I’m still digesting code4lib 2015. This was my first time attending the conference, and I had an amazing time.
I really like that the community is occupationally diverse (librarians, archivists, catalogers, server admins, developers…), friendly and welcoming, and refreshingly informal. The talks exposed me to a lot of new technologies, but most importantly on a personal level, they motivate me to learn as much as I can and push continually forward. I was one of few public librarians present, but that makes the motivation all the more compelling, in a way. My mind is already swimming with ideas to bring back to the office tomorrow.
And of course, I met a lot of nice and interesting people. The IRC channel is one of this group’s strengths, and I’m hoping to keep in touch with my new acquaintances through there and email. It was neat to meet a few people that I already knew from the channel. The drinkup was a good time, as was the D&D game we organized for game night (the rogue was maimed and killed in an epic fashion by a mob of zombies).
Portland is a cool city. Excellent transit, tons of local shops and restaurants, green. Reminded me of Pittsburgh crossed with Austin, and some of the people reminded me of New Orleans. It was maybe a little less Portlandia than I expected, but I also didn’t spend a whole lot of time outside of the conference.
Highlights for me:
- Pre-conference workshops on Data Visualization and Git–very useful, and I appreciated how hands-on they were
- Programmers are Not Projects by Erin White–not quite pertinent to me at the moment, as I’m not a manager, but great to keep in mind when the time comes
- Code Club by Coral Sheldon-Hess–I definitely want to do two of these; one in my office and one over Hangouts with code4lib folks
- Our $50,000 Problem: Why Library School? by Jennie Rose Halperin–I’ll just leave this here
- Packer.io by Kevin Clarke–very handy, and comforting purple velour to boot
- Build Your Own Bootstrap by Axa Mei Liauw and Kevin Reiss–very cool stuff that I was not only previously ignorant of, but felt I could fully understand! I need to check out Sass and SCSS.
- Talks by Naomi Dushay, Laney McGlohon, and Wayne Schneider about integrating various collections and using Solr
- Bento Box Discovery by Jason Thomale–very cool concept and implementation, and a deft and funny presentation
- Beyond Open Source by Jason Casden and Brett Davidson–very apropos for public libraries, and as a bonus, I need something like Suma
- Awesome Pi, LOL! by Matt Connoly and Jennifer Colt–neat project; something I could see my library trying
- Lightning Talks: Norman’s Design of Everyday Things, Ronallo’s video accessibility using WebVTT, Teaching the ILS to accept Paypal fines, and Jason Griffey’s Measure the Future.
I did hit the wall, as I’m told everyone at code4lib does. For me, it was sometime Wednesday afternoon. I also had to leave during Thursday’s Lightning Talks to catch my flight. So there are some things I need to go back and review.
Certainly the best conference I’ve ever attended, I hope to go back next year!
P.S. I guess I ought to mention my own Lightning Talk 🙂 The fact that I didn’t know what a Lightning Talk was before arriving, yet gave one on the second day, which in turn generated new conversations, is one of the things that makes code4lib great.
P.P.S. This isn’t the first incarnation of dominicbordelon.com, but it is a new one. Welcome!