For those who may not know (or muted my incessant tweets somewhere along the way), &:conf is an intersectional feminist unconference and code retreat that took place a month ago in Occidental California. Together with my co-organizers, Lillie Chilen and Emily Nakashima, we brought together 80 engineers from literally all over the world, with folks joining us from as far as Mexico and Berlin.
The foundations for &:conf were laid on Castro Street, where the three of us stood outside the Lesbians Who Tech conference. At that time, Lillie and Emily had plenty of prior experience running tech events and I was foolhardy enough to believe I could try. There are a million little things I learned through this process- but the biggest takeaways would probably be...
This conference was so freaking awesome. Some events you can tell are going to be great just by what information you can find online beforehand, and RubyConf Australia was one of those events for me: the location in the Gold Coast looked...
Woohoo, I gave my first conference talk! I spoke about load testing and site availability at RubyConf Australia. The video will be up at some point, but if you're curious you can also check out my slides here.
I'm finally over my jetlag and my landsickness (True fact: if you go on a boat trip for three days to the Great Barrier Reef, you can completely avoid sea sickness but suffer from LAND sickness for a week when you come back!)
RubyConf Australia was amazing. Siena covered most of the highlights in her blog post, but I wanted to reiterate how lovely the conference was (and not just because I got to hold a koala).
I'm not going to lie- preparing a conference talk was a ton of work! But it was totally worth it for me. I'd definitely encourage anyone who is on the fence to try it and see how it goes! If you're thinking about giving your first conference talk or in the throes of prepping one, here are a few things I found worked for me and one thing that didnt. (But obviously YMMV!)
What Worked for Me: