People often say things like this as a badge of honor. Some of us even keep event badges hung from our office doors as a tally of the events we’ve attended.
With LinuxCon  just six short weeks away, I’ve been thinking about how folks will look back on this conference. I don’t think badges from LinuxCon will represent an event attended but rather an event experienced. This is Linux event that returns us to our roots in which developers can collaborate real-time on technology challenges, while business executives can simultaneously work together and with developers to better understand the opportunities ahead.
I expect LinuxCon to turn the page for industry conferences – moving away from “show-n-tell” formats of the past, and towards real technical and business collaboration. I also expect it to represent a time of amazing growth and maturity of Linux and open source software.
IDC reported  earlier this year that Linux will see growth during the recession while other OSes struggle. It also reported  earlier this summer that open source software will grow much faster than was originally forecast in 2008.
This growth is fuelling new demand for forums today in which ecosystem stakeholders can accelerate specific initiatives with face-to-face collaboration, not with marketing gimmicks or product demonstrations. Let’s face it: traditional “expos” just won’t cut it anymore - and honestly, they never were a good fit for the culture inherent in the Linux and open source communities.
Since we announced the creation of LinuxCon last fall, we’ve gathered together the best and brightest folks in our industry and from among the community to join us in Portland next month. And, by co-locating with the annual Linux Plumbers Conference  (LPC), a star-studded pool of community rock stars will come together in one place.
The LinuxCon advisory board, which also consists of a who’s who of technical talent and business innovation, has helped direct a stellar program that includes, among many other sessions:
Bob Sutor on Clouds, Mainframes and Desktops 
Dirk Hohndel will tell us why Mobile Linux Matters 
Matt Asay on the true cost of Linux and open source 
James Bottomley on how to contribute to the kernel 
Chris Wright on improving virtualization density with KVM :
No Linux conference would be complete without daytime and evening debauchery, so here are a few of the “don’t miss” events:
Bowling for PenguinsHelp save endangered penguins in Antarctica while “flaming” your competition on the bowling alley. Build your team now. 
Evening Reception On Wednesday, join us on the waterfront at McCormick & Schmick’s for an evening reception  co-hosted by the Linux Foundation and Linux Plumbers Conference and sponsored by Intel.
24/7 Hacker Lounge. Enjoy a tasty beverage while hanging out all day and all night, if you like.
Wellness Lounge. Sometimes you need some downtime at a conference. Kick off the shoes and do some yoga or get a massage.
So, it’s time to “get your penguin on.” Customize your conference agenda , assemble your bowling team  and follow us on Twitter  for a variety of promotions to save you money and give you access at the event.
You can be one of the folks to say “I was at the first LinuxCon.”