Thanks to good people at Cognitect and the sponsors of the Opportunity Grant I had an opportunity to speak at Clojure/conj 2014. It was the second time I’ve given a talk, and a fourth tech conference I attended. And it’s been amazing!
The venue, Warner Theatre, is the most beautiful conference venue I’ve seen. Just look at this photo! It might have been a little cold, but nothing that hot coffee or tea wouldn’t fix.
The talks were awesome, speakers well prepared and approachable and organisers friendly and helpful. I’m very glad my talk was second on the first day as I could just sit back and take it all in. And there was a lot to take in. Eye-opening talk about data-driven systems by Paul deGrandis, brain melting introduction to persistent data structures by Michał Marczyk, very educational talk about variants by Jeanine Adkisson, hilarious walk through game development by Zach Oakes, two amazing keynotes and lots of other talks left me with a long TODO list. There’s so much I want and need to learn and I’m very grateful to all speakers and attendees for sharing their knowledge and experiences. You can watch all talks on Clojure TV YouTube channel.
But as we all know people is what makes for a great conference. We can watch the talks online but we can’t talk to the speakers and other attendees, be challenged, go through “a-ha!” moments or have a small hackathon in the hotel lobby. We can’t make new friends and new interesting contacts. And being at Clojure/conj provided me with all the above. I’ve said it before, and I’m going to say it again: Clojure community is the friendliest community I’ve experienced. I felt very welcomed and supported both as a speaker and attendee. And I felt safe and treated like an equal. I truly hope other communities will follow in our footsteps because nothing inspires more than a room full of smart people who don’t try to prove their superiority but share their knowledge instead. We all have a common goal after all: improve technology, improve industry, improve our lives and ourselves.
Dinner with the Lambda Ladies, sponsored by the kind people at Living Social was a blast too! Lots of good advice and laughter – I hope it won’t be long before I see you again!
I’ve returned to London energised, with some great memories that I play on repeat in my head. I hope this state of mind will last a little longer or at least till the next event.
Thank you everyone who made Conj so memorable – I hope we meet again!