As a company we aim to run three to four community events annually. There seems to be so little happen in Durban yet there are a lot of developers who want regular events. The dedication is so big that some developers form Durban will travel all the way to Jo’burg for a coderetreat. It’s mad that Durban is apathetic about everything. We no longer get big bands or musicians coming down here because of the poor response and last-minute activity. Again, anyone serious about what they do and love has to travel to Jo’burg or Cape Town. Yet still, there is a core of very passionate and involved software developers who are hungry for some action (you know the kind I mean!).
We started with our first ever event in July last year. We organised a coderetreat for 24 attendees. I was so excited and nervous about running one. This was completely new to me and to almost every person who registered. On the day, more than a third of the people did not arrive. I was pretty disappointed – we had had to turn away people wanting to register because of limited space. But, in an Agile company, you always go back to “inspect and adapt”. It was a great learning experience and we changed how we ran the last one in December as part of the Global Day of Coderetreat initiative. It was a raging success!
In between the coderetreats we ran our first Developer Evening. It was a cold spring night yet still the hard-core guys pitched up and participated. Last night we held our our second Developer Evening, and what a success! We had 3 exceptional presentations:
Brendon, Jurie and Matt kept us glued to our seats with their passion, humour and deep knowledge of their domains. These people gave up their time to put together presentations and give back to the software development community. I have deep respect for them, they are passionate about what they do and they want to share the knowledge for the betterment of other developers. It’s a wonderful value to have. The attendees engaged well with each presentation and a lot was learnt from the questions coming from the group. Everyone left having learnt something which will ripple out into their lives, their jobs, the way they develop their next app or game or personal project.
That is what gives me a kick out putting these events together. It makes a difference. Maybe one day we will have people flying from Jo’burg and Cape Town to attend our coderetreats or speak at our Developer Evenings. I don’t think that time is too far away.
Make sure you don’t miss the next one, and I will make sure it’s awesome.