This is the presentation I have just given at the Coder’s Saturday in Montreal, Canada. The theme revolves around the adoption of standards and why this is important not only in a technological sense but much more necessary to appear as a professional developer. Most standards we talk about are really recommendations and we need to find convincing arguments why people should follow them or even why they are important to us.
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Archive for the ‘unconference’ Category
Last Thursday I went to the Google offices in London Victoria to attend a bi-monthly unconference called Open Source Jam. I was running a bit on autopilot as I was in Leeds the day before talking about the YUI at the Geekup meeting and originally wanted to skip the session as I was pretty knackered. It was great though that I didn’t follow my instinct, but instead have a nice unconference with Pizza, Beer and lots of 5 minute+5 minute Q&A sessions revolving around creating interfaces for humans.
In comparison to other barcamps the Open Source Jam was a lot more technical and speakers were more coders than web developers. I’ve learnt about a chess program for the iPhone, how to write APIs to make them more accessible to humans, UXON - a User Interface Object Notation (more on this coming soon), Behaviour Driven Development, holes in the Flickr API and a lot of other things.
My initial idea of staying for an hour and then leaving for a speaker’s dinner of a company-internal conference was foiled and I took the last tube back from Victoria.
My own talk was a preview of a session I will give at the Abilitynet Accessibility conference in April, talking about how accessibility is not an extra task but – if taken into consideration from the beginning – an opportunity to build better products for everybody.
I want to thank the organizers and will very likely be there for the next jam.
Photo by Adewale Oshineye
The last few years we’ve become increasingly better in building applications that make our life easier. May that be collaboration, day-to-day tasks like writing, converting or just managing our tasklists – a web app to make it smoother for us as end-users was always available with a minimum search effort.
Meanwhile, in the real world, social problems became worse and worse. This becomes even more problematic as there is a distinct lack of forward thinkers providing easy to use and apply solutions to existing problems. This is where the Social Innovation Camp wants to bridge the gap.
In London between 4th-6th April 2008, Social Innovation Camp will bring together some of the best of the UK and Europe’s web developers and designers with people at the sharp end of social problems.
Our aim is find ways that easy-to-build web 2.0 tools can be used to develop solutions to social challenges.
Until then, the organizers are calling out to you for ideas:
For the next month, we’ll be accepting applications to come to the event via the website – www.sicamp.org. The plan is that people will fill in our ideas submission form with details of an idea they have for socially-beneficial web tools. This process will close on 7th March 2008 and we’ll choose the best to come and join us in April.
I’ll be one of the technical advisors on the panel and I am very much looking forward to seeing what web geeks can do to change the world around us rather than just the virtual ones.
Yesterday the first ever PlugLondon event took place in the Skype offices off Tottenham Court Road in London, England. PlugLondon was the idea of Jonathan Gabbai of Ebay, Paul Amery and Antoine Bertout of Skype and me and we wanted to give London based developers a chance to show off what they have done and network in an environment devoid of HR, PR or other business lures or pressures.
The signs were bad: it was raining cats and dogs (the classic London rain that will get you from all sides and therefore is not stopable with a brolly), the tubes were overcrowded as there were also protest marches planned in the city and generally the westend was packed with shoppers trying to get their christmas presents.
Nevertheless about 40-50 people showed up and we consumed the pizza and drinks provided before heading off to the Bricklayer’s Arms for some more drinks.
So far all I heard was good feedback and some very good suggestions how to move the event forward. We’ll see what we can do for the next one, but I guess we’ll wait a while till the weather is better and people came back from holidays. I personally am off to a 8 day trip to Hongkong on Tuesday.
I’ll still be in Paris, but were I here I’d be very interested to go. Sussex Folk who want to spend a Saturday developing some prototypes and bounce ideas of other developers can come to Brighton on the 17th of November to attend the Farm Hack Day.
From the horse’s (cow’s, chicken’s…) mouth:
Hack Day is a chance for web developers and designers to get together and work on small, fun projects, e.g. a new widget for their website. During the day people will learn from each other and show off their skills in a friendly, slightly geeky environment. This Hack Day is organised by members of the Brighton Farm freelancers group. The day will be free, supported by sponsors. Tickets will be allocated through EventWax. [...]. This is part of the Brighton Digital Festival
Darn, I should move to Brighton. Hack on!