Cody Bunch Some Random IT Guy - OpenStack, DevOps, Cloud, Things

The Reckoning 2015 - Day .5

Day .5? Day 0? Something like that. The Reckoning, a who’s who of the various movers and shakers in ‘the community’, put on by John Troyer and his wife Kat Troyer. Unlike the big conferences, The Reckoning is not in support of any given vendor, or to drive any specific technology. Rather, it is aimed at community and professional development.

Day .5 - Unconference

vBrownBag Unconference Banner

The day .5 unconference got the event under way. We started with 10-15 minutes of finding topics of interest to those in attendance. Which wasn’t all that hard once we got moving. From there, we broke into two smaller discussion groups, and things really got moving.

While one could list in bullet points the various things that were talked about, I think that would fail to catch both the energy and genuine sentiment of those present. On the whole, professional development, transitioning from engineering to management, mentorship, and the like… all front of mind for those in attendence.

Day .5 - Dinner / Speaker 1 Kurt Collins

After the unconference broke up, and then into even smaller discussion groups, dinner was served. Lots of great conversations. At my table specifically, a discussion or two about roosters, quasi-therapeutic retention techniques (Origami, graphic not taking, etc). We also spent quite a few minutes on bitcoin and tdcs.

After dinner, we returned to the front room where we met Kat Troyer who led us in a small, but important grounding / mindfulness exercise. We also touched on the code of conduct, and the spaces built into the schedule to take care of ones self. As an introvert, I can’t tell you how important this is, vs some of the larger conferences.

After the introduction, John introduced us to Kurt Collins. Done interview style, John interviewed Kurt on stage. First talking about some of Kurt’s background, his first Atari, Commodore, and how he got his start into programming. From there the conversation drifted into the evolution or tipping point. That is technology / code is eating the world. One no longer hails a taxi, you call an Uber from your phone. You can order dinner from Amazon, and more. That led into a discussion of how if one is in a tradition IT shop, how do you yourself cross the gap, and how do you help your organization do the same?

We then spent some time talking to Kurt about his nonprofit effort, the Hidden Genius Project, an amazing project, geared at training and mentoring black male youth in technology creation, entrepreneurship, and leadership skills to transform their lives and communities. He shared what could have been a horror story. That is, a change pushed to ‘production’, 3 minutes before an investor demo. shudder. Kurt and his cofounders realized the change broke the application, however, instead of fixing it, they let the kids use their soft skills to work around it in their pitch, which went off well.

Day .5 - Geek Whisperers

The Geek Whisperers, a great little podcast, got up on stage and closed us out. They chatted about the conference itself, the unconference, and then we shared stories. Stories of when we needed a mentor, when we took a leap, and more.

Day .5 - Summary

All and all day .5 (day 0? day 1?) was a new and wonderful kind of interesting.