So this was an out of the blue decision for a CFP this year, and before you ask yes I have used Apple Mac OSX but I do not own a Mac at present. However, as the story goes, good friends of mine the lovely guys at Secret Labs help to put on Dev World in Melbourne each year and had told me about the conference. The funny thing was I thought well I actually do have a story to share, and decided to talk about the Awesome App Camp for girls and the amazing work in diversity that is being done.
I really did not know what to expect from the conference, apart from assisting with AppCamp and iOS refactoring work I really had not touched a Mac. But it always helps knowing some of the conference organisers and being a speaker at a new technology conference just to help you not feel like a noob. The talk was accepted really well and we got quite a large crowd. There was some women in the crowd, however the nice thing to see in the audience was Fathers who where really keen on how to help their children and also guys that just wanted to hear how it made a difference. To date I think it is one of my better talks given, mainly because it is a topic I am so passionate about and I was talking to a crowd that was really keen to hear my story.
Just prior to the talk I got the dreaded question from Developer Steve, “Why do we need an App Camp for Girls, isn’t it sexist to not have an App Camp for Boys”… Now I actually don’t think Steve really understood what he was asking nor me it in such a way that he is ignorant to the obvious struggle for women and girls in tech. I think Steve represented that type of person who goes “well I haven’t thought of the need for V and we have X so why do we need V”. I took the question in that vain and attempted to address the question in my talk and also gave some examples of the answers the girls gave us when we asked them “So why do you think we need an App Camp for Girls?”.
Overall the talk went really well, the Conference main dinner and jokes night was a riot and I won a book. The people I meet where engaging and wanted to learn about “App Camp for Girls” and also keen to hear about my use of Linux and how I ended up mentoring at an iOS App Camp.
My takeaway would be, definitely head down to the conference. If you are questioning or hesitating please dont, it is well worth it and the community is very welcoming and friendly but also not too over friendly lol. There are great talks to be heard over two days in an awesome location right in the heart of Melbourne. The dinner night was a not to miss and contained jokes, a talk, trivia and lots of prizes.
Who knows, next time I need to buy a propietary operating system for some of my projects out there in corporate world, I just might consider OSX now that I have been shown some of its more powerful side and its configuration hangovers of BSD ;)