hat, Brockmeier worked for Citrix on the Apache OpenStack project, and was the first OpenSUSE community manager for Novell between 2008-2010.