When the news was confirmed that NAConf would be back - I was extremely excited! In my view, NEW ADVENTURES is a truly unique conference which for those first three years meant such a great start to the year. I found it so special that I was a little concerned it might be difficult to follow up on, especially in these troublesome times. I needn't have worried at all — it was another uniquely inspiring day!
I love going to meet-ups and conferences but over the past few years, I am finding myself less and less motivated due to a few reasons. Life, work and time being one, the change in topics the other.
In the good ol' days, there would be a great mix of topics. Experienced and inexperienced web folk would give talks, telling stories of working on the web, about small-scale and large-scale projects and teams, coding tricks would be shared and a lot of laughs had along the way. Design, development mixed with technical specifics and even topics such as marketing. Always interesting, always fun ~ conversations were flowing.
Now the web's growing up and changing. As everywhere else, the corporates are throwing their weight around and changing things. Where in the past, people would work for mixed size teams, more and more seemed to aspire to work with large brands. The topics covered at meet-ups and lots of conferences seemed to change with it. For me personally, it became too many talks on managing large teams, the latest framework or library - or how to best automate tasks etc.
While the social aspect was always fun, the topics and talks spoke less and less to me. They'd be something I'd recommend to my web students who are beginning their path and should explore all avenues. This is a personal preference, of course - and the topics and talks were interesting to many.
Personally, I preferred the mix of talks and more varied subjects. Not only on the latest technology - but more focus on people, individuals and also those less digitally savvy. At times we're too entrenched in the medium of our work, we forget how others might see, understand and use the web.
It's the smaller projects, the focus on people and outcomes for community and their inherent passion that I miss. Might be just me - but I think there are great stories in small projects, too. And while my own preference might mean I'll never be rich — I love the nature of my work, quite personal with plenty of face-to-face time with only a handful of people. There simply is something quite special about smaller projects/teams.
As naïve as it might be, I think there's a place for both, small and large projects and teams. In a time in flux - this might be more important than ever. Forward to NAConf 2019 — sitting here, trying to summarise the day... it strikes me how things have changed, how the web has changed — and how I have changed. Very glad to find that others in our web-wide community not only agree but are calling for change.
Thank you, Simon, Geri, Relly et al
for bringing back NEW ADVENTURES! For all your hard work, all the time and love that went into making this day another amazing experience. ❤