I haven't been to many meetups the past weeks as the beginning of October is traditionally conference season in tech, and as I look back through my Timehop for the past years, pretty much every year around this time I am at a conference.
This year has been the turn of Voxxed Belgrade (2nd time) and LinuxCon (also 2nd time). Both very different conferences and great in different ways. I'll tackle chronologically.
Voxxed Belgrade 2016
Voxxed in Belgrade last year was by far on of my favourite conferences of 2015, if not ever. It was a good size, with good speakers, good audiences and an organising team that took no shortcuts in making sure everyone was having a good time. They even describe it as
"A good time with some talks in the middle".
I worried that as this year they had grown the speakers, attendee and venue size, it may lose elements of its charm. But not to worry, they excelled themselves again, with a venue that could have felt cold and unfriendly, but was filled with 1000s of Euros of Lego, tables of food and drink, photo walls, arcade games, sponsor booths and more.
They had speakers from all over the World covering a variety of topics, workshops, after hours activities and treated the speakers to a variety of special events including meals, boat, and museum trips.
My own talk could have been better, as I opted for something not too technical, but it was fine, and I have good photos of me on a large stage 😬.
LinuxCon Berlin 2016
Dublin last year was my first LinuxCon and whilst I celebrate the diversity (and depth) of talks presented, I also found it corporate and it's a big money making activity for the Linux Foundation, which sometimes shows. Being Berlin, it felt slightly less corporate, but the decision was also taken to break up some of the side conferences (e.g. Embedded Linux) to different dates, which made the conference program VERY container heavy. I even joked in my talk that it was 'a container free zone'.
Running a documentation talk at an event like LinuxCon was never going to result in the biggest of crowds, but I got placed in the largest room, which meant slightly awkwardly speaking to about 50 people in a room with a capacity of at least 1500. However, the talk structure is solidifying nicely and becoming a good talk that gets approved at conferences and contains enough material to make experienced and non-experienced documentarians alike find something useful.
Links of the 'week'
I haven't had a links post in a couple of weeks, so I have a few to discuss.
Did Hitler have great designers
Many years ago I was a contributor to an Open Source CRM tool, and as an open source contributor, you are generally a liberal minded individual. I was naively surprised to find the software used by conservative political and pro-life groups. This raised questions in my mind about who does and doesn't use tooling, and this fascinating article by Tobias Van Schneider bought a lot of those thoughts about your own ethics back to mind.
Nazi drug abuse
This continuing theme is pure coincidence, but I find articles of possible historic conjecture fascinating. You're never sure how true it is, or what affect it had on anything. I don't even know what this article says about drugs, but still it was a fascinating read and is an extract from a new book.
Am I Introverted, or just rude
I found this article by Laura Berger an interesting criticism of our growing self-introspection. It does sometimes feel (especially in certain cultures) that we can excuse a lot of bad behaviour with a simple, "Oh that's OK, they're xxx" (Or, "I am xxx"). We have become afraid of questioning forms of bad behaviour in fear of offending a 'special snowflake'. Granted there are people with conditions that help or hinder their behaviour, but as this article discusses, a lot of the time, maybe we're empowering plainly rude people.
The Decline of Stack Overflow
Stack Overflow is a member of a growing number of sites that we recognise as 'broken' (to a degree), but we don't know what to do about it. John Sleger's article is not the first to analyse the site's problems and nor will it be the last, but he offers a good level of detail and examples to illustrate what is wrong, and why. As a tech-educator I cringe at many of the questions and answers that get asked on Stack Overflow, but also wish I knew what could be done to solve what is fundamentally, an issue with people's attitudes. Maybe they should all read the last article.
The Man who brought you Brexit
You have likely never heard of Sam Knight, and this Guardian article will give you a lengthy insight into the man who has been one of the key players and visionaries behind the Brexit concept for decades. It didn't make me feel any better about the current situation, but I received satisfaction from the fact that here was one person on the whole movement who at least had some dedication to the cause.
Does Cycling contribute to Gentrification
The Guardian has had a lot of articles recently on 'Gentrification', and this is another in a series of good analysis on the topic. Personally, I find the term 'Gentrification' a annoying general term to imply a dislike of change, without being specific about it's meaning. This article sparked a lot of comments on my Facebook post, so make up your own minds.
Chinch out xx