One of the things that I like about this convention is how open and diverse it is. That has its drawbacks too- there are several sessions that I see today that I wish I could be in at the same time. I ate lunch yesterday with several folks from Norway, and there is a noticable number of woman here. Not just wives or the like, but people involved in the community for their own. Its still skewed heavily towards men, but after having come a number of years I think its a growing percentage.
One of the strangest bits about this convention is the accumulation of different communities. In other places its all one group, but this has many groups together – with some overlap – but still very distinct. Perl, python, rails, php, mysql, sun, java, apache, mozilla, django, … I’m sure the list goes on much further. The cross polination is pretty darn effective. It can also be overwhelming with the diversity of groups and interests too.