Are Undergrads, more valuable then working professionals?

Barry Shein bzs at
Tue Mar 26 07:41:34 AEST 1991

I am trying hard to understand some of this thread...but let me make a
few comments anyhow (and understand I am quite open to disagreement,
consider this a first cut):

The majority of the expense of a USENIX conference, to an attendee, is
the travel and lodging (assuming it's not in his or her home town.)  I
assume no one is suggesting USENIX provide airline tickets or hotel
rooms, so we'll skip that part.

All that I can see suggested here is either a free or discounted

Now, what does a registration get you?

	A) Entry to the talks.

	B) Entry to the exhibit, when there is one.

	C) A copy of the proceedings.

	D) Entry to the reception.

	E) A nametag.

Going through that list, and keeping job-hunting in mind, I doubt
anyone job hunts in the talks, since they're usually lecture-style and
the common etiquette is sitting quietly in a darkened room. Hardly the
atmosphere for people-networking, this is the brain-food part of the

The exhibit might be a fine place to job-hunt, I believe inexpensive
($10?) exhibit-only passes are available, and I think exhibit-only
comps are usually available from vendors. Maybe I'm wrong on this one,
I'm shooting from the hip.

A copy of the proceedings can be bought later, they're relatively
inexpensive, $15-$20, and not directly related to job-hunting at the
conference. I assume everyone can see the real cost (printing etc)
associated with these. Consider borrowing one at the conference if you
feel like you want to at least know what's going on in the talks.

The reception might be a great place to people-network, and extra
tickets are always for sale for, I dunno, $35-$50. Putting a note up
on the bulletin board to the effect of "anyone not using their
reception ticket?" might yield a freebie, or a cheapie.

What I am trying to get at here is that, to paraphrase Lenny Bruce, in
the halls of the conferences, the conferencing goes on in the halls.

You've got 1500-2500 fellow professionals mostly located in one hotel.

You're trying to find a job.

Show up, check into the hotel (I don't remember anyone checking if
you're actually registered before giving you the conference rate, tho
you might be more interested in a nearby, inexpensive room that's less
than the conference rate), hang around the halls and talk to people,
in the evenings show up at the bar, drop into the vendor hospitality
suites, go out to lunch with some folks, get up early and catch the
breakfast crowd, etc etc.

It seems to me that for about $50 outlay (for the reception), besides
travel+lodging, about all you'd be missing would be the talks. If
you're desparately looking for a job you don't have time for the
talks, plan on buying the proceedings, when you're more solvent, to
catch up on what you missed.

But, to some extent, we have done you a great service: We have brought
together ~2000 of your colleagues and told you exactly where they will
be for a few days. It doesn't take a lot of spunk to figure out what
to do next!

AND...if you really want to get into the talks, and don't have the
bucks, speak to the usenix office about various volunteer things you
might be able to do to get a full comp registration. Just don't call
the day before the conference or at the conference, do it as soon as
you think you might want it (ok, timing may not work out, but as I
said above it's not clear that this is the most important component.)

This doesn't seem to me like a real problem.

As far as being inundated with job-hunters, I doubt this would be a
problem. It's not like it would be easy for a total stranger to walk
off the street and figure out how to work a usenix conference, less
likely that someone unfamiliar would pay to travel just to do this.

So I assume we're talking about "regulars", people who are part of the
same crowd, usually attend the conferences and want to catch up with
old friends to try to land a job. Hey, please drop by!

I assure you, exactly what I describe is done regularly.
        -Barry Shein

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