Month: September 2017 (page 1 of 5)

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I made dinner! Paleo Salisbury Steak, potato/pumpkin mash, and garlic chard.

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I think @jpofoz was happy with her birthday dessert. 😂

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Happy birthday @jpofoz!

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  • austin_walker: OH HOLY SHIT. I figured out what we should do with the new 140 characters.

    ´•._.•´¯`•._.•´Forum Signatures Are Back Baby`•._.•´¯`•.¸¸.•´

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DDD Perth 2017

Last week I was fortunate enough to be invited to give the locknote at DDD Perth 2017. DDD stands for “Developer! Developer! Developer!,” and it’s a community-run conference that happens in locations around the world. The goal is to put on an event that anyone can attend, so it’s held on a Saturday and the cost is just $50. The Perth event attracted 330+ attendees and featured 19 speakers across three tracks.

I actually got to Perth a few days early so I could attend some usergroups and meet with some local contacts. I went to the Fenders meetup as well as the launch of the new Junior Dev Perth group. The latter was incredible – the room was full of 90 energetic attendees, most of whom were just starting out in their careers. Well done to LJ and the JuniorDev team for this much-needed westward expansion!

Then it was time for DDD Perth! The speaker/sponsor/volunteer drinks were held Friday night at the rooftop bar of The Reveley. It was fun but loud.

The day of the conference started out really foggy, oddly. Apparently that’s a thing that happens in Perth every now and then?! The morning keynote was Gojko Adzic, straight from YOW! Singapore. He talked about some of the coming challenges for software quality posed by things like the cloud, AI and biometrics – including amusing anecdotes like the one about the DMV system brought down by a set of twins.

The talks throughout the day were all excellent. My friend Nathan Jones gave a talk called “Death by Good Intentions” that talked about some of the common mistakes and pitfalls he’s seen teams fall into over the course of his career. I especially liked his point about choosing mature technology like PHP over perpetually chasing shiny new things.

My friend Sam Ritchie also gave an informative, pun-tastic talk called “Flying Solo – lifehack your way to a pants-optional workplace”. It was all about how to quit your job and start your own company. My favourite part was the slide with an actual flowchart to answer the question: “Should you put on pants today?”

I was lucky to get to meet Patima Tantiprasut earlier this year on a visit (and then again when she came to Sydney with Localhost). She gave a great short talk called “Web, Wellness and Getting Sh*t Done”, all about strategies you can use to prevent mental burnout. Really welcome advice! (Not to mention a nice tie-in to my own talk later in the day…)

After lunch I saw a few more excellent talks, but to be honest I was more than a little preoccupied with my own looming locknote! I especially liked Donna Edwards‘ talk on hiring and retention for diversity, and Christian Prieto‘s entertaining presentation on the history and programming challenges of the Atari 2600.

And then it was time!

My talk was called “The Campsite Rule – Leaving the Tech Industry Better than We Found It”. The general idea was that a lot of the time, the tech industry feels like a dumpster fire. The temptation to walk away is ever present (especially when shit like this happens). It leads to a lot of us burning out. One of the things that’s been keeping me motivated and engaged is recent years is mentoring, and I wanted to convince the experienced devs in the room to get more involved with guiding the next generation. I included as much practical advice as I could for both prospective mentees and mentors. Yeah, it got a little ranty at times. (There may have even been an F-bomb in there.) But everyone seemed to take it in the right spirit, and I was gratified by how many folks sent me wonderful tweets or wrote blog posts saying how inspiring they found it.

Some photos from the conference Flickr page:


I had to laugh at that stretch of them. I’m a fairly, uh, expressive speaker, I guess you could say. 😂

My slides are up on Slideshare if you want to take a look, and I’ll share the video when it becomes available. Some of the images are from our recent trip to Yellowstone; some are from Unsplash; and some are from WOCinTech Chat.

Thank you again to the DDD Perth organisers for inviting me to participate in this wonderful event! It was my first ever keynote, and there were many times over the preceding months where I kicked myself for agreeing to do it. (I’m a procrastinator with a tendency towards constant guilty thoughts, so there was some stress.) I’m so happy I did it though! And I can’t say enough about the tireless volunteers and organisers, and how great a job they did putting this event together. If you ever get a chance to attend or speak at a DDD in the future, you definitely should.