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6 February Wrap Up

Kris Howard, Director

It’s been several weeks since my last report, and as you might expect – I’ve been busy!

I spent the week from January 16-20 in Hobart, Tasmania for What a beautiful city for a conference! More than 500 Free and Open Source Software enthusiasts met up for five days of talks and workshops.

I spent Monday at the Women of Open Technology miniconf, which was kicked off by a keynote from aurynn shaw. aurynn talked about the people side of software development and DevOps, and how Contempt Culture should give way to teamwork and empathy.

I also really enjoyed Brenda Wallace‘s talk “Let’s Put Wifi in Everything”. If the Internet of Things is going to improve our lives, it needs to work without requiring you to look at your phone!

The other highlight of WOOTConf for me was presenting! I gave a version of my YOW! 2016 talk “Knit One, Compute One.”

Tuesday was the Open Hardware miniconf, and I had a goal to learn how to solder.

Mission accomplished!

Wednesday’s highlights included Dan Callahan‘s keynote on the failure of Mozilla’s Persona; Michael Cordover‘s talk in “Future Privacy”; the fellows from Secret Lab talking about using Open Data to make games; Katie McLaughlin‘s talk “Javascript is Awe-ful”; and Nat Dudley‘s knitting-inspired talk “Ada ❤️ Lace”.

I finished Wednesday with some more hardware hacking at the MQTT home automation workshop.

Thursday morning was dedicated to E. Dunham‘s excellent Intro to Rust tutorial. I also really enjoyed Donna Benjamin‘s talk about the importance of user experience: “I am your user. Why do you hate me?”

The conference wound up Friday with more talks and Birds of a Feather sessions. I especially enjoyed VM Brasseur‘s talk on “The Business of Community” and Casey West‘s “Continuously Delivering Security in the Cloud”.

Back in Sydney, I attended the Sydney Big Data and Analytics meetup on Jan 24. Michael Leung from DellEMC gave a great talk about faster, better storage and how it makes computation faster.

The second talk was from Luca Garulli, the founder of OrientDB. Luca talked about how graph databases work and what is currently state-of-the-art in database design.

On Wednesday Jan 25, I went to my first fp-syd. Without a doubt, this meetup had the most in-depth technical talks of any I’ve attended in the last six months! Huw Campbell kicked the night off with a talk about neural networks in Haskell.

Next was Ben Lippmeier talking about closure conversion and garbage collection in DDC. Ben had great slides that made it easy to understand and learn how his system worked!

On Monday, Jan 31 I attended the Sydney Alt.Net User Group meetup at Thoughtworks. The first speaker was Mitchell Tilbrook talking about how he uses Docker to set up Android build environments.

The second talk of the night was… ME! This is a new talk about my experiences working as a manager in a traditional hierarchical company as well as joining a flat, “disruptive” startup.

Traversing the Org Chart

And finally that brings us to February! On the 1st I went along to my first Sydney Elixir meetup. The first speaker was Nick Gunn talking about supervision, robustness, links, Erlang, Elixir and more.

Next was Robin Hilliard, who gave a brilliant demo showing off code he’s written to control drones!

And last but not least, on Feb 2 was the first SydCSS for the year at CBA’s fabulous Darling Harbour office. Dominik Wilkowski gave an excellent presentation about his experience building design systems at Westpac and the DTA.

The second talk of the night was from Sammy Connelly, who gave two fantastic talks about testing. The first was a demo of “Tappy McTapFace,” a robot she build for custom mobile testing. The second talk was about a risk-based approach to software testing.

PHEW! If you ever doubted whether the Australian tech community was thriving, I hope my posts have convinced you otherwise. We have such a wide range of events happening every week, and I am continually impressed by the generosity of both the expert speakers and the selfless organisers. If you know of a meetup you think I should attend, please let me know!

Our next YOW! Night will showcase Google Cloud Expert Lynn Langit and be held on February 9 in Melbourne, February 15 in Sydney, and February 20 in Brisbane! CFPs are currently open for YOW! West and YOW! Lambda Jam.