I don’t find it easy to keep up with week-notes. There is too much stuff I’d like to write about to find the time for it. I thought I’d do month-notes, but I missed that deadline too, so let’s call it a note, perhaps note number seven: the highlights.
Over the last couple of months, I have attended a few conferences and a few meetups. The biggest one was the SQLBits, where I delivered three sessions – nothing technical, just some Welsh lessons, as the event was in Wales this year. Nothing big, but enough to remind me how much fun it is, so I have just submitted a session for DATA:Scotland in September.
The SQLBits event was full of great sessions. That was not a surprise. What was unexpected is the excellent non-technical sessions I have seen. It was my first time at SQLBits since I stopped working with Microsoft data technologies, so I had no reason to chase the latest technical detail. Instead, I focused on the “hallway track” and the less technical presentations. For me, it was the best SQLBits experience ever. My favourite was one about building high-performance data teams by Richard Campbel, followed shortly by live Knee Deep in Tech podcast recording with Alexander and Heini.
Listening to those serious podcasters (Richard runs .Net Rocks) reminded me, that I wanted to do something like that myself. And now, I think I’ve got the right topic to do it too, but I will write a separate post about it soon. For now, back to conferences and meetups.
I attended two interesting meetups in London (I’ve been there too often recently) neo4j and OpenUK. The latter one was especially interesting with the presentation delivery by Andy Piper on open-source contributions. There were also plenty of like-minded, open-source enthusiasts to discuss code reuse in Civil Service. Something interesting will come out of this chance meeting, I’m sure. And I will be there on the 23rd of May to listen and talk about building open-source communities.
The return of in-person events is very much welcomed. The online conferences and meetups are great, but they are missing something. With our current technology, there is no chance for spontaneous, free and fast-flowing, random, person-to-person interactions. A situation like when you overhear half a sentence between biting on a pizza and think: that might be interesting! What are they talking about!? And seconds later, you are part of that conversation.
It’s a topic that has been on my mind for quite some time. It feels like we are settling into a form of “hybrid” working, which has become familiar. But is it the right way? Are the benefits really outweighing the cost? I will explore it more soon. But for now, I have signed up for a few more in-person events to keep testing the theory!
Finally, I made it to 40 last week. Having achieved my life’s ambition, I can relax now!