Hello there. You haven’t heard from me yet. I’m Colly, and when I say I’m a new starter here at Global Personals, what I really mean is I started 6 months ago. A brief introduction: I moved over from Belfast, Northern Ireland in the summer of 2013. I worked at a client based agency called Pierce Communications after I graduated from University of Ulster in 2012 with a degree in Interactive Multimedia Design. With a strong desire to build a better working web, that led me here to Windsor to join the UX Team.
What I want to talk about, however, is something I’ve missed since moving over, and that’s the developer meetups. Belfast has quite a few these considering the general size of the city, but that’s mostly down to the ever-growing developer/designer community. Events from CoderDojo to Refresh to Belfast Ruby (among others) provide excellent opportunities to join other designers and developers in the area, listen to a few inspiring talks, and mingle with a few drinks. At first, I struggled to find anything along the same lines here in Berkshire, but that’s changed, moreso in the past couple of weeks.
It would be quite rude not to begin with HackerNews London, as it’s co-run by a former Globalite (and fellow Irishman) in Steve Buckley. I attended this event back in September 2013 but it runs every month in Shoreditch, only a couple of connecting trains from Windsor, and was host to some interesting talks from Steve himself, another Globalite in Keith Clark and compered by Sanderson Jones (from those Gumtree adverts). Only £6 to attend, but what I wasn’t expecting was such a massive turn-out - close to, if not more than, 400 developers from all kinds of fields.
As it turns out, this Breaking Borders evening event is held at the University of Reading - just up the road from where I live. Andrew and I attended this free event last week, and it was pretty much what I was hoping for. A couple of speakers in Aral Balkan and Ruth Jones, complimentary food and drinks, and (the most important part) other people.
The talks themselves were quite interesting. First up was Aral taking us through “a tale of privacy, civil liberties and a phone”. Essentially, how the initial usability of the Firefox OS led him to begin work on a completely open sourced phone, operating system, and apps - indiePhone.
Following that was Ruth introducing us to some experiments she had been working on with the Web Audio API, using the API to visualise sound in several ways much like many of us experienced when playing with Winamp all those years ago.
Web Meet Guildford
This event I have yet to experience but it’s more of an informal gathering in a pub, getting to know other folks in web-based development. It runs every 8 weeks (or thereabouts). Sounds interesting though, and my name’s down to attend the next event on Thursday, March 6th.
So, it seems I’ve unearthed several events to watch out for in the near future. I’m still on the hunt, however, for several more of these opportunities, so if you hear of any then get in touch and let us know. In fact, the .net Awards have a category open to vote for the best Grassroots Event of the Year, including the likes of HN London, CreativeMornings and Front-End London.
If you do plan on making it to any of these events, you may well bump into one or two Globalites on the night. Come say hello. We’ll be able to fill you in on what we do here at Global Personals and give you a heads-up on upcoming job roles.