Announcing the Vancouver Polyglot Conference May 25-27
I’m happy to finally announce the Vancouver Polyglot conference, a concept that’s been floating around for a few of us now for probably a little over a year now. Now thanks to an amazing group of organizers, and probably in no small thanks part to Boris Mann just up and creating a Lanyrd page and giving the event a date almost immediately after we mentioned it to him—literally, I mean right as we were sitting there—it’s actually happening.
There has been a big response from people in helping to organize this event. A big thanks goes to Adam Dymitruk who has arranged with Github to both help with event sponsorship as well as running their Github Foundations Workshop with Matthew McCullough which I’m particularly excited about. Of course, I’m burying the lead a bit here, which is that this is actually the Polyglot Un-conference.
Now here’s a few things you should know about the event:
- It is an open space event or un-conference. Sessions are planned by the attendees, the content and value comes from all of you.
- It’s a completely non-denominational event with respect to languages, environment, etc. It’s all about software development.
- It’s open to current and aspiring polyglots, multiple language use not required.
- Its open to people of all experience levels who are interested in learning, sharing or teaching.
- There will be organized workshops in advance of the event.
- There will be a P.A.R.T.Y.
- You will have to pay a nominal ($30) fee which shows you’re commitment to being there and being involved (apologies to the “open spaces are free” zealots).
- It will not suck. If you haven’t been to an openspace before it is understandable to be skeptical that such a thing could actually work. If you have you know exactly why it’s pretty much always awesome. If you need to be convinced ask someone who’s been. Oh wait, I’ve been, well consider yourself convinced.
Q: What’s this conference about, really?
A: It’s about creating software, and I want to emphasize not just about coding. Software ultimately leads to coding, but code is a means to an end and not an end in and of itself. I truly hope to see the attendees creating sessions to discuss interaction design and UX, building startups, improving the community and more.
Q: Do I need to know more than one language?
A: Damn, post skimmers, no I just said that!
Q: Do I need to know any languages?
A: Not everyone who contributes to building software is a coder and as I mentioned above I hope and expect to see many sessions that are not just about coding. That being said ,this event, and it’s attendees are going to be people deeply vested in the process of building and designing software, which always leads back to the code. It will help a lot, for you to at least be interested in that aspect of the process.
Q: I’m not really a “developer” professionally but I do/know code and I’m interested
A: “Interested” is the only real pre-requisite here. If you’re not interested the main problem is that you’ll probably be bored.
Q: I’m a beginner and don’t feel like I would be able to contribute much, will I enjoy this?
A: Absolutely! Come and learn as much as you can. Don’t be afraid to ask lots of questions and walk up and talk to the intimidating looking “rock star” devs. You’ll get the most out of it this way.
Q: I’m an intimidating “rock star” developer.
A: That’s not really a question, but stop being so damn intimidating. Ask the quiet and possibly bewildered looking newbies if they have questions, go up and introduce yourself to people. This is an open space, and your responsibility is to help facilitate and encourage learning and sharing.
Q: Is this going some macho brogramming sausage-fest?
A: I really hope not, but I know how this can be a problem. We have some excellent women helping to organize this event and helping make it open and inclusive in every way possible. This is a big part of the philosophy of this event and truly hope it is an attitude that is embodied by those attending.
Q: Do you need any more help?
A: Yes, here’s what we need the most:
A few more female volunteers for the organizing team. Please help us making this event awesome.
A designer or design firm willing to help us with some branding, logos, site design, etc. Some CSS knowledge, Photoshop skills and some creativity are what we are looking for. In return for your help we are offering a $500 sponsorship spot for you or your firm.
If you feel you can help with either of the above please contact us.
The main site for the conference is now up and while it will likely be changing significantly in the near future this will be where to go for updates and information. We will have announcements soon on the venue, the workshops and other details as the event approaches. Event registration will also be open soon on our Eventbrite page. I’ll have another announcement at that time here and on twitter. For now you can register your interest on Lanyrd and follow us on Twitter. Looking forwards to see you all in May!