We’re hosting YOW! Nights in Melbourne, Brisbane, and Sydney  from Nov 15-17. Lindsay Holmwood from the DTO is speaking, and you should definitely attend…

This week I made it to FIVE different events – a new record! The first one was the Central Sydney WordPress Meetup held at Fishburners. The topic of the evening was monetising WordPress, and @DeveloperWil walked the audience through all the different ways you can build an online business. I gave a lightning talk about a site I built twenty years ago that is still running today. In my experience, the best way to make money from a website is by using it to learn and practice tech skills that you then use in a great job!

On Tuesday I attended the weekly lunchtime Tech Talk at Pivotal Labs. The speaker was Suresh Dhanushkoti from CoreLogic RP Data. Suresh explained that Agile ways of working are now accepted across most IT departments. As he put it, we are beyond “Should we do Agile?” and even “Is it working?” – the question now is “Where else can we be Agile?” CoreLogic wanted to explore using Agile principles across their entire business, so they developed and implemented a system called BizScrum. He walked us through how they got buy-in at the executive level and the lessons they learned along the way.

On Wednesday evening I went to the AWS Sydney User Group meetup at BlueChilli. Unfortunately Cloud-related meetups all have a particular problem for me now…

But I soldiered through. The first speaker was George Watts from AWS, who started off with some cautionary tales of large enterprise transformation projects that failed spectacularly. “The main reason cloud projects fail,” George said, “is that people don’t want to use them.” 😂 Gary said that communication is key, and that you need to invest time up front to actually talk to the end users and find out what their concerns are. His other tip for successful projects was to use Amazon’s Well-Architected Framework, a set of core strategies and best practices for architecting systems in the cloud.

The second speaker of the night was Alan Milligan from the Last Bastion Network. Alan eschewed slides completely in favour of a live demonstration using the Jupyter Notebook platform to integrate the AWS Marketplace Product Support Connection onboarding programme – which had conveniently been released just that same day!

Thursday morning I attended the 2nd ever Connected Women ANZ event held at Google’s office in Sydney. This group is for professional women across the Technology and Digital industries, and there were representatives from over twenty different companies (including Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn). Jason Pelligrino welcomed everyone and set the tone of the day, talking about what diversity and inclusivity means to him. One of his points particularly resonated with me:

The first speaker was JoAnna Ferrari from Visions ‘n’ Goals, telling us her amazing personal story. I met JoAnna back in August when we both spoke at TEDxMelbourne, and I was so thrilled to get to see her onstage again. Her story of her journey from John to JoAnna took us from laughter to tears and back again. I especially loved how she boiled it down to lessons that are applicable to everyone, and she inspired us all to think about the things that were holding us back.

The second speaker was Lorraine Murphy from The Remarkables Group. Lorraine talked about gratitude and owning your victories, and she also gave us her tips for remarkable success – the first of which was my favourite!

Lorraine then joined a panel discussion with two other women: Sarah Liu from Gemini3 and Karen Lawson from Slingshot. The moderator was Renee Gamble from Google. My favourite takeaways from the panel:

  • Entrepreneurship is over-romanticised. You don’t have to be an entrepreneur to change the world.
  • Networking is not about finding people to help you. It’s about helping them and paying it forward.

I’ll also give a shout-out to Denise Shrivell from MediaScope (and the creator of Peggy’s List). Denise was at the event and was tweeting even more than I was!

My last event of the week was Thursday evening’s Sydney Node.ninjas meetup, held on the brand new level at SafetyCulture. (They were seriously finishing the renovations that day, but it was gorgeous!)

I can’t actually talk about the first talk of the night. It was TOP SECRET. I’m not even kidding! They asked us not to tweet or record it at all. Two developers from a large Australian tech company demoed a project that they were working on. It involved live coding, mobile phones, and Javascript… and that’s all I’m gonna say about that!

Then we had two lightning talks. The first was by Brandon Cook, an 18yo (seriously!) developer at SafetyCulture. Brandon told us what the first few months of his first ever full-time coding role had been like. He did a great job with it, and he’s clearly got a really bright future ahead of him. 🙂

The second lightning talk was by Kris Croaker, also from SafetyCulture. He ran us through a number of tips for running Node in Docker.

And the long talk for the evening was by Ajain Vivek from LoanFlare. Ajain explained how we can use new EcmaScript 2015 (ES6) features in NodeJS development. He had really clear examples showing the “before” and “after” for each feature, which made it easy to understand the benefits of this syntactic sugar. (I especially liked learning more about iterators and generators!)

Next week… Melbourne!