So after a month of thinking & planning we had the first Reading Geek Night!. Having read through the feedback that everyone kindly provided I think I can say that it was a success! I didn’t get a proper count of the number of people, but i’m guessing it was around 35/40. We had four talks, lots of interesting people met each other for the first time and there was a good buzz in the room all night.
Geeks have recently started reclaiming the term as a means of empowerment. And now they are using this to create a social movement pressuring for change. The group has set up its’ own blog home to raise awareness of the issues tech-conscious ‘geeks’ are into.
Ben Nunney shared his take on digital identity – how does the footprint we leave on the web impact us? How do people perceive us through our online prescnce (or conversly lack of presence)? Ben certainly got people thinking about the issue and I know there are a few people this morning who are having a rethink about their own digital identities. Bens blog post on the event is here.
Dominic Green gave us a whirlwind tour of Microsoft Azure, their cloud offering. Dom did a great job of explaining what Azure is all about and whetted a few appetites to find out more. Maybe a subject for a more detailed talk in the future. Dom’s review of the evening is here.
I talked about coding for kids and demoed a cool programming environment, designed for kids, from MIT called Scratch. I’m hoping that people will download it and have a play and hopefully encourage any young people they know to have a go at coding.
Chris Tingley showed us some ‘speed coding’ with a live demo of Ruby on Rails. In the space of 15 mins he wrote a web app from scratch (including writing some test cases) and gracefully recovered from an (extremely rare) mac related crash! Chris is clearly a Ruby ninja and opened a few eyes to what you can do with an MVC framework like Rails.
Apress kindly donated five books which we used as a bribe to fill in the feedback forms – there were loads of really good comments and hopefully over the weekend I’ll get time to collate the feedback and publish it on the blog. In the meantime, if you have any more thoughts on the event after having slept on it for a few nights then feel free to add comments to this post.
Personally, I met loads of interesting people and listened in on some great conversations that happened between and after the talks.Everyone had a good time and many people said they were looking forward to the next Geek night…. which will be on Monday 7th December (yes I know I said the 2nd Tuesday, but it was impossible to get a venue for Tuesday 8th owing to office Xmas party bookings etc).
So if you came… thanks for coming along. If you didn’t manage to get there then hope to see you next time.