My new job – and first Weekly Meetup Wrap

In case you missed the news, I started a new role this month as Director of Developer Relations for YOW! Conferences and Workshops. I first heard of YOW! back in 2012 when they gave away a conference ticket at a Girl Geek event that I attended. Since then, I’ve attended (and volunteered) at their YOW! Nights, sent team members to their conferences, and entered (and won!) their inaugural Women in Tech Speaking Competition. This past May, I travelled to Perth to speak at the YOW! West conference on making the transition from individual contributor to management, and a few weeks ago I spoke at YOW! Connected in Melbourne about knitting as computer code. So needless to say I’m a big fan of the organisation, and I’m absolutely thrilled to get to work with them to support the Australian developer community.

One of the most important parts of my role is to build relationships with local meetup groups, so I’ve been making liberal use of meetup.com

My Meetup Profile

(Yikes. And that’s pretty much just Sydney, so it’s going to be even worse once I started adding in Melbourne!)

I thought that each Friday I’d do a quick Weekly Meetup Wrap of the events that I attended. Hopefully this will give some love and promotion to the meetup groups and speakers, and maybe even introduce you to some groups you hadn’t heard of.

My first event this week was Cloud Foundry Day  over at Pivotal Labs. I found out about it through DevOps Sydney, a local meetup group. Cloud Foundry is an open source cloud computing PaaS originally developed by VMware and now overseen by the Cloud Foundry Foundation. They had a number of international and local speakers sharing their experiences building cloud applications. I especially liked the talk by Lindsay Holmwood, who heads up Technology at the DTO.

I also really enjoyed the presentation by Dr. Nic Williams, CEO of Stark & Wayne. He started by reminding the audience that once you’ve gone fast, it’s really hard to go slow. That was the jumping off point for a talk about how devops lets developers and companies move faster, and why that’s critical for success.

Later that evening I attended the second Sydney pitch event for Elevacao. This organisation, founded by Marisa Warren, aims to empower women entrepreneurs to become the next Atlassian. Three different sets of women founders pitched their startups to a panel of innovation luminaries, including Rebekah Campbell from Hey You and Sebastien Eckersley-Maslin from BlueChilli. It was incredible to be in a packed audience of mostly women for a founders event like this. My favourite of the pitches was Dr. Silvia Pfeiffer for Coviu, which provides web-based interactive videoconferencing. (Coviu was used to link up the various Health Hack sites last weekend.)

Elevacao Pitch Event

On Wednesday I went along to the regular monthly SydJS meetup. The evening started with a great off-the-cuff lightning talk from Rob Howard about accessible types. Then Ian Grunert gave a quick talk about yarn, the new Javascript package manager from Facebook. (I especially liked all the excellent wool photos he used!)

Next Fiona Chan gave an excellent presentation about public speaking – why you should do it, how to get over your fears, and how to get better at it. That was followed by a highly entertaining talk from Nikolay Nemshilov on genetic algorithms in Javascript and his quest for an ever more efficient keyboard layout. The evening ended with Justin Anderson talking about the language features of Javascript, and how being more declarative in your programming can help you avoid problems.

On Thursday, I attended my first ever Developer Drinkups meetup. As you can tell from the title, this one is purely social. It was held at Spawn Point Small Bar, a video gaming bar in the CBD. Elliot Chance is one of the organisers, and he’s put together a really friendly group. There were probably a few dozen attendees in all, and I was pleased that there were a handful of women there too. We had beers; we chatted; we played some games. Great event!

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  1. Congratulations on the new gig! I’m so happy for you.

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