Front-end Developer Steve Podmore attended the last ever Shropgeek Revolution Conference, unsurprisingly in Shropshire. In this article, Steve pays homage to the popular digital and technology conference, as he shares his highlights from the event, along with some helpful links for further reading.
Over to Steve
The Shropgeek Revolution Conference has been running since 2010 and sadly, their 2015 conference was the last ever one. Shropgeek is a conference unlike many others as it has evolved from a collection of designers and developers that meet up once a month to talk about all things web-related and to discuss new trends and industry standards. The conference is set in the beautiful and very picturesque town of Shrewsbury in Shropshire, hence the name. It has developed into a very relaxed, informative and fun event. I love it because it's full of like-minded people who all have a genuine passion for digital, design and development.
This year did not disappoint! The Shropgeek organisers arranged a fantastic line-up of speakers including some of the industry's most talented and influential people including Cole Henley, Andrew Clarke and Seb Lee Delisle.
After a brief welcome, the day kicked off with our first speaker, Emma MulQueeny. Emma presented a very interesting talk on the '97ers' and the web trends and patterns resulting from our digital natives - more information on the '97ers' and networked communities can be found on Emma’s website.
Next up was Matt Jukes. Matt is Head of Digital for the Office of National Statistics and he gave a very interesting talk on “The internet of public service”, discussing his belief that we collectively need to embrace and support a 'Public Service' internet to push back against the endless stream of trolls and online quizzes that are out there cluttering our worldwide web. I have to admit that I’d never really heard a great deal of Matt before the conference but following his talk, he’s certainly a person that I’ll be following a little more closely. There's more information on Matt and his little corner of the internet here.
Jake Giltsoff, a designer and front end developer at Typekit, delivered a fantastic speech about the past, present and future of typography. For me, this was probably the most thought-provoking and informative talk of the day. Jake raised some very interesting points around how designers and developers have a responsibility to shape the future of communication. Heavy stuff but it inspired me and made me very proud of my chosen career. Here is Jake's website. I recommend you check it out.
Cole Henley then led us through to lunch with a frank discussion about money. He discussed charging accurately and the sometimes conflicting demands of purpose vs. profitability and how to encourage 'play' within a modern digital agency. Cole is a well-known and certainly well-quoted speaker within the development world; he also lectures on Web Design at the University of Greenwich. Here is Cole’s blog.
Following a break for lunch, Seb Lee-Delisle took to the stage - anybody that has ever attended one of Seb’s talks will already know that he certainly likes to do a little live coding, and this one was no exception. Seb loves to get the audience involved in his talks and despite having planned his hour on stage to include a talk, he spent the entire hour live coding and I have to say, it was great fun to watch and participate in - find out more about Seb here
Sally Jenkinson was first up after lunch. I think this is a tough spot as the audience had a head full of the morning's information and a belly full of food but she did a fantastic job. Sally gave a great talk on shipping fast and iterating regularly on projects to ensure that what we were planning at the start of a project is still relevant at the time of launch and beyond. I found this to be like a lesson in best practice. Sally explored the past, what past visions of the future looked like and how we can apply the past visions of the future in the work that we do - another very thought-provoking talk and certainly one that we could apply to what we do every day. Certainly got me thinking, here's her website
Andrew Clarke was the final speaker of the day and spoke about creativity over predictability. He feels that sometimes us developers can focus a little too much on implementation and not enough on creativity. Andrew is a great speaker and nobody can deny that his influence and forward-thinking has helped to shape the way that many agencies and developers approach their daily work. Which is a pretty impressive achievement. Here's Andrew's website
So that's it, sadly for the conference as well as my day in Shropshire. As an avid attendee I’ll miss the Revolution Conference and I'm truly sad that it’s come to an end. Shropgeek Revolution will surely be remembered as one of the most fun, friendly and informative conferences in the North of England. Let's hope someone fills the inevitable hole that it will leave in the developer's events calendar soon!