Debian Developers Weighed The Idea Of Not Allowing Q&A Sessions At Their Conference
Written by Michael Larabel in Debian on 30 September 2018 at 01:06 PM EDT. 60 Comments
Debian developers have been discussing what to many seems like a rather unorthodox idea of not allowing questions/answers following presentations at their annual DebConf conference. This idea of banning questions and answers follows a policy by a Python conference that forbids questions/answers following presentations and is meant to help ease newcomers.

Debian developers have largely rejected this idea of not allowing Q&A periods following presentations at DebConf considering this annual gathering of developers/contributors is about collaboration and fostering new ideas for this leading Linux distribution. The idea though was brought up by Debian Project Leader Chris Lamb who initiated the discussion over this idea after seeing the PyCascades Python conference has explicitly banned question and answer sessions following presentations at their conference.

This annual Python conference hosted in the Pacific Northwest decided to ban Q&A periods entirely as to "make it a more friendly environment for first time and new speakers."

This notion was largely rejected by Debian developers and doesn't look like it will have enough steam to be applied to future DebConf events. There were some though in support of this idea, including some speakers where English isn't their native language and thus would prefer not having to deal with Q&As while others have suggested this policy could perhaps be decided by the speaker on a per-presentation basis.

The discussion can be found on debconf-discuss and was pointed out today by Chris Lamb in his monthly Debian Project Leader notes.
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